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RCI March 2018

Project1_Layout 1 07/05/2013 CLADDING & SHEETING A systematic approach to long-term envelope performance Andy Stolworthy, director of product and market development at SFS, explains why thinking about roofi ng and cladding fasteners, as well as the support system for rainscreen, as one system, will maximise the long-term performance of the building envelope The choice of fasteners, brackets and rails to secure the building envelope is critical to delivering a high-quality result that stands the test of time. Recognising this, SFS recently added the Nvelope rainscreen support systems brand to its family. In doing so, we offer a complete engineered bracket, rail and fastening system for all rainscreen façade applications from a single source. Although innovation and creativity by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) may well be shaping how buildings are designed, built and refurbished, it is only possible with the right fastening technology. Understanding the interplay between the roofi ng and cladding systems and their attachment to the structure is, therefore, vital to delivering a high level of client satisfaction. Material and colour choices The primary fastener consideration is the type of metal or other materials used in its manufacture. Austenitic stainless steel fasteners have long been known to offer enhanced resistance to corrosion, compared to coated carbon steel products, but many specifi ers and clients are now upgrading the specifi cation further by choosing A4 (316 grade) stainless steel – rather than the widely accepted A2 (304 grade). A4 stainless steel fasteners offer better corrosion resistance and durability, making them more suitable for more aggressive environments like coastal areas, and they can offer longer warranties – up to 40 years, depending on building location, site and system application. In many applications, fasteners will require colour matching to deliver on the aesthetic vision. The way the colour is applied, however, will impact on the building’s long-term visual appeal, which is why the recommendation for all SFS A4 and A2 fasteners is powder coating. In our experience, the powder coating process delivers a uniform, high-quality, decorative and robust fi nish, which is less prone to fading and with excellent weathering resistance and colour stability in exposed external applications. Rainscreen support systems use a different core material to accommodate the needs of both architects and installers. Nvelope rainscreen systems are largely manufactured using sustainable aluminium, which offers low weight and high strength, excellent resistance to corrosion and ease of recycling. Ultimately, choosing a complete rainscreen support system will simplify the complexity of a façade, and effectively address the multiple technical challenges that every application 040 MARCH 2018 RCIMAG.COM presents. These include managing the thermal differences between the materials being combined, the dead and dynamic loads, plus expansion and contraction of the façade. Remember too that complete systems like Nvelope, which are “designed for architects and built for installers”, will deliver further benefi ts in the installation phase. Delivering better quality buildings The shift to A4 stainless steel fasteners and innovative rainscreen support systems refl ects the movement, driven by initiatives like BIM, to create better quality, more sustainable buildings, with greater certainty for clients, reduced operational expenditure and lower whole life costings. Key to understanding this is to have clear visibility on the technical data at the design and specifi cation stage, including within BIM models. Here is where SFS is different in the market. Its structured product data sheets for fasteners present product information in plain language with simple questions and answers, allowing integration into a greater system element – be that data or 3D geometry. They standardise data to enable clients and project teams to compare and select products based on value and lifecycle benefi ts, rather than just price. The BIM support for Nvelope systems is equally comprehensive, and comes in the form of BIM objects. These allow for the creation of digital representations of the intended layout together with detailed technical information, accreditations and other background data to provide a relevant information-rich support specifi cation. Beyond BIM, SFS and Nvelope’s extensive technical resources ensure that the most suitable fastening solutions can be established and specifi ed. Key to this is the Nvelope Project Builder. After information is submitted online to Project Builder, specifi ers and installers receive electronic data, such as project-specifi c bracket and rail spacings, guide pricing per m², and a prefi lled NBS specifi cation document, with an option to access thermal calculations based on the wall build-up confi guration. Higher quality fastening systems and new technology to aid the design and specifi cation of the building envelope is a positive step forward. Switching to a more advanced fastening solution requires very small additional capital expenditure, but this can deliver signifi cantly amplifi ed savings in operational expenditure. This is an approach which is surely welcomed by the industry as a whole. www.sfsintec.co.uk


RCI March 2018
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