Photo: Steve Hall & Kendall Ristau Photographers, LTD
Rainscreen wall assemblies are contemporary cladding systems predominantly defined by their functionality. Common characteristics of rainscreen assemblies include the selected cladding material and track subframe as well as continuous air and moisture control layers, insulation, flashing, and air space. Claddings/veneers integral to rainscreen wall systems that are often installed by BAC craftworkers include terra cotta, stone, tile, and GFRC panels.
Rainscreens have become increasingly popular over the past several years as building science concepts have been further developed and more materials and systems have entered the market. BAC craftworkers, as well as IMI, will continue to be on the front lines of rainscreen design and construction to ensure attractive and quality installations.
Rainscreen cladding assemblies’ functionality is based on the “perfect wall” concept developed by building scientist Joseph Lstiburek. Masonry cavity walls are widely considered to be the original rainscreen assembly. Much of that is due to the system’s ability to accommodate continuous insulation while simultaneously providing substantial moisture control. Rainscreen walls can be designed with both open and/or closed joints which allow primary bulk water deflection and protection via the facade surface itself. Like many cladding systems, rainscreens are designed with secondary water and moisture control layers. These layers allow any moisture that either penetrates the cladding or accumulates as a result of condensation behind the cladding to evacuate and dry via air convection. Moisture is further restricted from entering the building interiors by the air/vapor barrier (AVB), which is commonly applied behind the insulation and on the surface of the sheathing and/or backup wall structure. Most rainscreen wall claddings are held off the backup wall surface by specifically designed steel or aluminum sub-framing systems, which provide mechanical anchorage and the necessary space for insulation and air circulation.
IMI’s free project support, technical assistance, and education is here to help you at any stage in your building’s lifecycle.
Our multidisciplinary team draws on decades of experience developing solutions for high-performing masonry and tile projects.
Many rainscreen details differ from one project or manufacturer to the next, so installers must be experienced and careful. This certificate gives BAC craftworkers practical experience installing a range of rainscreen cladding and subframing systems.
Proper flashing is one of your building’s best defenses against moisture. BAC craftworkers stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and building code requirements with IMI’s Flashing Upgrade Training Program.
Air barriers help prevent air and moisture from entering the building envelope. This course teaches craftworkers how air barrier assemblies function, including how to evaluate materials, substrate conditions, and the continuity of components.
IMI is a founding member of the Rainscreen Association in North America (RAiNA), the leading authority on rainscreen assemblies. IMI technical staff are active in several RAiNA committees, including the Education and Training Committee. As a participating member, IMI assists in ensuring that best practices are developed and implemented, not only in the detailing of rainscreen assemblies, but also in the installation of the materials that comprise the assemblies.
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