Cladding is an envelope that protects the exterior of a structure from harsh environmental conditions. It is currently one of the most popular and widely used construction techniques. The most commonly used materials for cladding are stones, glass, wood, concrete, and metal. But with the growing demand for cladding, a variety of other materials are also being used nowadays.
The properties of the cladding material is a critical factor for its selection. The cladding material can facilitate additional mechanical sturdiness, and it may or may not be waterproof. It should also add to the aesthetic value of the property, and above all, it should require minimal repair and cleaning.
In a special type of cladding, one of these properties is given priority over the others. The different types of special cladding are described below:
1. Plasterboard Cladding
Plasterboard is a drywall construction method that is predominantly used to clad internal walls and ceilings. The plasterboard panels are usually made using calcium sulfate dihydrate or gypsum and are pressed between the facer and backer. These panels are flexible and can be cut easily using a craft knife. A smooth finish can be attained using a jointing tape over the joints of the plasterboard.
Plasterboards are also known as wallboard, gypsum board or wall panels. It effectively provides acoustic insulation, fire protection, and thermal screening. Moreover, in regions with high humidity, it can help in controlling condensation and probable damage. Particular types of plasterboards are also available to protect the structure from impact resistance and rough weather.
2. Rainscreen Cladding
The rainscreen cladding has an outer skin of rear-ventilated cladding, which is attached to the surface of a new or existing structure. It is a type of double-wall construction wherein the outer layer's primary function is to protect the building from rain, while that of the inner layer is to provide proper thermal insulation and carry the wind load.
There is an air cavity between the cladding material and the load-bearing wall for ventilation. Depending on the design, insulation is provided between the two, otherwise the load-bearing wall itself could act as an insulating medium.
The rainscreen cladding is known to be durable and also prevents the formation of cracks. The energy efficiency of the overall structure is increased due to thermal insulation.
3. Green Wall Cladding
The green wall cladding is also known as a living wall or vertical garden. With the growing awareness around environmental protection, the incorporation of green walls in a new structure is becoming a sought-after feature. Green building encourages the use of green walls and is a reliable way to enhance the appearance of a building and its energy levels.
The green walls can be installed in the interior as well as on the exterior of a building. The plants are attached to a growth medium comprising of soil, water, or stone, which is then placed on a structure forming the cladding system. The combination of the growth medium can be grouped into loose, sheet, mat, and structural media systems.
The green wall can provide a pleasant view and also act as an air-filtration system. By evapotranspiration in plants, the air in the summers remains cooler, thus saving on energy. The plants also block high-frequency sounds by reflecting and refracting the frequencies.
4. Window Capping
Window capping is also known as window cladding or metal window cladding. In window capping, the existing wooden frame of a window can be protected using an aluminum or vinyl sheet without complete replacement of the frame and trim. The aluminum or vinyl sheet is cut and fitted over the wooden frame.
Over a period of time, the frames and exterior trim of wooden windows begin to deteriorate and lead to increased maintenance costs. Aluminum or vinyl can be molded as per the existing trim and are also available in different shades. Hence, the metal does not require painting.
Capping enhances the overall appearance and durability of the wooden frame. It also acts as a seal between the window and wall, avoiding leakage or damage due to water. This also increases the lifespan of the sliding.
Cladding is an envelope that protects the surface of a structure from harsh environmental conditions.
The main benefits of cladding include addition of mechanical sturdiness, increase in aesthetic value of the property and reduced need for frequent repair and cleaning.
The special types of cladding are plasterboard cladding, green wall cladding, rainscreen cladding and window capping.