What is a rainscreen cladding system and what are its advantages?

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Rainscreen cladding - advantages

The term “rainscreen cladding” refers to an additional outer layer, attached to the original façade of the building. It creates a double-wall construction, thus protecting the wall from water penetration and secondary moisture. The technology was originally used in the construction of Norwegian barns about a century ago - it helped the wooden buildings last longer in the particularly wet and cold climate of the area.

Rainscreen cladding has been constantly improving and developing ever since. Nowadays, it is one of the most promising technologies that are getting increasingly recognized by professional architects, entrepreneurs, façade contractors, and façade consultants from all around the globe.

According to a recent marketing report, the rainscreen cladding systems market is expected to grow from € 206.7 billion in 2018 to € 269.4 billion by the end of 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.44% in the given period. [1]

Why is rainscreen cladding taking over the building envelope industry? Here's some info, provided by the BILDA team.

What is rainscreen cladding - getting to know the basics

As we already mentioned above, rainscreen cladding is a type of "outer skin" mounted on the original façade of the building. It consists of thin, prefabricated panels, that can be made of different materials - metals, polyurethane, stone, terracotta, and various combinations of them.

Essentially, rainscreen cladding creates an air cavity that protects the exterior walls of the building from outer impacts. It guarantees a longer life expectancy as well as a number of extra benefits such as advanced waterproofing, better energy-efficiency and sustainability, enhanced thermal insulation, reduced structural movements, low maintenance costs, and more.

Intrigued yet? Keep on reading to learn more about how installing a rainscreen cladding system will enhance the quality and extend the life expectancy of your building in the long run.

Rainscreen cladding and advanced waterproofing

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Rainscreen cladding - advanced waterproofing

One of the most obvious advantages of adding an extra rainscreen cladding layer is, of course, the advanced waterproofing. How exactly do the multi-layer assemblies of rainscreen cladding protect the façade? They:

  • serve as shields from direct rain. Small amounts of water can still penetrate the air cavity, yet the moisture is quickly drained and vented out of the construction.
  • limit the condensation and secondary humidity thanks to the specifically intended air-ventilation properties they hold.
  • prevent water from seeping into the panel joints and furtherly into the original wall construction.

Simple as they sound, these properties of rainscreen cladding can significantly prolong the stability of the building. They prevent unanticipated decay and peeling paint, as well as protect the thermal insulation of the building.

Rainscreen cladding and better energy sustainability

In addition, rainscreen cladding is also a highly sustainable solution that cuts on energy costs in the long run. Some recent practical tests showed that a properly installed rainscreen cladding system can reduce the energy bills between 30% and 40%.

So how does rainscreen cladding guarantee this level of energy efficiency? By:

  • forming an additional layer of air that enhances the thermal insulation of the inner wall.
  • protecting the original thermal insulation from damage and keeps it as efficient as possible.
  • limiting excessive air leakage, thus guaranteeing both easier heating and faster cooling of the building.

This set of amazing advantages are contributing to both the performance of the façade contractors and the interests of the investors themselves.

It’s easy to say that a rainscreen cladding system will suit the project with extra user value. It will also add an eco-friendly flare to it, and will boost the ROI for everyone involved in the process.

Rainscreen cladding and continual air circulation

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Rainscreen cladding - continual air circulation

Ongoing studies had confirmed that air pressure is a vital prerequisite for extensive water penetration. This fact hadn’t been considered so far, and that’s why many projects faced unexpected difficulties and losses in the long run.

Rainscreen cladding allows the free circulation of air between the original façade and the additionally installed outer panels. The ventilation process that takes place does three important things. Essentially, it:

  • equalizes the inner and outer air pressure;
  • reduces the chances of water filtration;
  • depreciates water leakage.

Put shortly, the air circulation properties of modern rainscreen cladding are among its most important characteristics. They make the system highly promising for both new buildings and refurbishment architectural projects.

Additional advantages of choosing a rainscreen cladding system for your architectural project

Rainscreen cladding systems go beyond waterproofing and energy cost-efficiency, to ensure many extra benefits for the building. We can sum them up as:

  • Reducing structural movements. The stable temperature within the air cavity minimizes the risk of cracks and further structural problems.
  • Enhancing acoustic insulation, thus preventing noise pollution and ensuring a healthy working and/or living environment.
  • Requiring virtually no maintenance costs, especially if you initially choose to rely on highly-durable panel materials.
  • Greatly prolonging the life expectancy of the façade by keeping it dry and perfectly shielded from external physical forces.

Of course, installing a rainscreen cladding system has its specifics that you need to approach with caution. Those include getting to know the precise fixing methods suitable for different surfaces, paying attention to the detailing around windows and unusual façade angles, acknowledging the additional installation time, etc.

Do you need to know more about installing a rainscreen cladding system? We are here to help you.

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Rainscreen cladding - installing

The team of Bilda.net is entirely made up of qualified professionals, that are highly knowledgeable about rainscreen cladding systems, their numerous advantages, and potential drawbacks.

Our experts are always eager to explain any additional details concerning the rainscreen cladding technology, to answer your questions and to advise you personally on your individual project. Do not hesitate to contact us and let us guide you through the process of choosing, installing and maintaining the leading façade technology of the future.

Key takeaways:

  • Rainscreen cladding is a double-wall construction that relies on an “outer skin” made of panels to protect both the original façade and the thermal insulation of the building.
  • The additional outer layer ensures advanced waterproofing against direct rain, secondary humidity, and condensation.
  • Façade cladding systems ensure better energy efficiency – they protect and enhance the original insulation by creating an additional air layer and limiting air leakage.
  • The air circulation properties of rainscreen cladding systems equalize air pressure and thus prevent deep moisture penetration.
  • Ventilated rainscreen cladding reduces the structural movements of the building, prolongs its life expectancy, and requires almost zero maintenance costs.

References:

  1. https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/cladding-system.asp
  2. https://www.cupapizarras.com/int/news/what-is-rainscreen-cladding-advantages/

What is a rainscreen cladding system and what are its advantages?
What is rainscreen cladding - getting to know the basics
Rainscreen cladding and advanced waterproofing
Rainscreen cladding and better energy sustainability
Rainscreen cladding and continual air circulation
Additional advantages of choosing a rainscreen cladding system for your architectural project
Do you need to know more about installing a rainscreen cladding system? We are here to help you.