Ventilated facades: just for looks or the solution to building energy efficiency?

27 August 2018

Ventilated facades have recently become all the rage in the urban construction sector. Ventilated walls greatly enhance the appearance of the buildings on which they are installed. However, their functional aspect should also be considered. Basically, the aim is to help to insulate the indoor from the outdoor environment, improving the building’s thermal and acoustic comfort levels. So achieving this aim generates impressive energy savings in terms of utility bills.

What are ventilated facades?

Ventilated facades, also known as ventilated walls, are a particular type of external cladding for application to the walls of a building. The external cladding layer does not adhere closely to the building’s outside walls, but leaves a gap, called a cavity, and it is thanks to this cavity that an \000\air circulation\000\ is generated, enabling the building to “breathe” easily. The system will generate a continuous vertical air flow known as a “chimney effect”. Ventilation will be facilitated by the openings at the top and bottom, to ensure full benefits from the facade. Air circulation may be natural or artificially controlled. These benefits depend on seasonal needs, daily needs, general needs and the building’s position.

The purpose of the air circulation, and thus of ventilated facades, is to improve the thermal and energy performances of the buildings on which they are applied.

Installing a ventilated facade brings a whole series of benefits. These are linked above to its thermal insulation function. In fact, since they generate this continual flow of air inside the cavity, ventilated facades are able to protect the building from sudden changes in weather conditions. This effect helps to disperse the heat that builds up due to the action of sunlight on the building and to improve heat retention inside the building during the winter months. The result is the utmost minimisation of temperature dispersal between the indoor and outdoor environments, which also slashes energy bills.

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