Ventilated Facades Vs Masonry Facades – What Are the Benefits? Part 1

The main benefits of ventilated façades can be categorized among two: aesthetic and technical.

Technical benefits: There are many significant advantages of ventilated facades, as applicable with respect to masonry façade. First is the fact that, since this kind of construction is layered, one can evaluate the benefits of different layers to arrive at the benefits of the total system.

The four layers of a ventilated façade are:

1. Building enclosure walls

2. Thermal insulation layer

3. Air chamber

4. Cladding

The other layers that may be included are:

5. Sound insulation

6. Waterproof sealing

1. Thermal control: The second and third layers affect thermal control. The main function of the air chamber is to strike a balance between the external and the internal temperature. The external temperature is sure to go up because due to the direct sunlight falling on the cladding panels. As the temperature rises, there is an upward movement of hot air contained within the chamber. This causes fresh and cool external air to enter through the lower section of the façade or the open joints among the panels, in an attempt to maintain a balance of temperature.

This phenomenon is not experienced during winters, as outdoor cool air, when entering the air chamber, cools it down, as a result of which the first layer of enclosure walls gets cooled. This cooling can be avoided by using a second layer, providing thermal insulation. This needs to be attached directly to first layer, the purpose being to prevent cold outdoor air from coming in contact with the enclosure walls of the building.

You should understand that it is due to the second layer that the first layer acts as an accumulator of internal heat during the winters, while during the summers it brings the loss of cool internal air through the façade. One can save twenty to thirty percent energy with help of ventilated facades, depending on the glass surface.

2. Sound insulation: For providing an integral acoustic insulation, we need to provide an acoustic layer on the second layer, which needs to be counted from the inner side, meaning between the enclosed space formed by the walls and the thermal insulation. Such cover necessarily needs to be collectively attached to the walls forming the enclosure, enabling it to absorb the vibrations as a result of the excessive external noise.

3. Waterproofing: Waterproofing is generally innate to any acoustic or thermal insulation. You can enhance the level of safety by using another watertight insulation. Typically, it is necessary where a thermal insulation is not provided on the external walls of the enclosure, but instead it is provided within them. Under such circumstances, a coat of waterproof paint is generally applied with the help of rollers. However, it's important to check the specification and follow the manufacturer's instructions, as it is desirable for this to remain breathable from inside out, in order to prevent condensation.