Case Study: Design Considerations for Open Joint Rainscreen Cladding Systems

design-considerations-joint-rainscreen.pngRecent years have seen an increased trend towards rainscreen cladding system for the benefits they offer in terms of rain water management. These systems typically consist of an exterior cladding, a drainage cavity and a back-up weather resistive barrier. Traditionally in rainscreen cladding designs the joints in the exterior cladding are sealed to minimize the potential for water intrusion into the drainage cavity with the exceptions of weeps and pressure equalization vents which are generally sheltered from water ingress.

Recent trends in the design of exterior claddings have seen an increase use of open jointed rainscreen cladding systems. In these systems the joints between the cladding elements are intentionally left open.

This paper discusses the implications of open joints for the performance of rainscreen systems. Various approaches to the design of open jointed rainscreen cladding systems will be are discussed and some case studies demonstrating the detailing of open jointed cladding systems are presented.

The three case studies that are presented are newly constructed buildings and, although no know issues have been identified to date, the long term performance of their open joint cladding has yet to be established. Because of this constraint, this paper does not attempt to compare the performance of the different approaches outlined in the case studies.

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