HONEYCOMB-BACKED STONE CLADDING SYSTEMS - A GREAT CHOICE FOR COMMERCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS

Architectural designers have many options when selecting and establishing cladding systems for luxury industrial and institutional buildings. Much like several other scopes, there are lots of aspects that affect and ultimately determine the cladding design and specification, including, among others: budget, building height, structural support, climate change, performance, sustainability, code compliance, aesthetics, lead time, etc..

Institutional buildings frequently have significantly less rigorous budgeting limitations than other types of construction projects. At the same time, museum, college, hospital, spiritual, and other institutional projects are usually designed with longer life spans than other job types. As stated previously, many factors affect the decision-making procedure. Below is a fast outline of several of these variables.

Budget: As with a number of different parameters, cost of materials and labor to supply and install cladding systems can vary considerably from region to region. For this article we reference anecdotal information on these costs to a typical contractor in Texas cities. For honeycombing concrete with cladding budgets (furnish & install) at the 30’s to $50 per sf, a limited assortment of lower cost products such as EIFS, stucco, single skin metal, Tilt-Up, and poured-in-place concrete may fit the bill.

Building structural & height support: Single narrative along with other low-rise structures could be economically clad with mild weight or with heavy cladding systems, as thick stone or masonry walls can be simply stacked, transferring dead load to foundations & cement slab. On the other hand, multi-story buildings must incorporate a stronger framing system if hefty cladding systems are being contemplated. Honeycomb-backed cladding systems typically weigh approximately 6 lbs. /sf. And using a high flexural strength, setup for many jobs will only need 16-gauge metal studs at 16” on-center. This may result in significant savings in structural framing price when compared with dimension rock, which may weigh 40+ lbs/sf.

Climate zone & performance: Different areas around the country have distinct climate patterns and consequently, different thermal insulation requirements. Additionally, several cities, states and counties have embraced green and/or sustainable building codes, some of which include constant insulation (ci) requirements. While stone on honeycomb cladding systems do not have a substantial thermal insulation value, they may be designed along with a wide selection of insulation systems, such as commercially available continuous insulation alternatives that meet the most stringent thermal efficiency code demands.

Sustainability: lots of institutional buildings have been designed to meet LEED certificate or other sustainable design & construction standards. This is a complex subject that cannot be addressed briefly and frequently involves specialized advisers for any given project. There are lots of thermal efficiency and sustainability parameters, so here we focus exclusively on LEED points: Several lightweight rock cladding systems may contribute points to the following credits: Materials and Resources Credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Sourcing of Raw Materials (recycled content standards of the charge ); Materials and Resources Credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Material Ingredients (Health Product Declaration standards of this credit).

Code compliance (fire spread): Code compliance to satisfy NFPA 285 is required for certain projects and might also be wanted on projects without such a requirement. Some lightweight rock cladding systems and a number of other alternative cladding systems have fulfilled the necessary requirements for acceptance of the important test.