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NGA Co-sponsors Spandrel Research Project by the Charles Pankow Foundation

At its most recent meeting, the board of directors of the NGA voted in favor of co-sponsoring a research study underway by the Charles Pankow Foundation aimed at better characterizing the thermal performance of spandrel assemblies in curtain wall. The spandrel research project will help preserve the use of curtain wall through better modeling and understanding of spandrel thermal performance, helping lead to advanced designs.

Currently, modeling of spandrel thermal performance is complicated and inconsistent, and energy codes do not properly address spandrel. The Charles Pankow Foundation has contracted research teams and resources to address this problem through detailed modeling and physical testing. The team has completed its phase 1 background research and are now moving onto phase 2 testing.

“NGA supports this important initiative of the Charles Pankow Foundation to validate thermal benefits of spandrel,” states Urmilla Sowell, NGA vice president of advocacy and technical services. “This research is critical in states such as Massachusetts where curtain wall is in danger of being challenged in the building codes.”

The energy consultant for the NGA and the Glazing Industry Code Committee, Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, serves as the industry liaison on the project. To learn more about the research and how to get involved, contact NGA staff


The Charles Pankow Foundation combines a rich heritage with focused leadership to catalyze and drive sustainable programs for innovation. A private and independent public benefit foundation, the Charles Pankow Foundation serves a unique role in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. The Foundation provides leadership and catalytic funding to support game-changing research and industry collaborations to transform the industry.

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