the online introduction to rainscreen cladding.
improving the quality of design and installation.


rainscreen cladding.

rainscreen cladding is the modern solution, it works with nature rather than trying to resist its influences. rainscreen cladding utilises the effects of wind to control rainwater and prevent it from entering the building.

the traditional solution for keeping rainwater out of buildings had always been to provide walls which were fully sealed against rainwater using barriers, joints and sealants. all too often these walls would fail due to material degredation, poor workmanship and unexpected building movements.


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the story behind.

the principal concepts of rainscreen cladding are:

the careful design of ventilated cavities that use the pressure effects of the wind to dissipate energy of driven rainwater.

properly designed drainage paths that collect and direct the water away from the cavity. the concept of exterior cladding is simple, but to be successful it is essential that a detailed knowledge of the physical principles and materials involved, be incorporated into the design details.

lightweight rainscreens were developed in the UK in the 1980s with the majority of the earlier projects located in the harsh climatic conditions of scotland.

it is not a new concept and many years of experience have been gained in the development of the, relatively easily installed, lightweight systems currently available.

rainscreen works.

rainscreen works' members are committed to:

improving and maintaining the quality of design and installation of ventilated rainscreen applications.

talking with acknowledged experts within the cladding and fašade industry to increase combined expertise and innovation.

raising the profile of rainscreen applications and benefits - react positively to industry changes, demands and key issues.

their combined objective is to expand knowledge of rainscreen cladding principles to the wider UK construction industry.

'rainscreen works' has, for over 5 years, successfully acting as a conduit to allow construction professionals to contact proven manufacturers within the cladding sector. each member is an acknowledged expert within their own field.

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ventilated rainscreen cladding


  • a rainscreen system consists of an outer panel, a ventilated cavity and an inner leaf
  • in driving rain conditions moisture forms a membrane across the baffled vertical and horizontal joints
  • the majority of water is deflected off the outside face - any penetrating water is disposed of through drainage
  • rainscreen systems differ from brick wall sealed construction as the beneficial effects to air movement are utilised
  • a rainscreen system is pressure equalised - the joints are open or lightly baffled, allowing pressure equalisation in driving rain conditions to be instantaneous. pressure inside the cavity is equal to pressure outside - ie, precipitation has no inclination to be driven into cavity
  • a continuous vertical cavity - typically 38-50mm deep

the essentials of a rainscreen system are to allow the ingress of air at the base of the system and the egress of air at the top of the system. this ventilated cavity allows any water which penetrates the panel joints to be partly removed by the ‘stack effect’ and partly removed by running down the rear face of the panels and out of the base


  • installation is simple - allowing external cladding and internal works to proceed speedily, early and consecutively
  • problems of deterioration are halted with minimal additional load being applied to the existing structure
  • rejuvenation of external appearance
  • aesthetic colour, flexibility and shape of external facade may be dramatically altered
  • energy saving - lower running costs due to greatly improved thermal insulation
  • easily removed panels for monitoring of structure
  • reduction of the risk of condensation due to the elimination of cold bridges