Feature Article

Cladding: More Than Just a Pretty Façade

Cladding materials should be chosen to minimize environmental impacts and maximize a building’s energy performance.

September 2, 2014

Cladding has to protect a building from moisture and wind and is an integral part of a wall assembly, responsible in surprising ways for a building’s overall thermal performance. There is a wide array of cladding materials available—and lots of ways to attach them—but a few key considerations can help us assess the environmental footprint of our cladding choices and how they affect the overall performance of the building.

Cladding and Wall Assemblies

The three major categories of commercial wall assemblies—mass walls, barrier walls, and cavity walls—all handle moisture differently.