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About Cladding 

What is Cladding?

Cladding can be defined as an exterior finishing system that’s purpose is to protect the underlying structure as well as to provide a decorative finish. Your choice of cladding has a significant effect on the environmental performance of your home. Initial impacts of cladding, such as embodied energy, resource depletion, and recyclability, must be balanced against maintenance and durability appropriate to the life span. The primary roles of cladding are to control the infiltration of weather elements and the egress of water vapor while providing a durable, aesthetically pleasing appearance. Secondary roles can include sound and thermal insulation, fire resistance, and the capacity for cleaning in dusty, polluted or vandal prone environments.

Krion Facade

Cladding is needed to:

  • Create a controlled internal environment.
  • Protect the building from external conditions.
  • Provide privacy.
  • Prevent the transmission of sound.
  • Provide thermal insulation.
  • Create an external facade.
  • Prevent the spread of fire.
  • Generate an 'airtight' building envelope.
  • Providing openings for access, daylight and ventilation.

Types of Cladding

Here is an overview of the most common types of cladding:

  • Weatherboard cladding: this is what most people first think of when the cladding is mentioned and it is made from timber, reconstituted hardwood, fiber cement or vinyl. Weatherboards can be fixed to all kinds of substrates. Timber and fiber cement weatherboards need periodic maintenance to keep them looking their best while vinyl weatherboards are practically zero maintenance.
  • Timber cladding: timber cladding is extremely popular as nothing beats the look of real timber, and timber suits all styles of homes. Timber cladding comes in horizontal boards, shingles or panels. It is a surprisingly environmentally friendly cladding choice as sustainable timber is used and it is also a good natural insulator.
  • Stone cladding: stone cladding brings a feel of natural style and elegance to your home and the look is unmatched by any other type of cladding. It uses thin layers of natural or simulated stone. Stone cladding complements any surrounding. However, stone can be expensive (simulated stone is somewhat cheaper than real stone, however) and more labour-intensive than other types of cladding.
  • Vinyl cladding: if you’re after a cladding material that requires practically no maintenance, then vinyl cladding is for you! Vinyl cladding suits all kinds of homes and comes in a range of colours. It is also economical. Vinyl cladding is recyclable and uses fewer resources in its manufacturing than other types of cladding. It is easy to add insulation to vinyl cladding as well.
  • Fibre cement cladding: this type of cladding is made by compressing sand, cement, and cellular fibre into sheets. Fibre cement cladding gives the appearance of wood but it is lighter, easier to install, and requires less maintenance.
  • External foam cladding: this is also known as an External Insulated Finish System (EIFS) and it is made from expanded polystyrene that has been reinforced with fibreglass mesh and finished with a render. It comes in panel form, is easy to install, is extremely tough and weather-resistant, and is extremely energy efficient.
  • Metal cladding: metal cladding is either steel or aluminium cladding. The metal is protected through anodizing, galvanizing or powder coating and a range of different colours are available to suit any colour scheme. A range of looks can be created using metal cladding such as sleek flat panels or corrugated looks. Metal cladding is also very low maintenance. Concrete cladding: this is a newer type of cladding and it comes in panel or tile form ready for use inside or outside the home.
  • Concrete cladding can create sleek modern looks or you can have the concrete moulded to resemble natural materials such as stone. You can also cast patterns into the concrete cladding if you wish. The concrete cladding is incredibly strong and durable and requires little in the way of maintenance. It is also a great insulator.
  • Brick cladding: brick cladding is great as you can create a variety of looks and patterns just by using different coloured bricks. You can also render over them if you choose. Bricks are lightweight, easy to work with, a good insulator, and don’t need much maintenance.

Cladding Installation Systems

  • Attached System (Has exterior cladding attached directly to structural frame in large panels which span one or more stories or bays. Example: precast concrete or steel stud frames welded or bolted to attachments built into the structural frame. Primary advantage: ability to fully insulate the exterior walls and protect the structural frame from deteriorating effects of weather.)
  • Curtain Wall System (Similar to the attached system except it is attached to the structural frame with clip angles or sub-framing. Examples: metal or glass walls which enclose most modern skyscrapers. Also, natural stones and light weight precast panels. Primary advantage: standard design requiring less time in pre-construction and manufacturing.)
  • Infill System (Cladding material is installed between exterior floor slab edges and the exposed exterior columns of the structural frame being the identifying feature. Example: pre-cast concrete, masonry, glass or combination of these. Primary advantage: installed from the interiors without relying on external scaffolding. Disadvantage: 1. The structural frame is difficult to insulate. 2. Differential movement between structural frame and cladding resulting in additional heat loss and heat gain to the interior environment. 3. React to climate and change volume as they age.)



The Ventilated Facade is a coating system of the building walls which leaves a ventilated chamber between the coating and the insulation. In European academic community, it is considered as the most   behaviour efficient system for resolving the building's insulation, eliminating the unwanted thermal bridges as well as the condensation problems and so achieving an excellent thermal-behaviour of the building.

With this system continuous insulation can be achieved for the exterior of the building, protecting the interior sheet as well as the slab edges. In the ventilated chamber, due to the heating of the air layer of the intermediate space compared to the environment air, the so-called “chimney effect” is produced which generates continuous ventilation in the chamber. Appropriately dimensioned the air entry and exit, a constant evacuation of water vapour coming both from the interior as well as the exterior of the building is achieved, keeping the insulation dry and obtaining a better performance of the insulation and big savings in energy consumption. The Ventilated Facade, additionally to impact in the energy  consumption savings of the building eliminates the direct radiations or the bad weather on walls or slabs protecting them from the pathologies which affect buildings constructed with traditional systems. 

This external wall may be built either of masonry, concrete, or stud work (metal or timber) and a layer of thermal insulation is conveniently either between studs or laid on the outer side of the substrate wall.
The cladding elements are fixed to the substrate wall by means of a lightweight substructure which can be made of different materials, being metal a preferred choice. The ventilation is produced by openings located at the top and bottom of the cladding or by the open joint pattern created by the elements of the cladding. This is called: The Chimney Effect. This ventilation allows for an exchange of air between the outside and the cavity behind the cladding panels, providing the solution for venting any moisture away from the facade, improving the thermal conditions inside the building and installing the insulation on the outside so to avoid
thermal bridging.

Basic principles

Principles of ventilated cladding

Principles of ventilated cladding

The advantages:

  • building structure is protected from heavy moisture and damaging effect of solar radiation
  • facade can “breathe”, providing optimal interior climate conditions
  • condensation risks are eliminated = no structural decay and better insulation performance
  • less heat transfer
  • incoming rainwater and moisture from the building can be transported out quickly via ventilated cavity

Condensation and dew point

Condensation and dew point

In non-ventilated wall construction, the steam impermeability of the facade panels has a considerable influence on the moisture content of the outer wall. There is a risk that interstitial condensation occurs when the temperature gradient falls below the dew point temperature gradient. This will have a significant deteriorating effect on the insulation performance with subsequent increase in heat losses.

Condensation is eliminated if the outer skin is allowed to “breathe”in the outside air as in ventilated facade design. It allows vapors to escape but also may permit any vapors still condensing within the cavity to evaporate to the outside air. Insulation shall remain dry and therefore shall achieve its full thermal capacity.

Atlantis Projects is interested would like to specialize in work with few types of cladding material for ventilated facades:

  • Porcelain tile and Krion on VFS (develop and pattented system by Butech - Porcelanosa Ceramic ventilated façade)
  • ULMA polymer concrete panels
  • Stoneycomb® - Aluminium Honeycomb Stone Panel - made by Zanaglia s.r.l. - Italy
  • Evolustone® (unique stone product, composed of a thin layer of onyx or natural stone, bonded to a structural low iron content glass.) - made by Zanaglia s.r.l. - Italy

Atlantis Projects Cladding Systems

Butech Modular System - Porcelain ventilated façades

Butech Modular System

The Butech modular system is an innovative lightweight construction facades for its execution speed and its contribution to the energy efficiency of its construction, they make it a system that gives value to the finished product at a lower price to the traditional construction.
The modular façade system by Butech is based on prefabricated panels including exterior ceramic wall tiles; support plates, heat insulation nucleus and interior partition wall. These plates, which are directly anchored to the structure of the building, on one hand work as a façade themselves, whilst on the other hand, they work as the structure where the interior wall tiles of the project are installed on.
The plates, which are provided to construction work completely assembled and ceramic-wall tiled, are manufactured with the Xlight extra-slim porcelain tile of Urbatek, in other words, a large-format ultra-resistant porcelain. Because of both their 100×300 cm size and their thin 3,5mm thickness, they allow for every single modular plate with just one piece of porcelain to be wall tiled, thus, providing the design of the building with elegance, avant-garde design and exclusivity.

KRION® ventilated façades

Krion Facade

KRION®'s proven resistance to unfavorable weather conditions and the development of advanced fixing systems mean that this advanced material can be used in ventilated façade projects. It is unaffected by sudden weather changes, extremely damp conditions or arid climates, making it the perfect covering for any building. In addition, the ability to thermoform this material means that any design can be created.
Together, Butech (the PORCELANOSA Group company specializing in construction systems) and Systempool (the solid surface manufacturer) have developed a new integrated KRION® Ventilated Façade system that complies with the most exacting international construction standards.
KRION® FV modules are made-to-measure for each project. Assembly profiling elements are built from 6005 T6 aluminium alloy, creating an overall façade that is highly resistant and durable, even under the most adverse conditions. Each project is studied and resolved by an expert, highly specialized technical team that guides the architect in their exploration of the new possibilities offered by this innovative construction system.

Lightweight Stone panels

Honeycomb Panel

Lightweight Stone panel is the high-tech Stone, is a composite product made of a thin layer of natural stone laminated to an aluminum honeycomb panel with fiberglass epoxy skins. The fragility of the natural stone, in such a small thickness, is balanced by the structural support that it’s given by the aluminum honeycomb: epoxy fibreglass or metal skins can be both chosen. Many architects and interior designers decide to use Lightweight Stone panels to complete their projects, as it combines the beauty and prestige of natural stones to lightness, strength and flexibility.


  • Exterior ventilated facade;
  • Interior wall coverings;
  • Flooring;
  • Prestigious Motor Yachts and Cruise Ship;
  • Elevators.

Backlit Stones panels


Translucent Backlit Stones panel is a unique stone product, composed of a thin layer of onyx or natural stone, bonded to a structural low iron content glass. Natural stones calibrated and high-end finish at 5mm thick allows the light to penetrate the material and shows its overall structure. Backlit Stones panel makes precious the most notable projects, allows you to play with matter and light, shows the inner beauty of stones and astonishes your customers.


  • Interior feature walls;
  • Special desk at prestigious lobby;
  • Luxurious Motor Yachts and Cruise Ships;
  • Ceilings.

ULMA - Polymer Concrete ventilated facade system


The Ventilated Facade line which develops the New Works provides the building market with prefabricated solutions for Ventilated Facades made of Polymer Concrete. Polymer Concrete panels whose thickness is between 11 and 14 mm, manufactured according to Standard EN-15286.
Its mission is to enrich the urban environment, providing specific solutions of the following types:

  • AESTHETIC: Exterior cover, building image (lining).
  • TECHNICAL: Integral Project Management from design to installation.
  • FUNCTIONAL: Building insulation, minimization of energy consumption.


  • Panel core manufactured by moulding by means of the mixture of silica, quartz and basalt aggregates with polyester resins.
  • Surface layer of thermostable resins made using SHIELD PLUS Technology, in-house development by the ULMA R&D area.


  • The polymer concrete panels are protected by a surface shield called SHIELD PLUS which affords extraordinary protection from UV rays and other atmospheric agents.
  • Its latest generation thermostable resins applied by means of a technology and process which are exclusive to ULMA bestow upon our products weather protection which makes them ideal for their use in exteriors.
  • The absence of porousness, both of the Polymer Concrete as well as of the SHIELD PLUS layer means that the maintenance of the façade is limited to easy cleaning periodically with soap and water.
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