When designing a home or commercial building, it’s often tempting to choose the cheapest construction materials. But small changes can have a big impact on the finished result, and things like architectural cladding have the potential to transform the entire project. The right cladding products look fantastic, and they provide protection, longevity and improve the performance of your building. If that’s not enough to convince you, we’re going to go over the major benefits of using architectural cladding products and how they can improve the quality of your projects.
No one wants to design a building that looks bad. While cost is often the limiting factor in design, architectural cladding makes it easy to add aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank. The major benefit of architectural cladding is that it’s typically produced as modular sheets with simple mounting systems. That means it can be used to add beauty, character and texture to a building’s exterior, all while keeping the installation costs under control.
If that’s not enough, architectural cladding is available in a huge range of materials, so it’s possible to find a style that suits any aesthetic. Some of the best-looking cladding products including:
- Timber cladding – such as weatherboards, board and batten, castellation sheets and channel cladding
- Metal cladding – such as timber-look aluminium products, corten steel sheets, corrugated sheets and flat panels
- Fibre cement – such as sheet products that are coloured and textured to look like real concrete
- Composite cladding – such as vinyl weatherboards, timber-look cladding and board and batten products
UV rays, storms, dirt and airborne pollution are some of the biggest challenges when building. Each of these things takes its toll on natural products, causing materials like timber to fade, crack and warp over time. While architectural cladding often incorporates those materials, high quality products are engineered to stand up to harsh weather conditions. The right cladding can provide decades of protection for your building and prevent sun, rain, storms and pollution from affecting the rest of the construction. While you may need to reapply varnishes or a protective coating once per decade, your architectural cladding can save a significant amount of money on general wear and tear around the property.
The sun is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to designing buildings in Australia. With temperatures regularly exceeding 30C throughout the year, thermal insulation is a big deal, and the right products can make a huge difference to your energy bills.
Architectural cladding plays a major role in protecting your home against the sun and heat. The cladding system you choose effectively acts as a wrap-around shade that prevents sunlight from directly hitting the walls of your home. Modern products are even designed with mounting systems that are insulated from the structural walls of your home. That insulation prevents heat transfer from the cladding, and it allows the air gap between the cladding and the walls to dispose of excess heat. If you’re looking to manage your power bills, or if you’d just like to live more sustainably, choosing a cladding product that provides thermal insulation is one of the best things you can do.
As our cities get bigger and busier, noise pollution becomes more of a concern for homeowners and businesses alike. If you’re building near a major thoroughfare then your choice of cladding and exterior design can have a big impact on the comfort inside your home.
The major principle in controlling noise pollution is diffusion. Because sound waves have a physical form, the ability to disrupt, diffuse and absorb the sound can easily cut down on the amount of noise inside the property. For acoustic insulation, soft cladding materials like timber provide the best performance, and designs such as grooving or battens provide the most noise-reduction.
Bushfires are an ever-present threat across many parts of Australia. While there isn’t much you can do to protect your home from large-scale fires, the right cladding products can help to minimise damage if you have a close call. Combined with construction techniques like steel frames, choosing a fire-resistant cladding (such as metal sheeting or fiber cement) makes your home less susceptible to fire, smoke and heat damage.
In fact, some parts of Australia have design regulations that require the use of fire-resistant cladding products. If you’re building in a bushy or remote area, double check your local codes to see whether you’re required to choose fire rated cladding.
Finally, with eco-friendly design becoming more and more popular, the right architectural cladding selection can greatly affect the sustainability of your project. If you need to meet certain sustainability requirements, your choice of cladding can help you reach those goals. Cladding products are now produced from sustainable, fast-growing timber species, and some products incorporate a large amount of recycled materials. That reduces the overall cost of your project and it allows you to minimize the amount of emissions that are captured during the construction process.