Rainscreen cladding system is one of the most efficient cladding products in the modern era for construction projects purposes. The system is suitable and fits into the current trendy and sustainable architecture designs and consists of an easy installation system compared to many other cladding materials. Thus, knowing the advantages and functionality of Rainscreen products is essential for creating an appropriate exterior for a building. An inappropriate facade cladding insulation system can entail considerable energy loss in commercial buildings and private homes. In contrast with many inadequate cladding systems, Rainscreens products can favor energy saving due to its air cavity on the facility’s exterior section. With the combination of Rainscreen techniques with a proper facade insulation method, it is possible to provide the building with numerous benefits and advantages, such as increasing the sound and thermal insulation and other significant properties
How Does the Rainscreen Cladding System Work?
The Rainscreen cladding system contains a bearing wall, insulation surface with a layer with sufficient substance, and a fixed cladding material on the building, which utilizes a supporting structure. Due to this system’s perfect design, air cavity presence between the cladding material and the load-bearing wall allows the facade to have continuous ventilation. Depending on the projects, it is common to find an insulation layer between the cladding and the load-bearing wall. In some cases, the load-bearing wall itself can insulate the system, and in others, it is possible to place the insulating material inside the facility.
- Load-bearing Wall: The cause of using a load-bearing wall is to ensure the stability of the facility. The design must create enough strength to support the cladding system’s weight and the wind load that transmits through the structure. The load-bearing wall can contain concrete, wood, or brick, among other practical materials. The essential factor is to ensure the wall supports can overcome the cladding material’s weight per square meter.
- Air Cavity: The air cavity, which has an opening on the bottom and the top section of the exterior system, allows air’s constant circulation. Protecting the gaps must be precise and correct to prevent water infiltrations since water can decrease the insulating product’s efficiency. A ventilated flashing involves the facade’s lower opening to allow ventilation and avoid small insects’ entry. In contrast with the lower section, the top flashing or the upper beginning includes metal profile installation to prevent water infiltration while leaving the requiring space for continuous ventilation. For ensuring the air cavity efficiency, it is essential to create at least 2cm width in the cladding’s tightest part. Additionally, the minimal surface of ventilation can vary depending on the latitude of the facility.
- Insulation Layer: The insulation layer can be both inside and outside of the building. However, it is better to install it on the exterior section of the load-bearing wall to ensure more efficient structural movements performance. When installing the insulation layer inside the facility, the surface is no longer part of the Rainscreen cladding system, and it will not benefit from the ventilation properties. Regarding the insulating material for this system, there are several options available. Designers choose the thickness of the material depending on the insulating capacity and the application requirements.
- Cladding Material: Many materials are suitable for cladding, such as ceramic, wood, metal claddings, or even natural slate. The most crucial thing for choosing the cladding material is its resistant, durability and quality that completes the efficiency of Rainscreens.
After defining and knowing the structure and functionality of Rainscreen cladding systems, it is essential to know the main advantages that these products provide for the buildings. Followings are some of the most noticeable benefits of these systems.
- Avoiding Condensation and Humidity: The Rainscreen cladding system is perfect for reducing condensation and humidity both from the facility’s interior and exterior sections. The system’s air circulation is ideal for creating an extra protection layer and removing the possible water infiltration that can find a way through the joints.
- Extending Lifetime of the Facade: The system that provides air cavity improves the cladding durability since it protects the products from humidity.
- Reducing Structural Movements: The air cavity maintains the stability of temperature in the construction envelope and prevents the risk of cracks and other issues. Since the system is resistant to temperature changes, it is less liable to experience colossal expansion and contraction movements.
- Thermal and Sound Insulation: With the combination of the insulation layer and the cladding system, the thermal and sound insulation improves significantly. Acoustic and thermal insulation has a significant impact on health since it decreases environmental pollution.
- Energy Efficiency: The Rainscreen systems make the cooling and heating process much more manageable in warm and cold seasons and play an essential role in saving energy. Thus, the energy expenditure can decrease about 30% to 40%.
- Low Maintenance: One of the considerable advantages of the Rainscreen cladding system is that it requires almost zero maintenance, especially when the designer chooses a material to withstand harsh weather conditions.
- Adding Value to the Facility: The durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance of the Rainscreen systems can recover the building’s initial investment. Thus, these systems are the perfect choice for new constructions and renovation projects in residential and commercial facilities.