5 reasons to specify porcelain ceramic rainscreen cladding
16th November 2020
The modern form of ultrathin porcelain ceramic faced rainscreen cladding systems is growing in popularity as designers look for ways of achieving a more natural finish with long term performance. Here, in our regular blog, we explore five reasons why it is beneficial for architects and developers to consider this type of cladding for their next projects:
- Choice of finish
A major benefit of porcelain ceramic cladding is that it is available in a wide range of finishes that accurately replicate natural materials such as stone, cement, wood or metals or as a solid matt or polished colour. A matt panel works particularly well when you are looking for a façade that is both eye-catching and avoids glare when in direct sunlight.
This wide range of finishes allows you to create a contemporary look or choose something more traditional by reproducing the beauty and appearance of the likes of granite, marble or woodgrain. There are few design elements more elegant and subtle than porcelain ceramic and all these options make the cladding a highly versatile, modern façade solution.
- Highly durable
Durability is one of the major advantages of specifying a porcelain ceramic rainscreen cladding system because the material is highly resistant to extreme weather conditions. It is not affected by wind, rain, frost or UV rays, meaning it will perform over the long term. At the same time, our porcelain ceramic cladding offers tonal consistency, with through-colour, pattern and graining, which means it will not fade over time.
The 3mm porcelain tiles applied to our Proteus CX system provide a robust durable solution that have been tested in accordance with BRE Digest 346, Part 7, wind speeds for serviceability and fatigue assessment. The panel system was cycled through 6450 pressure loads ranging from 960 pascals to 2400 pascals without any deformation, damage or degradation. This means less requirement for regular maintenance or replacement panels and demonstrates the durability of the Proteus CX system over a 50-year life cycle.
Proteus CX porcelain ceramic cladding panels are freeze-thaw and thermal shock resistant, too. The material also has excellent abrasion resistance with a surface hardness greater than steel and has a durability that in some environments will stay intact for many years.
- Low maintenance
Our Proteus CX is a low-maintenance system that can be easily cleaned with water and a mild detergent. The porcelain ceramic face is impervious to chemicals and with its non-porous surface makes graffiti easy to clean. In addition, the tiles do not absorb airborne contamination or dust, prevent dirt from accumulating on the surface and doesn’t support the growth of algae. All factors that contribute to porcelain ceramic being an exceptionally low maintenance material.
- Easy to install
Our porcelain ceramic cladding is supplied on our Proteus CX system, which is specifically designed for easy and efficient installation. It consists of an aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between a 3mm porcelain ceramic face and a lightweight metal rear skin. Each panel is supported by the unique Proteus system of aluminium carriers and ancillary components, which can be installed on to any type of wall construction. Proteus CX cladding also compares very favourably to quarried stone slabs. This is because porcelain ceramic panels can provide your building with the natural finish of stone whilst offering a much lighter solution that reduces loadings on the substructure and building exterior. This lightweight composition reduces manual handling risks on site, too. Porcelain ceramic cladding panels are produced in our quality-controlled factory environment with no on site bonding required.
- Environmentally friendly production
At Proteus Facades, we are constantly focused on reducing our environmental impact. So, the manufacture of our porcelain ceramic is much more environmentally friendly when compared to traditional ceramic. During fabrication, the gas and dust emissions are 20 times less, while its CO2 emission is 1000 times less.
In addition, we are constantly focused on increasing our understanding and improving the sustainability of our products and processes. By doing so, we aim to recover and recycle all our waste and using the most precise material optimisation software, we ensure our yield of finished product from raw materials is maximised, thus reducing our waste. As a direct result, we reduce our carbon-dioxide emissions, lowering our environmental footprint and that of our customers. Our systems, including Proteus CX, can therefore be simply disassembled on site and transported to be reused or recycled.
Case file: Lambeth Road, London
A 133 bedroom student accommodation scheme in Lambeth designed by KKA Architecture features our Proteus CX porcelain ceramic rainscreen cladding panels in ‘Road’ colour, a slate style finish. The architects also specified Proteus GL back painted glass rainscreen cladding panels in Iron grey (RAL 7011) and Anthracite grey (RAL 7016).
It was envisaged that the combination of porcelain ceramic and back painted glass in varying shades of grey and reflectivity, shown opposite, would sit harmoniously with the historic surroundings of the local area, whilst contrasting with the buff coloured brickwork exterior on the building’s lower levels.
We also worked with the architects and other project partners to fabricate glass and ceramic Proteus SP spandrel panels. Each spandrel panel, featuring a Rockfibre core and pre coated steel rear skin, is fixed into glazed sections to continue the façade aesthetic and improve the building’s energy efficiency. The development features commercial office space for local businesses and it was felt that the combination of porcelain ceramic cladding panels and back painted glass cladding would create an image of modernity to attract occupiers and residents.