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Sustainability of ventilated façades

The advantages of ventilated cladding

In addition to offering an almost unlimited range of aesthetic design options, a ventilated façade system provides a highly sustainable way to enhance the appearance of a building and protect it from the elements.

The role of the air cavity

As the name suggests, this type of cladding system features an air cavity behind the façade. This cavity is important because:

  • it allows valuable thermal and acoustic insulation to be installed between the building shell and the façade, contributing towards energy efficiency and the attainment of a more comfortable interior environment
  • it helps to eliminate thermal and acoustic bridging
  • it minimises condensation risks and allows the building to ‘breathe’, serving to maintain a healthy indoor climate


Continuous airflow between the outer façade and the building exterior allows the building to breathe and prevents rain penetration.


Thermal and acoustic benefits are provided by an external layer of insulating material behind the façade. Energy consumption is reduced.


Ventilated façade cladding protects the building from the elements - from driving rain to extremes of temperature.

Extending the life of existing buildings

With the ever increasing emphasis on sustainability, specifiers are increasingly choosing to retro-fit this style of cladding system on existing buildings which may have deteriorated in terms of image and appearance, and which do not meet the performance standards demanded of new build.

If a building is structurally sound and of an appropriate design, overcladding with a ventilated façade system can be one of the most logical, cost effective and sustainable ways to overcome its failings. This approach allows a building’s environmental performance to be enhanced significantly, and can extend its life expectancy by several decades, whilst allowing dramatic aesthetic improvements to be made.

SureClad® ventilated cladding systems

SureClad® ventilated façade systems were originally developed in order to allow large format ceramic granite cladding panels to be used in conjunction with an aluminium carrier system to create a highly effective and attractive protective outer envelope. (The environmental credentials of Shackerley’s ceramic granite can be explored in more detail here).

Today Shackerley has extended its cladding offer, and a wide range of cladding materials can now be prefabricated for use in conjunction with the same SureClad® aluminium carrier systems. The use of aluminium contributes to a more sustainable system as this durable, lightweight and versatile building material is one of the most globally abundant metals and it can be easily recycled at the end of its useful life. In the global construction industry up to 90% of aluminium is currently being recycled, due to the fact that it can be re-smelted again and again without loss of performance and this recycling process uses only 5% of the energy required for primary extraction.

Aluminium’s sustainability, resistance to corrosion, formability and exceptional strength to weight ratio make it the ideal material for Shackerley’s SureClad® substructures.