Tech Corner - Volume 1


Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty Vs Expected Lifespan

by Jeff Ker, Sr Technical Advisor at EA
Over the years I have often been asked about the manufacturer’s warranty on a given product. The short answer is often quite simple.  Ten years is typical for many of the products represented by Engineered Assemblies.

What the expected lifespan is something I’m seldom asked, but often volunteer. Let’s take Equitone for example. Equitone has an expected lifespan of fifty years (+/-). The Warranty term of the product (10yrs) is there to protect the end user against manufacturer’s defects which will typically rear their heads within twenty four months (given the cycle of annual weather we enjoy in Canada).  

So how do I get my money’s worth?

The maximum lifespan will be significantly determined by the conditions under which the panel is subject to in its state as a facade.
Ok…This begs a question...

What conditions are those?
The ones to which I’m referring are largely in part installation oriented. The science of a good substructure will:

1) permit good ventilation,
2) provide a balanced environment of humidity and temperature inside/outside the panel in addition to some
3) ‘freedom’ to move and fluctuate with expected expansion and contraction, as outlined in the EA S2 Design Guide.  Having a deflection limit of L/300 will provide stability for the panel.  Fixed and floating points will permit the substructure to exercise its dynamic tendencies in addition to the panel itself.

We can’t control the climatic environment surrounding the build, nor the dynamic forces imposed by the character of the superstructure, but we can certainly affect the safeguards allotted, through responsible engineering, in the manner in which the panel finds itself attached to the building.
It’s tragically important to note that there is no additional cost, worth mentioning, to ensuring the façade is engineered properly for the building - over a poor one.

The four main principles suggested in the EA SYSTEM2 video are to what we refer. Let’s watch the video(it’s available on the EA website along with the free download of the SYSTEM2 Design Guide)
The question now turns from ‘What is the warranty?’ to:
  • Are we designing the facade to get everything we paid for?
I answer your question with a question.
Well… are we?

For more information or to answer the question, please contact Jeff Ker at