Ventilated stone facades: innovation and functionality

19 Feb 2024 | News

One of the most cutting-edge and green technological solutions with regard to ventilated facades involves the use of stone material, or stones. Elements that are beautiful to look at and ideal for curtain-wall curtain walls, they are arranged with a specific technique in order to provide benefits in terms of ventilation, aesthetic appearance, protection and thermal, acoustic or water insulation. Here we want you to discover all the pros of ventilated stone facades, suggested creative and design ideas.

What are ventilated stone facades?

This is a solution somewhere between classic continuous proposals and so-called “overcoat” systems. They represent a proven technology that offers numerous advantages; it is a multilayer system that allows dry installation of specific stone material for cladding. Simple mechanical anchors that leave a space between the facade and the stone are exploited, so as to ensure air circulation.

This is the major advantage of ventilated facade cladding, a controlled air chamber that promotes building breathability and allows for more comfortable and healthier homes. Have you ever thought of enjoying cool environments in summer and warm environments in winter? Here, ventilated stone facades are the right solution for you: they reduce heat loss and prevent heat buildup from outside.

How are the ventilated stone facades?

Ventilated and stone exterior facade cladding is ideal for buildings of all kinds, dates, styles and locations. Today, there are a great many restorations involving the use of these systems, both for their practical and ecological advantages and for their aesthetic appeal.

The real wild card is the use of mechanical anchors that make a new “skin” to the exterior wall by attaching it to the existing masonry but leaving the air space. At the structural level, this system differs significantly from traditional facades because it employs a load-bearing metal structure attached to the building wall using brackets and anchors, a safe and minimally invasive technology.

Not only that, the components allow the assembly of independent layers, such as an outer facing and an insulated mat, thus creating a very functional air gap. In fact, the original structure of the building is not changed, but improved without touching it, or gluing walls and panels.

Ventilated facades made of porcelain stoneware or stone material in general consist of four functional layers, arranged in order from innermost to outermost. the first is a continuous insulation layer, applied directly to the outer perimeter wall of the building, followed by a ventilation gap, which promotes air circulation between the building structure and the outer cladding.

We then find a support structure for the exterior cladding, made by fixing the load-bearing metal structure, and finally the exterior cladding, which forms the visible surface of the building and provides protection from the elements, as well as the preferred and chosen style.

This technology achieves many benefits, including effective thermal insulation and efficient ventilation management, thus helping to improve the overall performance of the building envelope, it is important to note.

Anchors practical and aesthetic appearance

A mention should be reserved for the anchorages of ventilated stone facades, because they are an integral and technological part of the system and can affect the aesthetic performance. There are different types of anchoring systems, including exposed hook systems or A.G.V and concealed hook systems or A.G.S.

In the case of visible hooks, the outer cladding elements are supported by visible stainless steel pins. Alternatively, retractable hooks have a high aesthetic value, as the slab hooks onto the back of the load-bearing substructure, which is connected to the outer wall of the building through aluminum angle brackets.

The choice between the two anchoring options, exposed or concealed, not only significantly affects the aesthetic appearance of the facade, but also the economic one, the final budget of the work.

Ventilated facade panels

A wide range of materials can be used to clad ventilated facades, including porcelain, crystallized, marble, granite, natural stone, and terracotta. These are not randomly chosen material substrates, but materials that meet specific technical characteristics, such as high resistance to mechanical, temperature changes, fire, sunlight, and chemical or smog attacks. It also ensures limited water and moisture assortment and reduced maintenance requirements due to their light weight and workability.

The material of exterior facade cladding should be chosen by evaluating several variables such as location and orientation of the building, structural specifications, size, use of interior rooms etc. Not forgetting the economic aspect, the choice here also depends on the client’s budget.

The role of the designer or company relied upon is crucial in the prior assessment of the basic requirements of the ventilated façade, because he or she will also have to make decisions regarding the division into modules, colors, thickness, type of insulation panel, metal hooks, etc.

The advantages of ventilated facades made of stone and stoneware

Ventilated stone or stoneware façades offer several advantages, all of which are important for a home that is environmentally friendly, beautiful and welcoming, functional and modern.

First and foremost, they provide effective thermal insulation, helping to maintain indoor temperature and bringing a significant reduction in thermal bridges and energy costs, in favor of thermal comfort. Ventilated facade panels then offer a wide range of aesthetic options allowing for customized and elegant designs in which the variety of colors, textures and finishes available allows the facade to be tailored to specific architectural preferences.

Stone and stoneware are known for their strength and durability. Ventilated facades made with these materials are therefore able to resist weathering, wear and tear, and pollutants, while maintaining their structural and aesthetic integrity over time. Because of this resistance to weathering and pollution, stone and stoneware ventilated facades generally require minimal maintenance over time. This helps reduce the long-term costs associated with building management.

Added to this is the fact that the design of this type of facade promotes air circulation between the exterior cladding and the building structure, helping to prevent the formation of moisture and condensation, which is crucial to the structural health of the building. Natural stone and stoneware are also sustainable and recyclable materials, and their use in ventilated facades can help reduce the environmental impact of buildings and promote eco-friendly construction practices.

Turn to Lanzeni

A good stone or stoneware exterior façade cladding also comes through the company that will make it, so it is essential to go only to professionals in the field, those who have experience gained over the years and are also familiar with the materials of interest.

Lanzeni Mario Srl is a well-established player in the processing and supply of marble, stone and onyx, as well as a leader in the processing and application of cutting-edge ventilated facade materials. The company’s strong point is the artisan knowledge that is combined with the most innovative technologies in order to always offer high quality products and customized, functional and typically Made in Italy designs.

The company can follow you in pre- and post-sales/design, but if you already have your own designer, we remind you that Lanzeni offers valuable support for architects and builders in selecting and identifying the ideal natural stones for each individual project, accompanying clients from quotation to installation: contact Lanzeni for a no-obligation quote, your ventilated stone facade is ready to be installed.