Ventilated-rain-screen facade systems keep moisture issues under breathable wraps
When 2 Columbus Circle, renovated by Allied Works Architecture’s Brad Cloepfil for the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, opens next month, one thing will be irrefutable. Its luminous terra-cotta-tile skin is engineered to protect the core from any weather the city may suffer.
One component of a complex, ventilated-rain-screen facade called Terrart by the German manufacturer NBK, a division of Hunter Douglas, the glazed clay ceramic skin is shiplapped and suspended over (not adhered to) the substructure, which is protected by a moisture barrier via a clip system. This allows air to flow through, preventing moisture buildup. Moreover, the overlapping configuration, along with gaskets behind the vertical joints and balanced air pressure, avert water from entering the cavity. “It’s a very forgiving system,” says NBK North America Director of Sales Bud Streff. “You’re never trapping moisture. Plus, there are no sealant joints. So maintenance is low.”
As for the terra-cotta itself, Streff claims it has excellent color retention. It is very hard, with a water absorption of 4 percent or less, and virtually graffiti-resistant. NBK North America, Marblehead, Mass. www.nbkusa.com
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While NBK’s Terrart has been available in this country for seven years, the firm’s parent company, Hunter Douglas, has only recently launched its reputable QuadroClad Façades brand west of the Atlantic.
According to Boyd Goodson, manager of Hunter Douglas Contract Façades division, “Hunter Douglas has been selling rain-screen systems all over the world, except the United States and Canada. It’s been the European way of building for a long time, and we feel it’s the healthier building cavity to have.”
Similar to Terrart, QuadroClad consists of two main components, the panels and substructure, which differ in size and surface material. The large QuadroClad panels come in metal—a combination of lightweight aluminum skins fused to an expanded honeycomb aluminum core; glass, with such options as tinting and fritting; and an exterior-grade resin, specially developed by 3Form and Bayer Material Science. All install on the same substructure, allowing them to be integrated for maximum design flexibility. Hunter Douglas Contract Façades, Salt Lake City, Utah.
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