Sustainable Rain Screen Design

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Architects and design professionals are incorporating the unique sustainable design benefits of rainscreen systems into more and more of their work every day...and rainscreen systems aren't just for commercial buildings. The usage of rainscreen systems in residential construction is also on the upswing. From savvy architects and green builders to conscientious homeowners, rainscreen systems are finding their way into many sustainable design projects. The key benefits of rain screen systems include protecting the exterior of the structure from wind, rain and snow, as well as allowing moisture trapped within the building envelope to escape.

There are a wide array of architectural cladding materials to choose from to design sustainable rainscreen designrainscreen systems including metal, terra cotta, cement, stone and other inorganic materials. Many of these materials work well with the bold, stark look often seen in modern commercial architectural design. Other architectural cladding materials can also be incorporated into sustainable rainscreen designs. The warm look of a natural wood rainscreen can immediately transform the look and feel of an architectural design. Whether wood architectural cladding is used in part or in whole in a sustainable rain screen design, the variations of design theme and motif are limitless.

ipe rainscreen designWood cladding options for rainscreen designs run the entire gamut of all wood species available. Some species look and perform better and more effectively than others. When specifying wood siding or cladding species for rain screen design, the designer, builder or owner are well served to consider the short and long term effects of their material selections.  Key considerations for wood siding for rainscreen systems include; life cycle expectation of the wood species, stability of the wood siding as well as the look and "fit" of the wood siding species with the overall design concept.


Best Sustainable Wood Siding Species for Rain Screen Design

The wood siding species that we favor heavily for use in the Climate-Shield Rain Screen System are all high density hardwoods that are harvested using sustainable yield forestry practices. We rate them highly for their durability, beauty, stability and overall performance in a rain screen system:

  • Santa Maria  hardwood rainscreen siding – stainable, durable, very stable, FSC certified

  • Ipe hardwood  rainscreen siding – full range of brown tones, extremely durable, very stable, sustainably harvested

  • Machiche hardwood  rainscreen siding – brown tones, extremely durable, very stable, FSC certified

  • Garapa hardwood  rainscreen siding – yellow to honey brown tones, durable, very stable, sustainably harvested

  • Cumaru hardwood  rainscreen siding – yellow to red and  brown tones, very durable, stable, sustainably harvested

For additional information about sustainable rain screen design, rain screen cladding options and the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Wood Siding System, please follow any of the links below:

Understanding Wood Rainscreen Systems

Climate-Shield Rain Screen System

Wood Siding Options for Rainscreen Systems

Rainscreen Wood Siding Photo Gallery

Architectural Specifications for Wood Rain Screen Systems


For a wealth of information about sustainable rain screen design, wood rainscreen cladding and more, please download your FREE Rainscreen Guide by clicking the button below:

Download "The Ultimate Guide to Building Green with Rainscreen Wood Siding"


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