The outer surfaces of buildings play a primary role in the appearance of new constructions and in urban development projects.
The cladding of outer surfaces makes projects expressive, both as individual constructions and as an integrated part of the landscape around them.
But there are many possible reasons for the outer surfaces of buildings to decay over the years. The principal atmospheric agents (rain, wind, frost) make a major negative contribution, especially due to the combined action of humidity from infiltration and condensation combined with pollution-related factors, temperature excursions and mechanical stress.
An innovative, long-lasting, non-invasive way of preventing this is with ventilated façades (or ventilated walls) covered with porcelain surfaces.
Ventilated façades covered with porcelain slabs requalify buildings and prevent phenomena of degradation, significantly lengthening the lifespan of architectural structures.
Particularly recommended for tall buildings, isolated buildings and constructions located in areas exposed to the weather, ventilated façades offer a series of unrivalled and universally recognised benefits, such as evident overall aesthetic quality produced by the many effects of porcelain slabs.
How do ventilated façade systems work? What are their benefits?
Let us start with the benefits of the ventilated façade system, which may be included in the broader category of the benefits of wall insulation and energy efficiency.
Insulation is achieved by creating an air pocket between the wall and the cladding, creating what is known as the "stack effect", providing significant natural ventilation. This form of insulation provides significant benefits for eliminating heat and humidity, while also generating thermal and acoustic protection and thereby ensuring improved living comfort.
In structural terms, ventilated walls represent an "overhanging" system with a weight-bearing metal structure anchored to the wall of the building with brackets and anchorage systems. This structure permits assembly of "independent" layers such as high-tech porcelain cladding and thermal insulation, creating the essential air gap.
In thermos-energetic terms, ventilated walls reduce a building’s heat load in hot weather while retaining heat in winter.
These properties of ventilated façades arise out of a combination of factors; in addition to the natural ventilation provided by the air gap, there is also the action of insulation and the fact that the sun’s rays reflect off the porcelain cladding.
As will be clear from this combination of factors, insulation and energy efficiency have a positive impact on economic aspects, helping save on heating costs in winter and air conditioning in summer.
Ariostea sets the standard in porcelain coverings for large outdoor surfaces with know-how accumulated over decades producing high-tech materials for floor and wall coverings.
The aesthetic effects of ceramics permit a great variety of different hues and new interpretations of design in buildings, as in the case of the Ariostea headquarters in Castellarano (RE), featuring the Granitech ventilated wall system. Marco Porpora Architetti adopted the ventilated wall system applied to the Ultra iCementi collection to renew the company’s image and create an "idea of speed and dynamism" using big graphite-coloured slabs.
Ariostea outdoor cladding offers a series of benefits such as resistance to frost and to temperature excursions of all kinds; practically no water absorption (average value of 0.04%), ensuring adequate protection of the layers below; and resistance to aggressive chemicals (smog, acid rain).
Ariostea has worked on numerous external cladding projects all over the world in the past, including the Kingston Riverside (designed by studio Sprunt) in London’s Kingston-upon-Thames district, the ancient hamlet where Saxon kings were crowned, and the Beijing Project/Linglong World (designed by Strategy Architectural Design Co., Ltd).