Lightweight Rear-Ventilated Rainscreen Facade Thickness 101
By Ian Gruber, CTR
Reprinted with permission from Construction Canada
Lightweight facade materials with significantly lower embodied energy are being adopted into building designs instead of the more traditional, thicker, and heavier cladding products like masonry blocks or precast concrete. In many cases, the change in facade thickness and resulting embodied energy has been dramatic. For example, a 100-mm (4-in.) precast concrete slab can have an embodied energy of approximately 471 MJ (131kWh) m2
compared to a thin, 8-mm (5/16-in.) fibre cement panel facade with an embodied energy of around 70 MJ (19 kWh)/m2
, resulting in an 85 per cent reduction in embodied energy for the exterior walls.