When designing a new building the ventilated facade should be considered a complex construction solution designed in accordance with industrial design criteria. Every detail must be examined and defined from the outset, to avoid substantial modification and/or improvisation during construction.
When designing a project, a particular facade module should be taken into consideration, adding together the actual size of the tile plus the joint.
In respect of facade components for example, openings, string courses or other non-modular elements, such as on refurbishment projects, the number of tile cuts can be reduced in order to correctly take account of different sizes and thereby limit cost implications for the structure. In addition to the choice of finishing materials, one of the most important design decisions in respect of the final appearance of the ventilated facade is the option of using visible or concealed anchor systems.
This choice basically depends on two considerations:
- The aesthetic appearance of the facade at close range
- The financial aspect, which also depends on the modularity of the chosen tile.
Given the above, the process for completing a ventilated facade project is based on the following preliminary steps:
- Examination of plans and/or architectural concept in respect of the building envelope
- Feasibility study
- Identification and evaluation of materials that make up the wall facing to be covered
- Identification of the type of facade system (with visible or concealed anchors)
- Structural engineering plan and respective general calculations
- Completion of detailed final drawings and plans
When preparing a building for the installation of a ventilated facade with porcelain tile cladding, the designer must take into account the total weight, between 25 and 35kg/sq.m., and thickness of the ventilated facade “packet” which varies between 80 and 300mm. If necessary, ventilated facades can be installed with an even greater air gap than those stated above, in order to install thicker insulation and/or insert services systems or pipework.
In this case, the project must be properly prepared taking into account the special components used in the metal substructure.