Cladding added to home and building exteriors comes in a variety of formats, including panels, bricks or blockwork.
It can help improve a building’s thermal performance and moisture resistance. As well as functionality, cladding can create the exterior look you want in terms of colour, decorative features and textures.
Cladding panel materials
Cladding panel systems can be made from a range of materials including timber, metals, masonry, vinyl, composites or cement. Besides waterproofing they can offer benefits including insulation, fire-resistance and noise protection.
Not all materials are created equal though. Some will have higher or lower embodied energy, environmental impact, thermal performance, longevity and maintenance needs than others. For example:
- Steel – has high durability and embodied energy, low maintenance needs and poor insulating properties.
- Weatherboards – low embodied energy and fire-resistance, high maintenance needs, moderate on durability and waterproofness.
- Fibre cement – generally low embodied energy and maintenance needs but requires painting to maintain waterproofing. Also a poor insulator.
- Plywood – high durability and waterproofing ability, low on embodied energy, maintenance and insulation.
One of the better performing cladding materials today according to the Department of Industry is autoclaved aerated concrete (ACC).
AAC cladding systems for home and building exteriors
An AAC product such as Hebel panelling has an aerated structure, containing closed air pockets throughout. The structure of AAC makes it a very versatile material for use as exterior cladding.
Apart from being fire-resistant and very strong, AAC panels can be cut with hand-tools as the material is easy to work with. They can also be cut to size which can reduce construction times – in turn helping to control costs and meet time constraints.
AAC has good insulating properties, which can reduce costs on additional insulation and heating and cooling bills. And as well as thermal insulation, AAC cladding helps reduce outside noise, creating a quieter home environment.
On the environmental front, AAC is a good performer. Its embodied energy and emissions are low, and any wastage can be recycled or repurposed for other projects.
The panels are not merely functional either. They can be rendered in just about any colour and be formed into a variety of architectural shapes to suit the building’s design.
When it comes to cladding and facades for home and building exteriors, there are many differences between materials in terms of performance, appearance, maintenance needs and insulating properties. This makes it important to carefully weigh up all factors when deciding on the kind of product you want for your building’s exterior.
Contact us to discuss cladding options, including Hebel’s AAC panels, for your next building project.