Ventilated facade systems can be divided into two groups depending on the type of anchor system for porcelain tiles:
- Systems with visible anchors (GHV)
- Systems with concealed anchor systems, mechanical or chemical (GHS, GHS Maxi, GHL, GHS 2, GHP)
In addition to the type of structure-tile fixings, the two types of systems are clearly distinguishable because in the case of concealed anchors, it is necessary to create a horizontal framework (with the exception of GHS 2 and GHP). These are cross pieces interposed between uprights and anchor accessories.
Each system includes provision for using components (brackets, uprights and cross pieces) with profiles in varying shapes and sizes depending on the module and specific wind loading. In the system with visible anchors, vertical uprights are usually fixed at “module” centers, determined depending on the size of tiles and joints.
Correct alignment of vertical profiles is key to creating a co-planar wall. Generally, the facade includes a continuous vertical joint, although it is possible to have bands with offset vertical joints, like a classic brick bond pattern (it must be considered that, in the GHV system, the brick bond pattern requires to double the uprights, especially in cases where a central upright is not configured or necessary. This is not necessary for GHS systems whit a continuos horizontal frame).
Within concealed anchor systems, a distinction should be made between concealed mechanical or chemical anchoring, depending on the size and thickness of the cladding tiles. The first should be used if the tiles are at least 8mm thick, creating a truncated-tapered hole on the back of the tiles to accommodate special clips, which in turn are anchored on the previously positioned cross piece (GHS and GHS Maxi). Porcelain tiles less than 8mm thick require different installation technology between the cladding and aluminum loadbearing components. Installation is by using a meticulous process borrowed from the world of curtain walls, alongside factory-made assembly with structural adhesive.
The pre-project feasibility study and adaptation of system standards to individual buildings, together with systematic control of materials and anchoring surfaces of the structural joint, enable construction to take full advantage of the complementary properties of these innovative tiles and aluminum structure. Above all to eradicate from the construction site any operation that is not simple mechanical anchoring.