How can rainscreen cladding help achieve Net Zero goals?

As the UK strives to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050, here are some of the ways rainscreen cladding can help to lower carbon emissions.

In a nutshell:

• Rainscreen cladding includes an insulation layer which can help improve the thermal performance of a building.

• The open-air cavity used in the rainscreen system promotes ventilation which improves a building’s structural integrity.

• Using renewable materials such as aluminium on rainscreen cladding systems are a great way of reducing energy conversion.

• The energy efficient qualities of rainscreen cladding makes it a great addition to Passivhaus projects.

 

If there’s one thing that we’ve established through our latest series of Knowledge Centre articles, it’s that rainscreen cladding offers an endless amount of benefits. From aesthetics to weather protection and thermal efficiency, rainscreen cladding seems to offer it all. Although did you know that it can contribute to achieving the government’s Net Zero plans?

Thermal efficiency and U-value 

One way in which cladding can achieve carbon neutrality is through improved thermal performance and reduced U-values. Rainscreen cladding contributes very little to the U-value of a building and often includes an insulation layer which can enhance the thermal performance. By improving insulation, these cladding systems help reduce the need for heating and cooling, thereby lowering energy consumption and associated emissions.

Air and moisture control

Rainscreen cladding systems work using a ventilation system which promotes the circulation of air and removes moisture build up. The continuous expelling of moisture reduces the risk of water damage which enhances the structural integrity of the building. Effective moisture control therefore minimises the environmental impact associated with construction, renovation, and demolition.

Renewable Material Selection

Rainscreen cladding can be made from sustainable and low-impact materials which contribute to the overall environmental performance of a building. Aluminium is a popular choice for rainscreen cladding because, alongside it’s many other benefits, it is widely recyclable and has limited environmental impact. Up to 75% of aluminium in circulation can be repurposed several times with no impact on its chemical properties. Also, the energy used in the production of aluminium is stored within the materials and reactivated during repurposing, therefore it is never lost or wasted.

Passivhaus

Passivhaus developments are designed to conserve energy rather than generate it therefore the efficiency of rainscreen cladding make it a valuable addition to Passivhaus projects.
These energy-efficient buildings play a large part in achieving net zero emissions and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.  There are currently 1500 Passivhaus developments in the UK, meaning it's even more important to consider the benefits of rainscreen cladding.