Ecological & Environmental Benefits of adding a Ventilated Facade System

While there are different types of facades that can be added to you home or business to consider. The addition of one can both revitalize and refresh the look while considerably reducing its carbon footprint and reducing your heating costs. Ceramic tiles can be used as well as their stronger and more resilient cousin, porcelain, or even natural stone. Natural stone comes with certain issues to be considered that are not present with man made products but natural stone has been used by human kind for thousands of years to clad our finest architectural structures.

Adding a ventilated cladding adds a new barrier around the structure while still allowing for thermal insulation with an air vapor barrier. Your existing facade gets a layer of protection from the elements while the building is effectively wrapped in a protective, thermal layer. The advantages are numerous and whatever your reason is, the other advantages are inherent with the system, for example if you want to improve the U-values (thermal rating) of you structure you are also going to get a protective layer for the existing facade and a face-lift on the exposed exterior along with better longevity for your home or business.

Upgrading Building Facades – Summary of Methods

To upgrade a buildings façade the methods would most likely be categorised as one of the following:

  • Replace
  • Add-in
  • Wrap-it
  • Add-on
  • Cover-it

These are outlined in the Façade Refurbishment Toolbox (2014) by Thaleia Konstantinou and while being a dry read it is also full of useful information, although as the industry moves on the book (as with any other) gradually becomes dated and more likely to contain obsolete information. For our purposes we will be focusing on “Wrap-it” and also some of “Add-in” and “Add-on”;

Wrap-it is essentially the ventilated facades and rain screen cladding that is covered in various parts on this website (illustrated in the Instagram image below). It wraps the existing façade that allows for better thermal values and still allows for an air barrier between the existing façade and the new envelope that effectively is now wrapped around the building. The biggest downside to this method is that it can very rarely be used on listed buildings as planning permission is not likely to be granted, see the image for examples of the through-body porcelain tiles that we would choose if the façade needed to be done in a concrete effect for example so it keeps in with the look of the local area (other styles are obviously available).

Add-in is mostly used where planning permission will not allow you to add the new façade to the outside of the building so the new layer would then be added to this inside of the building, the downsides to this is that it will be disruptive to the residents of the property and will use up internal floor space.

Add-on is where we would suggest an extension or an “additional structure” to the existing one. This can only be done where enough space is available around the existing structure from as little as a balcony up to an extension “added on” to the existing building where the newer parts will have modern construction values that meet current standards to construction values.

While each has its own merits, we will opt for wrap-it where we can as there is far more to be offered and when allowed, it will completely revamp an old property. The technical specifications, drawings and specify the correct products can be an issue but we will take care of all of that!

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