We frequently hear the term “rainscreen cladding”, but what it really is? The term actually refers to an additional outer layer, attached to the original façade of the building. The layer is creating a double-wall construction, and by this way protects the wall from water penetration and secondary moisture. This technology was first used in early 1900s during the construction of Norwegian barns with the aim to help the longevity of wooden buildings against the particularly wet and cold climate of the region.
As with every successful technology, there is a constant improvement and development. In our time, rainscreen cladding of one of the most widespread façade practices that is used globally by professional façade contractors, architects, building owners and façade consultants.
The marketing reports show a constant annual growth of 5,44% and as per the market size, it is expected to rise at 269,4 billion € by the end of 2023. 
In the below article, SKYLINE FACADES team will give some information on rainscreen cladding and its advantages.
1. Basics of Rainscreen Cladding
We can define rainscreen cladding as a type of outer skin mounted on the original façade of the building. Different materials in the form of thin, prefabricated panels can be used such as metals, ACP, terracotta, natural stone or even combinations of them.
In essence, it creates an air cavity with the aim of protection the exterior walls of the building from outer impacts. Several benefits to be derived, the longer life expectancy to be probably the biggest one, along with a series of others such as advanced waterproofing, energy efficiency, sustainability, increased thermal insulation, reduced structural movements, lower maintenance costs among them.
2. Rainscreen Cladding and Waterproofing Benefits
Advanced waterproofing is one of the natural advantages of adding an extra rainscreen cladding layer on the building wall. These multi-layer assemblies of rainscreen cladding protect the façade by the following ways:
- Function as shields from direct rain. Even if small amounts of water can penetrate the air cavity, the moisture will quickly get drained and vented out of the construction.
- Water will be prevented to seep into the panel joints and furtherly into the original wall construction.
- Condensation and secondary humidity will be limited due to the specifically intended air-ventilation properties they hold.
It sounds simple, however the above properties of rainscreen cladding can be a significant factor in prolonging the stability of the building. Building thermal insulation will be protected and unwanted decay and peeling of paint will be prevented.
3. Rainscreen Cladding, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency
Additionally, rainscreen cladding is a highly sustainable solution that decreases energy costs in the long run. Practical testing has showcased that a rainscreen cladding system can reduce the energy costs by 30-40%.
Below, we can see the mechanics of the below energy savings:
- By limiting excessive air leakage, so it guarantees easier heating as well as faster cooling of the building.
- By protecting the original thermal insulation from damage and by keeping it as efficient as possible.
- By forming an additional layer or circulating air that enhances the thermal insulation of the inner wall.
4. Rainscreen Cladding and Continuous Circulation of Air
Recent studies confirm that air pressure is a significant factor in extensive water penetration. This parameter has been neglected until recent years, that constitute a reason for many building unforeseen difficulties and even failures in the long run.
Rainscreen cladding allows the free circulation of air between the building wall and the additionally installed cladding panels. The ventilation process that happens allows for 3 important things. Namely:
- Reduces the chances of water filtration
- Equalizes the inner and outer air pressure
- Reduces water leakage
To say it simple, the air circulation properties of contemporary rainscreen cladding are one of its most prominent characteristics. The system is made highly promising for new projects as well as for renovation of existing buildings.
- Additional Advantages of Opting for a Rainscreen Cladding System for your Building Project
Rainscreen cladding systems is more than waterproofing and energy savings, to ensure several additional benefits for the building. We can sum them up as:
- Reduced Structural Movements. The stable temperature within the air cavity minimizes the risk of cracks and further structural problems.
- Enhanced Acoustic Insulation, by this way preventing noise pollution, improve the comfort and ensure a healthy working and living environment.
- Require virtually minimal maintenance, especially if you initially choose to rely on highly durable cladding materials
The team of Skyline Facades consists of qualified professionals, that are highly knowledgeable about rainscreen cladding systems, their numerous advantages, and potential drawbacks.
Do not hesitate to contact us and let us go together you through the process of design, engineering and maintaining the leading façade technology of the future.
- Key Issues:
- Rainscreen cladding is a double-skin construction that relies on an “outer skin” made of panels to protect both the original wall 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 increased 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.