The relationship between people and architecture materialises in the first instance in interpreting surface elements which have a heavy communicative and representative responsibility to society, which sees them from the outside. Throughout history, the importance of architectural covering has been tackled according to various declinations. If, during the modern era, transparency and the democratisation of space (translated into the use of glass curtain walls) have been the priority of compositional research, today the primary criteria for the choice of facade cladding techniques are connected to the need to obtain buildings with high aesthetic qualities, efficient, functional, and which best represent the designers and their compositional ideas.
The costs connected to the climatisation of interior spaces make up the bulk of a building’s energy consumption. Increasing energy efficiency is a shared interest between nations at a global level who, over the years, have introduced regulations to reduce energy loss from buildings. It follows that exterior cladding, and in particular facades, assume a critical role from the point of view of sustainability enabling a significant reduction of energy and an increase in thermal comfort and greater residential wellbeing in interior spaces.
Ventilated Rainscreen Facades
Ventilated rainscreen facade completed with Florim porcelain tiles are a type of cladding particularly recommended for achieving high technical and energy performance, for both new constructions and for redevelopments, for public and private buildings. Thanks to this particular technical construction, the surface of the cladding remains separate from the wall, enabling the continual flow of air that leads to significant benefits in terms of breathability and a decrease in thermal load. Specifically, ventilated rainscreen facades using porcelain tiles combine the high thermal performance of the ventilated rainscreen system with aesthetic quality, functionality, lightness and strength.
The Advantages of Ventilated Rainscreen Facades
Insulation. The cavity created between the outer wall and the cladding of the ventilated rainscreen facade, in addition to allowing the insertion of a layer of continuous insulating material (thereby eliminating thermal bridges) and the creation of a technical space for hosting utilities and ducts, results in the creation of convection currents which lead to notable advantages for the building and those living in it. By increasing the overall insulation (including acoustic) of the building, the ventilated rainscreen system contributes to fully exploiting the thermal inertia of the walls, thereby reducing the heat influx connected to the solar radiation during the summer and, in winter, reducing surface loss linked to the action of water and wind.
Health. The presence of air chambers and the dry installation system (without the use of adhesives or skimming) facilitates the breathability of the brickwork, making the air in the interior spaces more healthy and preventing the formation of mould and humidity usually attributable to a building’s low surface temperature.
Strength. The surface of a ventilated rainscreen facade goes over the bearing structure, creating a double layer of cladding that protects the brickwork from exposure to the elements, preventing it from becoming detached in addition to infiltration, bringing maintenance costs down.
Restructuring. The rear application of the system and the presence of a technical compartment make ventilated rainscreen facades particularly suitable and valued in building renovation: as well as improving the building’s energy performance it enables some utilities to be transferred from the interior to the exterior of the building, simplifying monitoring and maintenance without the need to repair existing surfaces and plaster.
Aesthetic continuity. The hidden fixing system with which the exterior panels of the ventilated rainscreen facade can be hung to the perimeter brickwork offer the possibility to approach the cladding components, creating a uniform surface where the material can be applied seamlessly.
The outermost layer of the ventilated rainscreen facade – the skin – performs the dual function of protecting the building – the body – from atmospheric agents, but also of exposing itself as a surface equipped with well-defined aesthetic qualities, presenting itself as the true face of the building. The use of porcelain stoneware as a cladding material is revealed, in this sense, to be particularly valued due to the wide range of sizes, aesthetic decorations and finishes that it has to offer and for its physical characteristics.
Porcelain ventilated rainscreen facade designed by Studio Centimetroquadro – Monza (IT)
Porcelain tile, in all of its sizes, offers designers a high degree of freedom in expressing the motif of spatiality on the facade. Porcelain ventilated rainscreen facades assist in reinterpreting the relationship between the cladding and the structure in a contemporary key, between the body and the skin of a building, without sacrificing the advantages that the use of such a compact ceramic material brings (high mechanical resistance to thermal shock, impermeability, incombustibility, the resistance of the colours to sunlight, chemical attacks and smog, lightness and workability, limited maintenance and durability).
Application of porcelain stoneware on the facade of a Hotel in Ancona (IT)