When it comes to high density exotic hardwood decking and siding, the simplest option has always been to let the material weather naturally to a silvery shade of gray. For many architects, contractors and homeowners, this process has been perfectly acceptable, even desirable, and they have welcomed the outcome. Depending on exposure, the process can take anywhere from 6 months to over a year. The weathered-silvery gray color tone typically highlights the architectural lines of the structure and brings out the striking wood grain patterns and beautiful exotic figuring of the hardwoods. For high density hardwood species such as Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa and Machiche the aging process actually enhances the beauty of these hardwoods.
Along with their incredible hardness, it is the high density properties of these hardwood cladding and decking species that give them outstanding performance qualities and a wide range of product benefits. Ipe is so resistant to decay and insects that it has become the benchmark material for all exterior hardwoods. Ipe wood siding has a hardness of 3,680 lbs (more than triple the toughness of red oak). It’s also why Ipe hardwood has such amazing resistance to scratching or gouging. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! There are many other wood siding buyers who prefer to have an exterior finish applied in the color tone of their choice and have it preserved for a 2 to 3 year period of time.
Up until now, most finishes could not penetrate these high-density hardwood decking and wood siding species effectively. However, research has been under way for the past several years to uncover the best means to finish the surface of high density hardwood cladding and decking. Along came nano technology and we now have better finish options for high density hardwood decking and siding material than ever before. While this process is still in its early years, manufacturers have already had some very successful results. We have found that these new coating products provide the finish results many wood siding buyers are seeking. In one recent rain screen application, we had a client who wanted a fairly uniform shade of gray and did not to wait the six to twelve months for the wood cladding to turn a silvery gray. So, a 'Cape-Cod Gray' finish was selected for this Ipe wood rain screen and applied in two coats, “wet-on-wet” for the desired effect.
For another customer, they want to enhance the warm brown color tone found with the species Santa Maria for their rain screen cladding design. Here again, the method would be a “wet-on-wet” coat of Vermont Natural Coatings Acorn Brown. In this case, Santa-Maria, a medium-high density hardwood is an excellent choice for their rainscreen cladding material. This species is our “stainable, sustainable” favorite for rain screen siding. Santa Maria is a sustainable, medium, high density hardwood cladding material that can be stained to a full range of color options. These product features now give the design and construction communities the ability to work with a wide color palette to complement any rain screen design.
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Ipe Rain Screen Cladding Project in Texas
When the City of Galveston, Texas decided to build Galveston Fire station #4, on Galveston Island, HDR, a global architectural firm, was called upon to create the sustainable design for this beautiful, yet functional facility. The Crain Group of Pearland, Texas was selected to build and bring this project to life. The Crain Group, LLC has completed numerous commercial and municipal projects throughout the great state of Texas. Crain Group, LLC is well known and highly regarded for their work as a full-service general contracting and construction management firm that specializes in the construction and management of office buildings, medical office buildings and clinics, hospitals, banks, retail centers, warehouses, showrooms, manufacturing facilities, parking structures, renovation work, and more.
Daniel Smith, Project Engineer, was instrumental in working with the architects, owners, subcontractors and suppliers to help complete this project on budget and in a timely manner. Ipe hardwood was selected as the rain screen cladding material due to its warmth, beauty, durability and stability. Ipe hardwood was also selected as the decking and exterior soffits for this project. Having a ventilated wall system to allow proper air and moisture control was the key reason why a rain screen system was specified for this project. The Ipe cladding and Ipe soffit were finished with a lightly tinted sealer to enhance the natural beauty of the wood siding.
Ipe rainscreen cladding is often selected when architects want a long lasting cladding material that will withstand harsh climates of all types, beautifully and sustainably. The Ipe rain screen cladding used in this commercial building project adds lots of warmth and richness to the overall building design and visual appeal. The Ipe hardwood rainscreen soffits and Ipe decking create a unique look for this installation.
To learn more about our wood rain screen system, wood rainscreen cladding options and more, please visit our website or follow any of the links you see below:
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It’s time to let our clients in on a few secrets about the Climate-Shield rain screen wood siding profile. Sometimes people ask us how the profile for the Climate-Shield was developed and why it has smoothly rounded edges. There are several interesting reasons why the Climate-Shield cladding boards are designed the way they are.
The Climate-Shield rain screen cladding profile is safer to install and more user friendly than other wood rain screen siding options. The original reason for the rounded cladding profile was that the inventor of the rain screen system was on a job site one day watching wood siding being installed with a competitor’s rain screen siding profile. As the siding installer grabbed a piece of wood rainscreen siding to install it, a sharp splinter pierced through his glove and stabbed him in the palm of his hand. The siding installer had to stop working for several hours to recover, remove the large splinter and clean and bandage the wound. Why design wood siding profiles with sharp edges if it’s just as simple to design wood siding with safer edge profiles?
The Climate-Shield Rain Screen wood cladding profile looks better architecturally. After the new rain screen cladding profile was developed with the smoother, more rounded edges, it was immediately apparent that this new siding profile looked much better than sharp-edged wood siding once it was installed. Sharp edges on wood siding tend to exaggerate and make any slight inconsistencies in the exterior wall, the siding or the siding installation glare out at you. The smooth edge design of the Climate-Shield rain screen cladding profile creates a graded shadow line that is much more appealing and a lot more forgiving.
The softened edges of Climate-Shield rain screen cladding perform better right away and also over time. Experienced woodworkers will tell you that sharp edges are a potential problem point for splintering and grain issues over time. Experienced contractors will also share that sharp edges are more difficult to work with, more difficult to paint and don’t hold up very well when used outdoors. Professional painters will share their concern about sharp edges requiring sanding and being more difficult to paint or stain. The Climate-Shield rain screen cladding profile looks better, lasts longer and is easier to work with than other wood rain screen cladding options.
The Climate-Shield rain screen wood siding system works extremely well with many stable species of natural wood cladding materials. Our favorite cladding materials for use with the Climate-Shield rain screen system are Ipe hardwood siding, Garapa hardwood siding, FSC Certified Santa Maria hardwood siding and FSC Certified Machiche hardwood siding. We love the exotic natural beauty and extended lifetime performance of these long lasting rainscreen hardwood cladding species.
Please visit our website or follow the links below for useful information and ideas about rain screen cladding options, rainscreen design, installing rain screen siding systems and more:
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Choosing an Outside Corner Detail for your Wood Rain Screen Design
We are often asked “what is the best way to create an outside corner for the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Wood Siding System”. The short answer to this question is that there are a variety of rain screen outside corner choices to meet your design needs and budget requirements for your rain screen project. Climate-Shield has developed its own aluminum rain screen outside corner that protects the ends of the siding boards and provides an architectural detail for the outside corner of the rain screen. There are also any number of creative wood rain screen outside corner solutions that can be pre-built or assembled on site to meet your rain screen design and construction needs.
Option 1: Climate-Shield Aluminum Rain Screen Outside Corner System
The Climate-Shield aluminum rain screen outside corner is a two piece component system ; the base piece installs securely to the outside corner of the structure before you start to install any rain screen siding. After the cladding installation is complete, the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Aluminum Outside corner finish piece can be tapped into place using a rubber mallet. The outside corner finish piece has a mill finish as a standard finish. The outside corner finish piece may also be powder coat finished in many colors to complement your design scheme and colors.
Option 2: Rain Screen Wood Outside Corner with Lock-Joint
This wood rain screen outside corner assembly can be pre-built in a properly equipped wood shop and then assembled and installed on site. This rain screen wood outside corner is available in sizes and wood species to match your wood cladding and meet your rain screen design needs. The lock joint helps to keep the joint tightly knit together. While there is no guarantee that this rain screen corner assembly will stay together over time and exposure in harsh climates, it is as secure as can be possible for a wood rain screen outside corner.
Other Options: Wood Rain Screen Mitered Outside Corner
Because wood typically has a tendency to shrink as it dries outdoors, we are not advocates of mitered outside corners. As the wood acclimates to the outdoor site conditions, there will be some movement of the wood. The initial dimensional changes of wood while it acclimates outdoors are usually the big adjustment, and then seasonal adjustments with UV exposure, temperature, moisture content and humidity occur throughout the life cycle of the wood. If you are looking for an outside corner for your rain screen design that will never “open up”, this is not for you.
Be that as it may, many of our clients insist on mitered outside corners for their rain screen designs. We do not advise or advocate this method of rain screen outside corners. If you must use this method, we suggest that you fasten the wood rain screen corner material as securely as possible to minimize the movement of the miter joint over time and outdoor exposure.
Many contractors have developed installation methods for mitered rain screen wood corners on the actual rain screen siding boards themselves. Most rain screen installers securely fasten the ends of the cladding boards to one another by pre-drilling and carefully screwing the ends together. Another method we have seen used in the field is to face screw the ends of the board directly into a small piece of ¾” marine grade plywood (placed under the end of the siding board, like a furring strip, and attached to the exterior sheathing). This type of fastening may require adjustment over time.
For additional information about rain screen siding options, rainscreen system design, installing rain screen systems and lots more, please feel free to visit our website or click the links below:
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Creating a Beautiful Rainscreen Cladding Design for Concrete Walls
Many architects and designers want to improve the monolithic appearance of concrete walls with something more beautiful. Wood rain screen cladding is the perfect solution for many of these designs. Creating a ventilated wall cavity for a rain screen system over a concrete wall is now much easier to design and build. Climate-Shield has created a multi-purpose rain screen attachment channel that does a great job of creating a rain screen wall cavity that works exceptionally well with concrete and masonry walls. The Climate-Shield rain screen attachment channel provides a sturdy anchor to attach wood rain screen cladding over a concrete or masonry wall.
Concrete is an exceptionally durable building material that will withstand the test of time. There are many things that manufacturers and designers can do to minimize the bleak appearance of many concrete structures, including adding colors and textures to break up the monotony. At the end of the day, though, you still have a cold looking concrete structure. To strike a harmonious balance, many creative architects and designers are adding elements of other, more organic and visually pleasing cladding materials, particularly wood siding, to their designs. The balance of these organic and inorganic building materials often strikes the perfect complement between beauty, design, budget and construction goals.
Whether used on the entire wall, or as an architectural feature, hardwood rainscreen cladding can add long lasting beauty, warmth and grace to a concrete wall.
Architectural wood cladding for rainscreen systems is increasing in popularity, as it allows designers greater flexibility in achieving their design goals, beautifully. High density hardwood cladding materials such as Ipe wood siding, Garapa siding and Santa Maria hardwood siding are leading the pack in sustainable rain screen design. The longevity, stability, versatility and unparalleled exotic beauty of these sustainable hardwood cladding options make them a natural fit for many rain screen designs.
Please visit our website or visit the following links below for lots of helpful information about rain screen cladding options, rainscreen designs, rain screen installations and more:
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Rain Screen Design and Construction: Using Insulated Sheathing over Wood Frame Wall Assembly
In many regions of the US and beyond, wood frame construction using non-structural insulated sheathing in lieu of plywood or OSB sheathing, directly over wood studs, is a common construction practice. This helps many designers and builders achieve both their energy efficiency goals and construction material budget goals. We believe that energy efficiency is a critical element to responsible design and construction. We are also big believers in healthy and sustainable design and construction. A properly designed rain screen system can help builders and designers achieve all of their design, construction, budget, energy efficiency and sustainability goals simultaneously.
The downside of using a non-structural exterior sheathing is that it often limits the scope of siding materials that can be selected for rain screen systems. Climate-Shield has recently developed an attachment channel for their rain screen system that allows for quick and efficient design and installation of wood rainscreen cladding on wood frame walls using insulated sheathing. The rain screen attachment channel creates a firm anchor on wall assemblies using wood studs with insulated sheathing up to 1” thick. The Climate-Shield rain screen attachment channel makes rain screen installation efficient, user friendly and affordable.
Ipe rain screen cladding installation over wood frame wall assembly
Many homeowners, builders and designers prefer the natural beauty of real wood siding materials and the richness that it brings to their project. If one of your construction goals is to incorporate the warmth and benefits of real wood cladding into your rain screen design, your job just got a little easier and your choices are now wider. Softwood siding species such as redwood, cedar and cypress may be used in a rainscreen system. Longer lasting hardwood species are now being selected far more frequently for rain screen designs, not just because of their beauty, but also their long-lasting durability. As designers and builders strive to create 100 year homes, long lasting wood cladding species make a lot of sense.
For more information about rain screen cladding options, rainscreen design, rain screen installation and more, please visit our website or visit the following links below:
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Rain screen systems for commercial buildings just got a whole lot easier to design and build. Climate-Shield Rain Screen Systems has developed a new component to simplify the design and installation of wood rain screen systems over exterior walls with steel studs and exterior gypsum. In the past, wood rain screen design has been somewhat limited in scope for commercial buildings. The use of exterior gypsum and other fire resistant cementitious types of exterior sheathing makes great sense for commercial buildings from a safety standpoint.
While cement or gypsum exterior sheathing is a major benefit in some respects, using a non-structural exterior sheathing has limited the scope of materials that architects and designers can specify and use for rain screen cladding in their commercial building designs. Many architects love to incorporate the warm and rich appearance, varied textures and tones of real wood cladding to soften and enhance their commercial designs. With the development of this new rainscreen attachment channel, designing rainscreen systems using wood architectural cladding is easier, stronger and more affordable.
There are a variety of natural architectural cladding options available for use with the Climate-Shield rain screen system. Long lasting hardwood siding species such as Ipe, Garapa, Santa Maria and more can now be effectively incorporated into an architects design. All of these natural wood cladding species are sustainably harvested, stable and extremely durable, for timeless designs that can endure through a wide range of conditions over the years. Go ahead - feel free to be bold and creative with your rain screen designs.
For additional information about rain screen design, rain screen installation rain screen cladding options and more, please visit our website or check out the links below:
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Santa Maria hardwood siding is a stunningly beautiful siding option for rain screen cladding projects. In the past I have written about my love for Santa Maria hardwood, so today let's take it a step further and look at why Santa Maria hardwood siding might be better than a good wife (No! Not you, honey - somebody else's wife.). Before anyone gets offended – this article is intended as a humorous look at the key benefits of Santa Maria hardwood siding.
Top 8 Reasons Why Santa Maria Rain Screen Cladding Might Be Better than a Good Wife
8.) Santa Maria hardwood cladding is incredibly beautiful. Santa Maria rainscreen siding will turn peoples’ heads with its stunning good looks and you don’t have to be jealous.
7.) Santa Maria cladding is 100% Pure. Santa Maria is 100% Pure FSC Certified through Forest Stewardship Council approved chain of custody suppliers. This ensures that Santa Maria is harvested through sustainable yield forestry practices and also qualifies for LEED points on approved projects.
6.) Santa Maria rain screen siding is elegant, yet inexpensive. I'm not saying that Santa Maria cladding is a "classy and cheap date" but the initial price of Santa Maria hardwood siding is significantly lower than many other architectural cladding options. The appearance of Santa Maria hardwood cladding has the graceful looks and rich graining of genuine mahogany, but at a fraction of the price.
5.) Santa Maria hardwood maintains its shape over the years (without exercise). Mataverde Santa Maria hardwood is quartersawn and then kiln dried for additional stability in harsh outdoor environments. Our Santa Maria hardwood is one the most stable exterior woods for use in a rainscreen design, keeping expansion and contraction to a minimum.
4.) Santa Maria cladding looks great outdoors, even in the rain. No frizzy hair, no need for a raincoat – when Santa Maria hardwood cladding is used in a rainscreen system, it will glisten beautifully in the rain or sunshine.
3.) Santa Maria requires no daily make-up to look tremendous, just a coat of stain every few years. Santa Maria cladding takes an exterior stain particularly well. You can choose anything from a light color to a dark color exterior semi-transparent stain. The beauty of the hardwood and its fabulous graining will show through, in whatever color you choose.
2.) You can dress Santa Maria cladding up but you don’t have to take it anywhere. With a coat of stain for beautiful color, there are no other species of wood siding that look as rich, elegant and beautiful as Santa Maria hardwood rain screen cladding.
1.) Santa Maria rainscreen cladding will stay with you, beautifully, for decades. As is the case with medium-high density hardwood cladding materials, Santa Maria is extremely durable in outdoor rainscreen installations. Santa Maria is a long-lasting wood cladding species that is a perfect complement to the extended life-cycle expectations of a well designed rainscreen system.
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Enhance the Curb Appeal of your Home or Building using Wood Rain Screen Cladding
Whether your goal is to improve the resale value or beauty of your home (or both), enhancing your home’s exterior with rainscreen wood siding is a great way to achieve your goals. The appeal of a home or building starts from the outside and works its way in. Architectural design elements such as roofing and cladding are easily distinguishable from over 100 feet away. Realtors will tell you that one of the most important factors for saleability of a property (after location) is the curb appeal of your home. If the property has no real curb appeal who wants to go inside an ugly or poorly designed home or building?
Architects and designers are constantly searching for design elements that will help set their home or building’s design apart from others and create a unique look and feel. The welcoming warmth and natural beauty of natural wood cladding can brighten the look of any building exterior. When you add in the healthy sustainable benefits of a rainscreen design using natural wood cladding, you have a truly functional and beautiful façade for your building design. With the current trends towards browns and other lighter natural colors for siding materials, wood cladding choices for rain screen systems are improving every day.
High density hardwood cladding species such as Ipe, Machiche, Garapa and Santa Maria are prized by architects and green builders not only for their natural beauty but also their amazing long lasting durability. It makes a lot of sense to use wood cladding that will last as long as the structure itself and that is one area where high density hardwood cladding shines brightly. The advantage of a properly designed rain screen system offers additional health benefits, too, by creating a wall cavity where moisture can easily exit the structure and minimize the potential for mold or fungus to develop.
Garapa rainscreen cladding using Climate-Shield Rain Screen System
Garapa hardwood siding and Santa Maria hardwood siding are two excellent lighter colored options for rain screen wood siding systems and happen to be two of my favorite cladding species. Both of these exotic, highly durable hardwood siding species will help your home or building stand out from the crowd. Garapa provides a highly stable wood siding species in the blond to honey brown color range. Santa Maria hardwood siding has the elegant look and feel of genuine mahogany and can be stained to virtually any exterior color to match or complement the color scheme of a home or building design. Either of these hardwood cladding species offer cost savings when compared to more expensive cladding options such as stone, brick and other masonry veneers.
Santa Maria siding looks like genuine mahogany (at a fraction of the cost) and can be stained a wide range of colors
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The latest innovation in rain screen system technology was recently developed – the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Attachment Channel. This multipurpose rain screen attachment channel was designed to create a firm attachment for the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Clips to wall assemblies that do not have structural sheathing. Like other Climate-Shield rain screen system components, the rain screen attachment channel is manufactured in the US of marine grade aluminum for strength, extended lifetime, reliability and low cost. The Climate-Shield Rain Screen Attachment Channel works exceptionally well for the following exterior wall assemblies:
- Wood frame wall assemblies using insulated sheathing up to 1” thick.
- Steel stud framed wall assemblies using gypsum or other cementitious exterior sheathing
- Concrete walls or masonry walls
- Stucco wall assemblies
The Climate-Shield Rain Screen Attachment Channel provides a solid base to attach the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Clips. The rain screen attachment channel can be fastened to different wall assemblies using the appropriate fasteners for the particular application; concrete anchors and/or screws for masonry walls, wood screws for wood fame wall systems and self drilling screws for wall assemblies using steel studs. The rain screen attachment channel is available in 8’ lengths and can be custom manufactured in other lengths for specific jobs. Many architects have lauded the Climate-Shield rain screen system for its "elegant simplicity" and this multipurpose rain screen attachment channel is no exception.
Because the Climate-Shield rain screen attachment channel is made from marine grade aluminum, it is highly compatible with other Climate-Shield rain screen system components including; the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Clip, the stainless steel fastening screws, Climate-Shield z-girts and more. Unlike other rain screen systems, when used with these components, the Climate-Shield Rain Screen System has no galvanic action, extending the life expectancy of the rain screen system significantly. This can add decades of additional usable lifetime to the entire home, building or structure.
The architectural detail above shows how the Climate-Shield rain screen attachment channel works in a typical exterior wall assembly with steel studs and exterior gypsum.
For additonal information about the Climate-Shield Rain Screen system, architectural details for rain screen wall assemblies and more, please follow any of the links below:
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