Frequently Asked Questions

The planning and execution of a back ventilated facade brings with it many questions.
With our FAQs, we would like to provide you with initial answers.

If you have any further questions, please send us a message.

A rainscreen as defined by the Rainscreen Association in North America (RAiNA) is as an assembly applied to an exterior wall which consists of, at minimum, an outer layer, an inner layer, and a cavity between them sufficient for the passive removal of liquid water and water vapor.

Assemblies that fall into this definition range from masonry, to clip and rail (back frame system), and pressure-equalized systems.

A rainscreen cladding durably protect your façade from outside elements by offering a “raincoat” and protecting components inside the external wall assembly.

Rainscreens are effective at managing moisture and provide exceptional opportunities for energy-efficient performance via continuous insulation and reducing thermal bridging. Back-ventilated facades (BVF) are amongst the most widely varied facade systems, due to their safety and possible design solutions. Their systematic build-up allows for different requirements to be easily met without needing to make any sacrifices in functionality or aesthetics.

The external wall assembly includes a cavity or an air gap in order to evacuate water ingress and control condensation/moisture within the construction. This air gap is located at the back of the cladding and therefore is referred as a “back ventilation.”

Aluminum is an ideal material for sub framing system. Water regularly drains and evaporate through the cavity. Cladding attachment systems therefore require solutions with a high corrosion resistance. This is especially significant in an open-joint configuration where the openings are larger in order to achieve pressure equalization. Aluminum is corrosion free and particularly durable. Fire safe material are also essential as the cavity create and air gap potentially allowing fire to spread. It is critical to use firesafe materials such as aluminum not only to conform with building codes but also to stay on the safe side. Aluminum is also light easy to work with but sturdy enough and does not deteriorate over time.

Yes, SYSTEA products can be specified in every project that require high thermal efficiency solutions or the use of sustainable and durable products. SYSTEA systems can easily meet ASHRAE 90.1 standards and help achieve maximum requirements for energy efficient buildings. SYSTEA’s stainless steel wall bracket systems even allow the highest level of thermal performance due to optimized special design.

Components are Passive House Certified and eligible to LEED, BREEAM, Green Globe or other high sustainability requirement project. Also, as fire safety is a critical topic in designing buildings, SYSTEA systems are non-combustible for a worry-free specification.

SYSTEA offers bracket reaching a depth up to 400mm (16 inches) allowing installation up to 14 inches of insulation material. Because that will most likely exceed the basic requirements of most projects in North America our “on stock” range of brackets are available up to 180mm (7 inches) which covers up to 5 inches of insulation. Please consult insulation providers documentation for related nominal R value or assembly U value correspondence.

Yes, SYSTEA offers the floor-to-floor application. The ALKAPO system provides brackets and rails with a special design for floor-to-floor spans set up allowing maximum thermal performance and bridging of large spans. This system can also be used for construction projects where there are special requirements for earthquake resistance.

SYSTEA does not recommend a specific program. The components are easy to mount using basic tools and equipment (drills, levels, measuring tapes, laser etc.). SYSTEA recommends users of the systems and components to familiarize fully with the Installation Manual before starting the work. Experience in external wall set up will facilitate the process. When using SYSTEA subframe systems and components, national and local regulations and standards must always be observed. Where no such regulations exist, the minimum requirements are the ones listed in the installation manual (available on the website). Please contact the support team for specific questions regarding installation.

No! Fire safety is key for SYSTEA and all SYSTEA systems are non-combustible. The stainless-steel brackets with their special flange design offer best in class thermal performance, nearly 10 times less conductive than aluminum and are – compared to plastic clips – non-combustible. For high performance requirements SYSTEA recommend using ALWI T1; T2; T3 or ALKAPO with noncombustible stainless-steel brackets rather than any plastic clip or girt.

Any brand or type of insulation can be used with each of SYSTEA products weather rigid or non-rigid and regardless of the thicknesses. Please consult insulation manufacturers for more details on insulation product for rainscreen system and their intended use.

The earthquake resistance of a facade substructure depends on many factors that have to be considered individually during planning. With the ALKAPO system, SYSTEA offers a floor-to-floor application that is particularly well suited for this purpose. The ALKAPO system provides brackets and rails with a special design for floor-to-floor spans set up, that allow the implementation of special movement joints that significantly reduce the risk of facade failure in the event of an earthquake.

Any of the SYSTEA systems can be used with wood studs, steel studs, concrete and masonry. Some products such as the Aluminum Flex L-shaped bracket in systems ALWI T1, T2 and T3 can be used independently of the substrate type. However, SYSTEA only provides the subframe and the relevant attachment but not the wall anchors. Please check with a manufacturer of fastening systems for adapted products.

SYSTEA does not supply either wall anchors for the subframe to the substrate or visible fastening solutions for the cladding onto the subframe. Information related to wall anchors can be found in the download section. However, for the concealed fastening of cladding materials SYSTEA offers the UBE rail system together with KEIL undercut anchors. By means of a patented drilling system a blind hole with an expanded base is drilled into the backside of the façade panel. Subsequently, the KEIL undercut façade anchor is inserted into the hole. This anchor guarantees a positive-locking attachment, which is free of expansion force. As soon as the panel is equipped with the UBE hanger clips, it can be mounted directly on to the horizontal UBE support rail.

In a rainscreen system is usually composed of an outer layer, a cavity and an inner layer. But what is behind the cladding and how is it supported? The subframe system is the connection between the supporting wall and the cladding. The subframe system can be a wall bracket-based system, a hat channel-based system or a rail system combined with additional rails and attachments. Customarily there is also a weather membrane, a sheathing layer or sheathing board and an insulation layer. You can consult the systems and sections drawings available in the download sections on the website for additional visual information.

To ensure sufficient ventilation it is recommended to have at least 1/4 inch or 20mm gap. It is common, however, for rainscreen gaps to have dimensions of 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, or 3/4 inch. Air must circulate freely into the cavity and not be blocked by any components or elements.

SYSTEA has a solution for every type of cladding material. From composite, HPL wood panels to terra cotta, ceramic or natural stone. The configurator on the website is a great tool to find out what SYSTEA system suits best the desired type of cladding.

Fixed points and sliding points are the connection between brackets and profiles. The fixed point carries the deadloads and wind loads to the supporting wall. Sliding points allow for the expansion of the aluminum profile and only carry wind pressure to the supporting wall. Please consult SYSTEA’s installation manual for more information about the position of fixed and sliding points or contact our supporting team.

Yes! Because of the nature of the cladding and his supporting function even the most thermally efficient bracket such as the stainless-steel wall brackets will penetrate the insulation layer and create a thermal bridge. The rate of heat flow through a material is dependent on its conductivity. Conductivity of a stainless steel bracket is around 14 W/m.K so nearly 10 times less conductive than aluminum Z girts solutions (160 W/m.K). Using a wall bracket-based system such as ALWI T1, T2 or T3 as opposed to a hat channel-based system will help reduce thermal bridges. In order to treat the thermal bridges to the point where they are not significant in the thermal calculation, the use of thermostop elements can be a solution.

SYSTEA products provide solutions for supporting cladding material to the main substrate. Those system can be used in project where no insulation is required but the need of an air gap is specified to allow air flow, drainage or moisture reduction.

SYSTEA products can be used when a pressure-equalized rainscreen system has been specified on a project. The open joints system can be designed to retain moisture and prevent water from reaching the structural substrate. Under balanced pressure conditions, water cannot penetrate the building structure. As they are usually used on higher and larger buildings, open joint pressure equalized systems require corrosion free and non-combustible material.

The NFPA 285 is a large-scale assembly test designed to evaluate the fire propagation characteristics of external wall assemblies containing combustible components. SYSTEA components are non-combustible and therefore do not contribute to the flame spread of the buildup. Using non-combustible material is the best way to achieve peace of mind when it comes to NFPA 285 compliance.

ASHRAE 90.1 provides target values for walls depending on different factors (climate zone, building types, grade levels…) with an minimum nominal insulation R values or R value + continuous insulation (CI). SYSTEA products can be use in the implementation of continuous insulation solutions with systems such as ALWI-T1, ALWI-T2, ALWI-T3 or ALKAPO. In addition, SYSTEA solution fulfill the structural needs and the fire safety requirements of cladding attachments for back ventilated façades.

SYSTEA supplies high-quality and innovative aluminum subframe systems for suspended, back-ventilated facades (BVF), made of stainless steel and aluminum wall brackets, extruded aluminum rails, girts and channels and accessories such as screws, bolts, plugs, rivets, or clips.

For wall bracket-based system such as ALWI T1 T2 T3, or ALKAPO SYSTEA supplies the wall brackets, the T and L rails and their attachment (self-tapping screws). For a hat channel-based and system such as HAPRO, HAPRO PLUS, PROCCO, SYSTEA provides hat channels and girts and other rails with their attachment. For rails based and system such as UBE DUO, NASTO N SYSTEA provides the support rails and hangers, and the system rails and connectors.

SYSTEA does not supply either wall anchors for the subframe to the substrate or visible fastening solutions for the cladding onto the subframe. Information related to wall anchors can be found in the download section. However, for the concealed fastening of cladding materials SYSTEA offers the UBE rail system together with KEIL undercut anchors. By means of a patented drilling system a blind hole with an expanded base is drilled into the backside of the façade panel. Subsequently, the KEIL undercut façade anchor is inserted into the hole. This anchor guarantees a positive-locking attachment, which is free of expansion force. As soon as the panel is equipped with the UBE hanger clips, it can be mounted directly on to the horizontal UBE support rail.

SYSTEA North America’s production and warehouse facility is in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Additionally, products are produced in the SYSTEA’s international headquarters in Germany.

SYSTEA has Sales Representatives across all North America. To get in touch with the team or the Sales Representatives of a specific area visit the Sales section of the website. The interactive map provides contact details for Sales Representatives and their respective territories. To get in touch use the contact form or contact them directly.

Yes, SYSTEA can provide a quotation based on available documents such as drawings or specification in order to evaluate the quantities needed. Those estimation are for orientation and do not replace static calculation from a qualified engineering office.

The average lead time for SYSTEA product is 3-4 weeks for a product that is on stock. For products outside of the standard range, longer lead-times are to be expected and need individual clarification.