Brick designers have many choices when selecting and establishing cladding systems for high-end commercial and institutional buildings. As with several other scopes, there are many factors that affect and ultimately determine the design design and specification, including, amongst others: budget, building height, structural support, climate zone, performance, sustainability, code compliance, aesthetics, lead time, etc..

Institutional buildings often have significantly less rigorous budgeting limitations than other kinds of construction projects. At precisely the exact same time, museum, college, hospital, religious, and other institutional projects are usually designed with longer life spans than other project types. As stated above, several factors affect the decision-making procedure. Below is a quick outline of several of these variables.

Budget: Along with many different parameters, the cost of materials and labour to furnish and set up cladding systems can vary significantly from region to region. For this guide we reference anecdotal information on these costs to a general contractor in Texas cities. Higher end jobs with cladding budgets in the 50’s to $70’s per sf is going to have more options such as timber, porcelain, lightweight stone panels, dimension stone, precast architectural concrete panels, phenolic panels, and ACM (aluminum composite material).

Building structural & height support: Single narrative along with other low-rise structures can be economically clad with light weight or using heavy hedging methods, as heavy rock or masonry walls can be simply piled, shifting dead load to bases & cement slab. On the other hand, multi-story buildings need to incorporate a stronger framing system if heavy cladding systems are being contemplated. Honeycomb-backed cladding systems typically weigh approximately 6 lbs. /sf. And using honeycombing concrete , setup for many jobs will only need 16-gauge metal studs at 16” on-center. This may lead to important savings in structural framing price when compared with dimension stone, which can weigh 40+ lbs/sf.

Climate zone & functionality: Different regions around the country have distinct climate patterns and consequently, different thermal insulation requirements. Furthermore, many cities, states and counties have embraced green and/or sustainable construction codes, a few of including continuous insulation (ci) requirements. While rock on honeycomb cladding systems don’t have a substantial thermal insulation value, they can be designed along with a wide array of insulation methods, including commercially available continuous insulation alternatives that fulfill the most rigorous thermal performance code requirements.

Sustainability: lots of institutional buildings are designed to meet LEED certificate or alternative sustainable design & construction standards. This is a complex subject that can’t be addressed briefly and frequently involves specialized consultants for any given job.

Code compliance (flame spread): Code compliance to satisfy NFPA 285 is required for specific projects and may also be wanted on projects without such a requirement. Testing should be conducted following NFPA 285, Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Characteristics of Exterior Non-Load Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components, 2012. Some lightweight rock cladding systems and a number of other alternative cladding systems have met the necessary conditions for acceptance of the important evaluation.