From rain-screen technology and whole house dehumidification to enhanced sheathing and roof underlayment, this month’s selection homes in on excessive moisture and humidity—whether it’s pounding the exterior of a structure or coming from within the building itself. — Linda C. Lentz

Hunter Douglas Contract’s QuadroClad Façades are available in a variety of colors and finishes, as well as standard panel sizes as large as 60" x 120", plus custom. Materials include glass (1), metal (2), and resin (3). NBK Terrart systems (4) come in myriad sizes, shapes, and hues.

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.

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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. facades

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Outer laminate
Used in Europe for over 20 years as a surface for ventilated-rain-screen facades, Building Grade exterior laminate is mechanically strong, impact- and scratch-resistant, corrosion- and mold-resistant, vandalproof, and high-velocity-hurricane-zone compliant. Made of 40 percent postindustrial waste and 70 percent rapidly renewable resources, it comes in three thicknesses and 50 patterns, including oxidations, wood grains, and solids, as well as optional custom digital printing and graphics. Arpa USA, Jacksonville, Fla.

[Reader Service: August 2008 #218]


A complete solution
Engineered to prevent the damaging effects of excess humidity throughout all four seasons and in every temperature zone, the Model 1700 Whole-Home Dehumidifier works in conjunction with a home’s central air conditioner or independent from it. This will provide optimum comfort under any condition, as well as prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and other microorganisms that can potentially affect the health of the building’s occupants and damage its interior materials, surfaces, and furnishings. Aprilaire, Madison, Wis.

[Reader Service: August 2008 #219]