What is a Ventilated Facade?

Separated from the main facade, a ventilated facade is, as we have just said, a kind of second skin that leaves a space through which the air circulates. 

Thus, the main façade is protected from direct deterioration, and thermal bridges and condensation are also eliminated.

What is a Ventilated Facade?

1. What does a Ventilated Façade Consist of?

A ventilated facade is an exterior enclosure attached to the main facade thanks to an anchoring structure and separated from it by an air chamber. It is made up of four layers:

a) The first layer, attached to the supporting wall, is the thermal and acoustic insulation. It is applied continuously to the entire main façade so that there are no thermal bridges

b) The second layer is the anchoring structure of the chosen coating. It is formed with vertical and horizontal profiles that are chosen according to the requirements of the cladding, weight, format, thickness, etc.

External factors such as temperature, wind, or salinity are also taken into account. Generally, it is made up of aluminum or stainless-steel metal parts.

A perfect amalgamation of materials is also utilized for modern structures in Hawks Melbourne City. In the image, a ventilated facade with a wood finish

c) The third layer is the air chamber. This separation between the insulation and the cladding layer is what distinguishes it from other solutions adhered to the wall and makes it more efficient, both thermally and acoustically. 

The key is the natural convection ventilation that forms inside the chamber as the outer cladding heats up – cold air entering the bottom of the chamber draws warm air upwards.

This characteristic allows, among other things; for the insulation to remain dry, condensation to not occur, sudden changes in temperature to not reach the main façade, extend its useful life, and protection against water is guaranteed. The little that enters through the lining joints evaporates with the ventilation of the chamber

What is a Ventilated Facade?

d) The fourth layer is the chosen coating: the material that is seen and that closes the system. 

It is exposed to the action of the sun, frost, rain, salinity, etc. You have to choose a quality product so that it is resistant and long-lasting. Also, it has to fit aesthetically with the look of the house

What is a Ventilated Facade?

2. How does a Ventilated Facade Work in Winter?

The heat is kept inside the house, being the thermal insulation that surrounds the building on the outside of the wall, the one that prevents thermal losses from occurring.

  • It is recommended to have a main façade that has thermal inertia so that the heat emitted by the heating system or that which comes from the passive gain obtained through the windows accumulates and is later emitted into the environment, helping to reduce consumption
  • With a ventilated façade, the interior wall is kept free of moisture, and the insulation is dry during the rainy and cold seasons
What is a Ventilated Facade?

3. How does a Ventilated Facade Work in Summer?

The sun hits the outer cladding, heating the air in the chamber. This causes a difference in density that activates the chimney effect, generating a current that causes this heat to rise and be replaced by renewed air that comes from the bottom of the chamber. This air gap feature keeps the building cooler.

  • Another advantage is that the main façade is freed from the thermal impact of summer, which causes fissures, cracks, material detachment, etc., dilations that are reduced
What is a Ventilated Facade?

4. Regarding rehabilitating the Façade, what Advantages does a Ventilated Façade Offer?

As it is installed outside and without connection to the building, the exterior cladding and the original wall do not have contact, which is an advantage that avoids adhesion problems or cracks between new and old materials. 

Another advantage is that the exterior appearance of a house can be completely changed, revaluing it without subtracting useful surfaces from the interior.

Finally, with a ventilated façade system, you can incorporate thermo-acoustic insulation, which also affects the energy certification of the home. Savings on heating and air conditioning are between 15 and 30%.

What is a Ventilated Facade?

5. What are the Coatings that Work Best in a Ventilated Façade?

Porcelain has minimal porosity, which helps prevent stains from setting in, and is more resistant to pollution. 

This material is one of the best in the most extreme situations: great hardness, high resistance, low water absorption, resistance to bending, UV rays, and ice.

  • Extruded porcelain alveolar panels have the advantage of increasing impact resistance by working as a lattice. It also facilitates installation – the same piece includes slots for hidden anchors
What is a Ventilated Facade?
  • Sintered or solid surfaces: As they are marketed in very large formats, continuous solutions, and integrated finishes are achieved
What is a Ventilated Facade?
  • Waterproof cement plates: They are perfect for more neutral aesthetics and natural environments
  • The natural stone: An efficient and sustainable solution.
  • Ventilated brick: It is another way by which you can increase the energy efficiency of a conventional brick facade. In other words, we are talking about an alternative to the ventilated façade using a brick that has half of the piece perforated. When this area is placed, it is left without mortar so that air can circulate throughout the front of the wall. It combines the function of a conventional brick with a ventilated front
What is a Ventilated Facade?

6. How Much is a Ventilated Facade Worth?

Prices vary greatly depending on the coating chosen. The price of insulation depends on the thickness that is put.

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"Structural Engineer" with over 5 years of experience in estimation, structural design, and surveying. I am passionate about using my skills to create safe and sustainable structures. I am also a keen writer, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with others.