The term ‘cladding’ refers to components that are attached to the primary structure of a building. Though cladding is generally attached to the structure of the building, it typically does not contribute to its stability. However, it plays a structural role, by providing protection against weather and other external conditions that may affect the stability and durability of the structure.
Below are different types of cladding that are commonly used:
- Curtain Walling – Curtain walling systems are used in exteriors of building. They are non-structural and thus can be made of light weight material like glass, or aluminium frame. These systems are primarily designed to resist air and water infiltration, sway induced by wind and seismic forces acting on the building and its own dead load weight forces.
- Sandwich Panels – Sandwich panel are also known as metal composite panels. They are the structure made of three layers: a low-density core and a thin skin-layer bonded to each side. Sandwich panels are used in applications where a combination of high structural rigidity and low weight is required. Aluminium composite panels in India are preferred in this segment for external facades. The structures made with optimal use of ACP are cost efficient, durable, flexible, and allow easy forming and processing which facilitates innovative designs with increased rigidity and durability.
- Patent Glazing – Patent glazing is two-edge support cladding system which does not bear load or contribute in primary stability of the buildings. Patent glazing bars provide continuous support along two edges of glazing infill panels and are fixed back to the main structure of the building. This system supports its own weight, and provides wind and snow resistance.
- Timber Cladding – Timber cladding is done using timber softwoods, such as western red cedar. This type of wood is relatively knot-free and has a natural resistance to decay and moisture. It also can be easily painted and altered to create a range of profiles. Hardwoods like oak and sweet chestnut can also be used for external claddings. These days, there are thermally modified timbers available which are heated to high temperatures for removing moisture and resins, resulting in a stable and durable material.
- Tensile Fabric Coverings – Fabric membranes are an ideal solution for cladding facades, especially large structures like stadiums. A fabric membrane is ‘stretched’ to form a three-dimensional surface that may be used to create a roof, shading, or decorative component; thus they look like tents. These fabric structures use comparatively less material then other forms of construction. They are typically translucent, and provide little thermal mass or insulation. This type of cladding has a shorter life span.
- Share with us what you know more about cladding and creating unique exteriors for your projects.