Commercial construction professionals know how many trends are piling into the industry in the name of greener architecture. From retrofits to biophilic design, there is no shortage of opportunities to make a project more eco-friendly. One of the more subtle ways to make a building temperature controlled while considering the planet is ventilated facade systems. This cladding system changes a building’s envelope, improving the building’s efficiency and impact.

What Environment Do Ventilated Facade Systems Facilitate?

Ventilated facades leverage outer cladding to create an air cavity between it and the insulation layer. The gap is the key to enhanced sustainability. The air flowing in that space regulates temperature and moisture in back ventilation. It makes the building’s inside more comfortable for inhabitants. The cavity reduces thermal transfer in warm temperatures and in cold weather, it does the opposite.

Additional infrastructure like rain screens are safety nets to redirect excess moisture away from the building’s interior. Thermal insulation makes the cladding materials work even better at boosting energy efficiency, increasing the building’s U-value.

For added eco-friendly potential, builders can retrofit ventilated facades. Facilities with existing ventilated facades are fixable and it is possible to add one to a structure without major construction issues. This is essential, especially when so many old commercial buildings need attention and renovation instead of building from scratch.

Ventilated facade systems create better commercial environments and improve the local area. Their energy efficiency and regulated temperatures reduce the space’s carbon footprint while minimizing the heat island effect. Reduced carbon footprints and cooler structures coincide with more sustainable materials, too. Components like recycled metals heighten elemental protection, increasing the envelope’s life and decreasing maintenance.

Moisture Control and Weather Resistance

The cladding and ventilation system provides the perfect shield against unnecessary moisture collection and stormwater runoff. The rain screen is an ideal example of how these buildings better manage environmental stressors that disturb internal conditions and degrade the structure.

Considering moisture and weather resistance is eco-friendly because water infiltration causes structural damage. Hard-to-find, quickly populating mold and mildew lead to unnecessary renovations.

Moisture control mechanisms prevent resources from going to waste in more ways than one. Commercial buildings require fewer upgrades and maintenance, saving metals and other materials. Additionally, the moisture the ventilation system collects is repurposable, too. It is a window into rainwater harvesting potential, normalizing circular infrastructure.

The climate crisis makes weather patterns even more erratic and severe. The shell a ventilated facade system provides is necessary while the world curbs the impacts of climate change. Atypical weather events and natural disasters uproot communities and destroy buildings, leading to pollution and overextraction of resources to rebuild. Durable cladding is another defense against these unpredictable situations until stressors decrease.

Noise Pollution Reduction

Noise pollution is one of the least-discussed environmental stressors in the face of air, water and soil pollution. However, commercial buildings are one of the most prominent contributors to noise pollution. Urban, transportation, industrial, recreational and other loud sounds impact human health, interrupting sleep and feelings of peace. Noise pollution also harms biodiversity.

It damages reproductive potential, communication signals and physiological functions in countless species, making ventilated facades even more eco-friendly. Including ventilated facades could reduce the harm industrial noise causes to local populations, preventing animals and plants from being unnecessarily displaced.

Energy Optimization

Ventilated facades have the most significant long-term impact on energy efficiency improvements. The fixings reduce heat transfer to provide temperate internal conditions. When warm, the air gap is essential for passive cooling and reducing strains on resource-intensive air-conditioning systems. Coupled with eco-friendly insulation, monitoring the building’s climate is easier.

Other substructures and exterior designs cannot control heat gain and loss as well as ventilated versions do. It makes it easier for construction professionals to aid clients and businesses in their eco-conscious objectives and energy independence. Contributing to commercial building projects with a greater purpose to help the planet can empower teams, improving profits by 21 percent from the motivation.

Studies demonstrate how much better ventilated facades perform for energy benefits than unventilated variants. The boons compound if the facade’s color is lighter, measuring up to a 40 percent heat flux reduction compared to other colors’ absorption coefficients.

Compatibility With Renewable Energy

Ventilated facades provide a wonderful canvas for renewable energy incorporation, like solar panels. Energy professionals can easily ground solar panels in facade cladding. A commercial building may leverage the cladding and other energy-harvesting potential to contribute to the grid or become self-sufficient. Compatibility with renewables has more benefits than producing clean energy.

Commercial buildings will want to go the extra step to receive green building certifications by incorporating renewable energy. The LEED certification is the most well-known. The organization gives its stamp of approval for buildings meeting their high expectations for eco-conscious ideation and energy efficiency. Combining renewables with facade engineering sets the space up for increased success.

Indoor Air Quality

The ventilated system ensures quality air enters the building and unwanted influences on air quality stay out as much as possible. Other ventilated facade qualities add to its efficacy in keeping air quality high, such as moisture prevention reducing the chances of mold and humidity. A case study exploring double-skin facades proved the layers are an effective buffer between outdoor pollutants, and noise that would compromise internal comfort and health.

Just like renewable energy compatibility helps commercial buildings obtain environmental certifications, keeping air quality in check keeps structures in compliance. Particular matter, dust, pollen and countless other contaminants spread faster because of climate change. With COVID-19 raising awareness of respiratory concerns, regulatory agencies increased monitoring and specifications for IAQ.

Ventilated Facade Systems for Sustainable Commercial Builds

Research proves how ventilated facades are an insight into greener commercial infrastructure. It benefits the building to have the system, but it also improves the conditions of the environment around it with better temperatures and utilization of resources.

Facades are versatile, fitting with other eco-conscious building trends like biophilic design and renewable energy. Construction professionals must take this opportunity to advocate for more ventilated facade systems and their continued innovation.