CladdingA2P1029: Introduction to Exterior Cladding Materials

December 13, 2022

Exterior cladding is a key element in protecting the interior of a building. It provides a barrier against the elements, including rain, wind, and snow. It is important to choose the right cladding material for your building project based on the climate and specific project needs.

Commercial buildings come in all shapes and sizes, and with that comes a variety of exterior cladding types to choose from. Here we will explore the five most popular cladding types for commercial buildings: metal, wood, stone, brick, and composite. Each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before making a final decision.


5 Types of Cladding Materials:

1.  Metal Cladding
  • Metal cladding is one of the most popular choices for commercial buildings due to its durability and low maintenance. It is usually made from aluminum, steel, or copper. Metal cladding can be an effective way to protect a building from the elements and can also provide a decorative element. It is also fire-resistant and can be recycled, making it a sustainable option. However, metal cladding can be expensive and susceptible to corrosion.

metal cladding

(Metal Cladding / Greenville Technical College – Center for Manufacturing Innovation / SMARTci™ 2 in 1 System)

2.  Wood Cladding
  • Wood cladding is another popular choice. Wood cladding can provide an attractive and natural appearance to a structure and offer protection from the elements, including wind, rain, and sun damage. It is often made from cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated pine. However, there are some disadvantages to using wood cladding. It does require more regular maintenance than other cladding types and is not as fire-resistant. It is also more susceptible to damage from insects or rot.
3.  Stone Cladding
  • Many types of stone cladding are available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular typews of stone cladding include natural stone and stone veneer. Stone is one of the most expensive cladding options, but it is also the most durable and can last for many years. In addition, stone cladding is relatively low maintenance. It can also be cumbersome, making the installation process difficult.
4.  Brick Cladding
  • Brick cladding is an option known for its durability and classic look. Brick is a way to add texture to a plain wall and comes in various colors and styles. However, some disadvantages to using brick cladding should be considered before deciding to use it for your project. One of the main disadvantages of brick cladding is that it can be expensive. Although the initial cost may be higher than other cladding materials, brick is a durable material that will last for many years. In addition, brick can be difficult to repair if it becomes damaged.
Brick Cladding | Kiewit University

(Brick Cladding / Kiewit University / SMARTci™ 2 in 1 System)

5.  Composite Cladding
  • Composite cladding is a type of cladding made from a mixture of materials. It is usually made from a combination of wood and plastic, but it can also be made from other materials, such as aluminum or fiberglass. A common type of composite cladding is fiber cement, which is used on both residential and commercial buildings. It may be utilized as an alternative to traditional wood cladding because it is more durable and requires less maintenance. Composite cladding is also available in various colors and styles, so it can be used to create a unique look for buildings. However, composite cladding does have its disadvantages. It can be more expensive than other cladding options and can be challenging to install.

All factors must be considered when making your cladding decision, from protecting your structure and its occupants to the installation process and maintenance over time. However, whether you choose metal, wood, stone, brick, or composite cladding, selecting the right sub-framing material to attach your cladding to is just as (if not more) important as which cladding material you choose. The sub-framing material is responsible for keeping your cladding material secure and safely attached to your structure for the life of the building. Therefore, when deciding on the best cladding material for your project, also consider your sub-framing options.

GreenGirt® Composite Metal Hybrid (CMH™) Sub-Framing

Advanced Architectural Products, creators of GreenGirt® CMH™ and SMARTci™ continuous insulation systems, has a best practice solution for your building envelope and cladding attachment. GreenGirt composite metal hybrid (CMH) sub-framing is a universal attachment system for any cladding type. The unique combination of GreenGirt composite z-girts and cantilevered interlocking steel inserts on both flanges offers a best practice and structurally sound cladding attachment surface while providing a thermally efficient continuous insulation system. In addition, its universal compatibility with substrates, cladding, insulation, and various other building envelope components makes for a quick and easy installation saving you both time and money.

If you’re interested in speaking with an A2P Representative about our GreenGirt CMH and SMARTci systems, don’t hesitate to call us or visit our website to learn more about our cladding attachment solutions.


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