Ventilated Facades: Combining Design, Functionality and Sustainability

Aesthetics + performance functionality + Sustainability: is the combination of these aspects makes the ventilated facades such a beloved innovation in architecture.

The ventilated facade has emerged from studies in European laboratories in order to find a way to reduce energy costs for heating and cooling, especially cold that the continent suffers.

The result was arisen a system for coating the faces of buildings which leaves a space to be ventilated between the outer sheath and the insulation.

The solution not only has an amazing structure, but has been enhanced so that arose several choices of materials, colors, textures and shapes.


The ventilated facades are composed of some elements found in levels from the closest of the internal building environment to come into contact with the external environment.

See a video of ULMA, Italian company of ventilated facades on how the system is installed.

Insulating layer: consists of materials that ensure the thermal stability of the building.

Setting structure: where the coating is applied from materials such as wood or metal to bring stability to the system. If you use the metal, it is recommended the use of stainless steel or aluminum, never galvanized steel can corrode and pose a risk to the structure.

Tube: is the space to be ventilated and where the chimney effect occurs (keep reading to understand). You must be between 10 and 20 cm wide to permit natural ventilation of the wall and being essential for the function of the facade system.

Outdoor covering: aesthetic function and protection of the camera and the wall of the building. Here is the project design criteria. Some materials that can be used are extruded ceramic, stone, concrete Digital meter, cementitious board, laminates, phenolic, metal and porcelain. For each type of panel should consider the possible thermal expansion and movement of the components, fixing them in the most appropriate manner. The possibility of colors is innumerable.


The existence of a gap between the front layer is the main advantage of this system.

In it the chimney effect occurs, which generates a continuous and efficient natural ventilation and saves energy consumption of the building in 20% to 30%.

This is possible by basic principles of physics: the sun heats the inside of the facade making the air is warm there, the warmer air rises and due to the pressure difference sucks into the cooler air.

Thus, the air cavity is constantly renewed and is not sufficient to heat the walls of environments. In addition, the input and output air form a continuous extraction of water vapor from the inside or the outside atmosphere, maintaining the dry insulation and drastically reducing the risk of infiltration, a major cause of deterioration of walls.

Other Advantages

The ventilated facade offers even more advantages. One of them is the acoustic protection to environments inside the building, as the plates and the tube act attenuating outside noise.

Another point is the best ability to adapt to temperature changes in the project structure. The clamp structure of flooring boards are free to expand according to its coefficient because the degree of elasticity of the anchorage. The coating then undergoes no additional efforts that can degrade the structure and the facade itself, without the need for maintenance, unlike what occurs with conventional facades.

Incidentally, the low maintenance is another advantage. If possibly a sign ruin, maintenance is simple: replace it individually.

Therefore, the ventilated facade system provides a simple and practical renewal for easy exchange of the plates that change all the external appearance.


The ventilated facade system is a sustainable innovation by several aspects already mentioned.

The reduction of power consumption, easy maintenance, use of recyclable materials are practical to disassemble and reassemble, among others, constitute the system’s sustainability and can facilitate the achievement of this certification to projects that use it.