Designing a sustainable rainscreen wall assembly has become an essential part of most new construction projects. Industry principles and energy codes are continually advocating for improved energy efficiency goals. Programs are being developed which incentivize building owners to invest in better thermal performing building envelopes. Professionals across the world are criticizing previously accepted limitations and are aspiring toward zero carbon targets. In response to these efforts, the design approach taken for such a common façade element as a rainscreen wall assembly is being transformed.
Nonetheless, the building envelope profession at large continually comments on the flaws which exist within implementation methods of green façades. The increasing complexity of rainscreen wall assemblies; lack of effective communication; resistance to share knowledge within the industry; and the increased tactic of shifting liability onto others has produced copious obstacles in executing a sustainable rainscreen assembly.
Research and anecdotes compiled from leading professionals within different sectors of the façade industry have underlined many of the common deficiencies associated with the design and execution process. However, that same research and those same anecdotes underline an almost universal desire to improve collaboration within the façade industry. The sustainability of rainscreen wall assemblies is improving, but not all parties are always included in the conversation. The investigation conducted provides insight to the areas of the sustainable rainscreen wall assembly design process which are overlooked or lacking ownership and consideration for the parties and approaches being developed to provide valuable solutions.
Presented by Patricia Shaw, Patricia is Façade Specialist with Morrison Hershfield who has eight years of façade experience. She graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of