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BUILDING ENVELOPE


The home front


What will you choose for your dream home’s facade? Lisa Grosse of Cedral explains why fibre cement cladding makes a great choice, for both practical reasons and the aesthetic ‘wow’ factor


A


s well as providing protection against heat, cold, wind, weather, noise and fire, the envelope of your house contributes considerably to internal comfort. Construction standards are becoming increasingly strict, and you should factor this into your plans when looking at how to clad your project. Key criteria are durability over the long term, thermal performance and carbon footprint.


Options include timber, stone, vinyl,


external foam, metal, weatherboard, fibre cement, concrete and glass, on their own or in various combinations. If you want to be in keeping with the surrounding houses, it’s sometimes best to choose similar colours for the exterior walls. Or, if your property is on the coast or surrounded by greenery, you may want a look that fits with this natural setting. There won’t be one single design solution that fits all and individual circumstances will vary, but to help you choose the facade material that suits you best, here are the key points to consider:


• Are there local regulations or jul/aug 2021


restrictions in relation to colours, finishes or energy performance?


• What are the material’s fire safety ratings?


• What are the material’s eco credentials? • What does it contribute to energy efficiency, thermal control and comfort?


• How does it add to the aesthetics? • How durable is it? • What is the cost (not only initial expense but whole-life maintenance)? • How easy is it to install?


A DURABLE CHOICE One of the trends we are seeing now is towards more natural products, including the use of fibre cement cladding. A strong, versatile and sustainable material containing cement and fibres, it doesn’t rot, rust, warp or crack under extreme temperature changes.


It comes in a variety of textures and colours and has a minimum life expectancy of 50 years. Compared to PVCu facade cladding, fibre cement does not expand in heat. Wood can be affected by all kinds of weather conditions that may cause it to discolour.


Fibre cement uses fewer raw materials and less energy in its manufacture, produces less waste than some traditional building materials and is fully recyclable


Wood is also unable to provide the same degree of fire resistance as fibre cement materials, which can provide a fire classification of A2-s1, d0.


www.sbhonline.co.uk 49


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