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8 Materials that you can use for exterior facades

Ritika Tiwari Ritika Tiwari
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Many of us feel that interior design or beauty of a house is the most important. But there is one exception in the form of your external facade which is conceived as the shell of a building.  These facades are supposed to be a presentation canvas, where different artistic and architectural styles can be displayed. But they also give your visitors clues about the interior, style, and architecture of the house. 

Traditionally, facades constituted the main structure of the building which is why there were limited openings. Since its evolution, a bigger surface or opening can be obtained so that the house is illuminated properly. With the introduction of steel and reinforced concrete in the construction line, the facades were freed of their supporting function, and are now used as a non-load bearing structure.

One could make endless designs of facades, based on its composition, style, decoration, and even colour. But today in this ideabook will address the issue of materials for facades. With technological development, the use of unusual and revolutionary materials is becoming more common.

1. Metal coatings I

mediterranean Houses by MIRAG Arquitectura i Gestió
MIRAG Arquitectura i Gestió

House in L'Ametlla del Vallès

MIRAG Arquitectura i Gestió

If the facades of a building determine's the way in which it communicates with its surroundings then the material is the language through which this process takes place. Although, metal facades were previously associated with industrial or prefabricated buildings but are now increasingly common to see in domestic spaces as well. Such materials for house facades are also easy and fast to install. In addition. they are fully efficient and functional. Smooth, wavy, greased, pre-laced or galvanized veneers are the different types of coatings which can be combined with materials like wood, concrete, plaster or stone. In this image, the large glass openings within white walls make the interior brighter. Whereas, its upper part protects the structure, like an inverted base made of corrugated sheets.

2. Metal coatings II

Corten steel is one of the materials for modern facades or used in contemporary architecture. In spite of its oxidized colour, this material offers enormous resistance to the atmospheric corrosion. It is all because of the protective layer of oxide formed by the alloy of chromium and copper.

3. Natural stone cladding

Exterior facade cladding made with stones have been used throughout history. These coatings offer different colours and textures which adds an elegant and distinctive touch to the walls. In addition to this, stone also provides excellent thermal insulation and acoustic against humidity. The material is known for its good quality hardness and resistance, depending on the type chosen. The finishes of stones are also very diverse. In this house, the architect covers the top floor of the building by isolating it with slate. If there is something that characterizes this natural stone, it is the dark colour and resistance. The possibilities offered by this material makes it an excellent choice for both indoors as well as outdoors.

4. Wooden coating

We all know the qualities of wood in an aesthetic and perceptive sense. It is a very warm and welcoming material. However, this type of coatings has other characteristics too, which requires you to choose them carefully. Susceptibility to moisture, solar radiation and changes in temperature are just a few examples. Although wood has been used since remote times in the construction of shelters, we still have to make sure that it is treated correctly against xylophages, fire, humidity, and radiation. Once the right kind of wood is chosen, we only have to find the application that suits us the most. It can either be vertical, horizontal or even larger slats.

5. Masonry walls

Masonry is a traditional wall construction system which uses different materials like bricks, tiles, or stones. Usually, these walls are structural and can be created with various techniques. These can include using mortar or replacing the clay, as an element of adhesion between the walls. On can also build dry walls if they prefer. They provide a rural and rustic look to the houses. On many occasions we can still find houses, whose walls are covered similar exterior facade materials that simulating a traditional style of masonry.

6. Mortar plaster

mediterranean Houses by Anna & Eugeni Bach
Anna & Eugeni Bach

Exterior Casa en Gaüses

Anna & Eugeni Bach

Plasters were traditionally used in construction and can also pose as a decorative front for your house. Its low cost, various colours, and multiple finishes make it a perfect solution for homes built with brick walls. In this house, green and white stripes of different widths create a different rhythm. They also hide the cracks that usually appear in this type of coatings over time.

7. Concrete

These days concrete facades are conquering the buildings of contemporary architecture. Made with different textures and shades of gray or white, this material does not need serious maintenance as it is very durable. In this image, we can see the concrete wall or facade where the horizontal framework of wood is the only decoration used.

8. Glass enclosures

The glass is also a popular material when it comes to designing facades. Instead of creating multiple openings, these facades themselves allow enough light into the building. Only the frames and partitions create enclosures in the structure.  Sun protection and maintenance are two critical factors for glass facades. In this example we can see a forged fly over the facade line, projecting a shadow and protecting it from solar radiation. Also, they provide a terrace that can be used for cleaning the structure. 

For more tips check out our ideabooks

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