What are Rainscreen Claddings?

September 8, 2022
Posted in Blog
September 8, 2022 admin

The term “rainscreen claddings” refers to an additional outer layer attached to the original exterior wall of the building to form a non-structural, external surface. It forms a double-wall structure, protecting the wall against water penetration and secondary dampness. Rainscreen cladding systems were initially studied in the 1940s in the construction of Norwegian barns, where they helped the wooden structures live longer in the area, particularly in wet and cold environments. They were originally utilized on more mainstream projects in the 1950s and grew increasingly widespread in the 1960s.

When combining the rainscreen cladding system with an exterior insulation system, we provide the building with numerous advantages, such as increased thermal and acoustic insulation, among others we’ll mention later.

The basics

As we mentioned, rainscreen claddings are a layer installed on the original exterior of the building. Rainscreen claddings are narrow and premanufactured in sections to enable quick or easy on-site assembly. Rainscreen claddings are made of a diverse array of materials such as high-pressure laminates, aluminum composite panels, Glass, and much more.

The rainscreen cladding system primarily makes an air pocket between the building’s exterior and the building wall that shelters the outer walls from weather and natural phenomena. The rainscreen cladding system ensures the exterior walls of the building last longer and offer other benefits such as waterproofing the building’s exterior, heat insulation, reduced maintenance expenses, and a fantastic aesthetic for the building.

What does the air cavity do?

The air cavity was initially implemented into rainscreen claddings by designers and architects to achieve the “chimney effect,” a common rule in general physics. The chimney effect rule means that air or gases tend to rise when heated due to their density.

When claddings are installed on a building, openings are at the top and bottom, maintaining the desired weather. In summer, hot air rises through the cavity, and cold air comes in from the bottom to maintain a bubble of cool air around the building; during winter, wall claddings keep insulation of warm air around the building.

Waterproof qualities of rainscreen claddings

The increased waterproofing is one of the most obvious benefits of adding extra layers of rainscreen claddings. Rainscreen cladding panels can protect the exterior walls of buildings against rain and snow and prevent water from seeping into the structural components and decaying the building.

As simple as this may seem, buildings that don’t have waterproofing or a rainscreen system can have many issues in the long term. one of the main concerns around waterproofing in the construction industry is building instability. Water can travel into the main structural components and cause rusting, decaying, and softening of material which can be a hazardous risk to the safety of the building and the area around it.

Rainscreen claddings materials

When choosing a rainscreen system, there are a variety of materials. one of the common materials is aluminum composite or ACM panels. Aluminum composite is very flexible regarding design choices and one of the best materials designers can use for rainscreen cladding panels. The non-combusting quality of aluminum is one of the key quality features, alongside many other benefits such as aluminum being lightweight, cost-efficient, and durable against high and low temperatures.

Another popular material used for rainscreen claddings is Glass. Glass offers a wealth of design options to create a stunning look for the building; also, its reflective surface doesn’t absorb as much heat as stone or metals, therefore, keeping the building cool. Unlike what some think, Glass made for rainscreen systems is durable and tough and isn’t fragile.

The energy efficiency of rainscreen claddings

Due to their air cavity, adding an extra layer to the outer walls, and insulating the weather within the inner walls, rainscreen claddings are an investment that pays for themselves for any building or home. Rainscreen cladding is one of the most effective and least expensive techniques to provide complete thermal insulation to a structure while minimizing internal floor space requirements.

Cold bridging is eliminated, reducing energy expenses and the possibility of condensation and moisture. In-depth studies show that significant energy savings are possible using current building techniques.

Using Rainscreen cladding on the building’s outside surface keeps it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Energy expenses can also be lowered by 30%-40% by using rain-screen cladding.

The importance of aesthetics

There are several forms of wall cladding, which means that practically any design is conceivable, based on the client’s needs and the type of structure it is put on. There are several materials, but each has multiple forms, configurations, colors, and other alternatives. For example, vented and pressure equalized rainwater cladding on tall commercial buildings is most typically utilized.

Other forms include drained & vented rainscreen claddings. Several color and material options are also available, typically determined by the client’s needs. The use of vinyl siding is an excellent approach to modernizing older houses while also ensuring that new structures have a current appearance.

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