One of the most effective ways of enhancing the performance of a building envelope is to use a rainscreen cladding system. The rainscreen principle began to be understood in the early 1900’s, as out lined in our blog post – History of the Rainscreen Principle and has become the standard in building envelope construction.
The metal panel rainscreen system, whether a composite (ACM/MCM) or solid aluminum, is heralded as the best choice for sustainability and aesthetics, thanks to the adaptability to many design trends and user-friendly installation compared to other rainscreen products.
A rainscreen system is just as it sounds – a screen for the rain. This means that moisture can get behind the screen, and then evaporate through ventilation. Behind the rainscreen system is an air space for the required ventilation, which allows for a constant free flow of air, and a weather barrier as the line of defence between the outdoors and indoors. The structural wall is on the inside of the weather barrier, and the insulation can be on the inside or outside of the weather barrier depending on the building envelope design.
Choosing a metal panel rainscreen installation system for your cladding project can therefore be a challenge, because of the variety of options available on the market and the need for integration with other products. In this guide we look specifically at metal panel rainscreen installation systems:
1.Arrowhead Rainscreen Cladding Installation Systems by Fairview Architectural
Fairview Architectural is the only metal panel façade product manufacturer that offers both the sheet materials as well as the extrusions and components, so that installers can have the full package from a single source, thereby ensuring compatibility. On top of that, Fairview requires fabricators and installers to be trained and vetted, giving peace of mind to architects and building owners that the project will be done right. Nobody wants mold to grow in their walls due to an under-qualified installer or under-tested rainscreen system!
Arrowhead is a family of rainscreen panel installation systems that offer a wide variety of design possibilities, along with numerous unparalleled installation efficiencies and long-term product lifecycle benefits.
There are numerous ways that Arrowhead saves you both money and time over any other metal panel rainscreen installation system.
- Non-sequential installation avoids interruptions from other trades.
- Unique installation process avoids many steps in the installation process required by other systems.
- Multiple systems to choose from offering the widest variety in aesthetics in one system.
2.EVO and FUSION by Carter Architectural Panels
Carter Architectural Panels call themselves the “North American Extrusion System Specialists”. According to their website, as they evolve, so do their products and partnerships. Originally in sheet metal and architectural panel fabrication, supplying and installing panels on site, they turned to offering fabricating rights to other fabricators across North America for their extrusions. Their objective was to cause change in the specification process through Architects and Specifiers, to accept tested panel systems, which perform exceptionally.
The Carter website states that “EVO™ RIVETLESS™ panels are value engineered and designed to withstand the harshest elements and toughest competitors”, and that they are “strictly a distributor of the FUSION™ DRILLFREE™ extrusion system to fabricators across North America, and do not compete in the manufacturing of any products.”
3.SAF Rainscreen Installation Systems
SAF is a fabricator of a wide variety of metal building products, from column covers to sunshades, and metal wall panels. They can custom fabricate architectural bollards and apply custom finishes. SAF glazed and rainscreen systems come with time-tested securing systems including one with no screws or rivets visible.
By using a pre-engineered system approach, SAF can quickly design and fabricate a building panel and extrusion system that is easy to install, enabling smooth workflows on the job site.
As we mentioned at the start of this article, choosing a metal panel rainscreen installation system for your cladding project can be a challenge but we hope that these comparisons prove helpful. We also highly recommend specifying a rainscreen installation system that will enable your design intent while also ensuring a sound building envelope that will protect the building in any situation. Specification documents for Arrowhead Installation systems can be downloaded below:
Learn more about the Arrowhead family of rainscreen systems:
- What is a Non-Sequential Cladding installation system, and why does it matter?
- History of the Rainscreen principle