Common Types of Façade Systems

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Peter Overton
WRITTEN BY
PETER OVERTON

Accompanied by over 30 years of experience within the external construction sector, my skill set extends to many areas.

The facade is an important part of a building, both aesthetically and functionally. Construction methods and technologies have changed significantly over the last decade, in this blog, we explore some of the facade systems that are common in modern buildings.

What is a facade?

The facade refers to the exterior frontal part of a building, serving aesthetic and practical purposes.  From the design point of view, the facade determines the general appearance of the building and provides onlookers with an idea of the interior style. From a technical and practical perspective, the facade acts as a protective layer that shelters the building from external elements, insulates, and determines light and airflow within the building.

What are facade systems?

While in the past, facades were part of the structure of the building, modern facades constitute non-load bearing structural elements, composed of different types of façade systems. These elements provide lateral and vertical resistance to wind, protect the structure from the elements, provide temperature and fire resistance, and determine the external look of the building. 

Kladworkx provides A-certified facades systems for the construction industry, for more details and technical certifications, head over to our products page. 

Types of Facade Systems

The type of facade systems employed depends largely on the type of building, scale of the construction, and desired appearance. Local planning requirements may also affect the types of structures and materials used for the facade. Some types of modern facades systems include:

Light Steel Walling

This type of walling uses light steel C sections to envelope the building, and support the external cladding. The C sections can be pre-assembled but are generally cut to length and assembled on-site, attached to U-shaped top and bottom tracks. These systems speed up the construction process and help minimise material waste on-site.

C sections can be assembled to create big openings in the facade without the need for wind posts. They are designed to be lightweight and resist high wind pressures applied to the facade. 

Curtain Walling Systems

Curtain walling is a type of lightweight metallic or glazed cladding that is attached directly to the structure, usually in the form of prefabricated panels.  Depending on the building requirements, panels can either be pre-assembled (unitized curtain walling) or delivered as interlocking units that are ensemble on-site (stick curtain walling). The size and shape of the panels depend on the structural and design elements of the facade. 

Stainless Steel Brackets & Brickslips

When it comes to brick facades on modern builds, the brickwork is usually attached to the facade through steel support systems. There are two main systems for brickwork facades. 

Stainless steel brackets support brickwork at the floor level. They are attached to the edge beams or slab edge of the structure. With brickslips on the other hand, brickwork is supported by horizontal rails or sheeting, or alternatively, bonded to a sheathing board that also provides waterproofing and insulation. 

Rainscreen Support Systems

Rainscreen support systems are composed of rail-backed panels supported by brackets attached to a backing wall. The backing wall may consist of an infill system, and usually, it also supports the insulation. The panels are open-jointed, allowing for drainage and ventilation and making them weather resistant. 

This type of system offers a diverse selection of framing options, to accommodate various materials and design styles, helping achieve the desired aesthetic effects. 

Facade Systems with Kladworx

Kladworx provides high quality, bespoke, A-certified façade systems for the construction industry. Our product range includes Claddings, SFS infills, support, brickslips, flashings, and copings from some of the best distributors on the market, so you can be confident in the products you use. Explore our product range, or contact us today for more information.

Need help with your external construction project?

We are suppliers of some of the most bespoke aluminium and uPVC systems on the market. With over 30 years of experience within the external construction sector, it leaves us well placed to offer our advice on the many different systems on the market

See some of our recent work, or get in touch with us today for a free, no obligation quote.

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