Cladding, Coatings And Finishes Used In Architecture

No matter how amazing your planning is or how creative the elements you've incorporated in your designs are, the first thing every user is going to notice is how the building looks, especially on the outside. This is why the visual appearance of your design is as important as the effort you put into making it sustainable, functional and comfortable. 

There are many ways to enhance the visual aesthetics of your building. One such method is to give beautiful materials and elements to your facades. There are three main types used by designers:

  • Cladding
  • Finishes
  • Coatings

Types Of Claddings

There are many types of cladding used in architecture, including:

Brick cladding - Brick is a popular choice for cladding as it is durable and has a natural appearance.

Brick Cladding

Stone cladding - Natural stone can be used to create a high-end and sophisticated look.

Stone Cladding

Metal cladding - Metal cladding can be made from aluminum, steel, copper, or other metals. It can be used for a modern and industrial look.

Metal Cladding

Timber cladding - Timber cladding can be made from a variety of wood species. It can be used to create a natural and warm look.

Timber Cladding

Vinyl cladding - Vinyl cladding is a low-maintenance option that can mimic the look of wood or other materials.

Vinyl Cladding

Fiber cement cladding - Fiber cement cladding is a durable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective option.

Fiber Cement Cladding

Glass cladding - Glass cladding can be used for a sleek and modern look, but it may not be suitable for all climates.

Glass Cladding

Stucco cladding - Stucco cladding is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. It can be used to create a traditional or Mediterranean look.

Stucco Cladding

The choice of choosing the right cladding material for your building will depend on the type of project, budget and the design intent.

Types Of Finishes

There are several types of finishes that can be applied to buildings, including:

  1. Paint - Paint is the most popular finish for walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. It can be used to create a wide range of colors and textures.
  1. Stains - Stains are used to enhance the natural color and grain of wood surfaces. They can be used for decks, siding, and other wooden surfaces.
  1. Wallcoverings - Wallcoverings can be used to add texture, color, and pattern to walls. They can be made from a variety of materials, such as fabric, paper, or vinyl.
  1. Tile - Tiles can be used to finish surfaces such as floors, walls, and countertops. They can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone.
  1. Concrete finishes - Concrete finishes can be used to create a variety of looks, including polished, honed, or exposed aggregate.
  1. Gypsum - Gypsum is a common finish for walls and ceilings, it is often used as a base for other finishes such as paint, wallpaper or fabric.
  1. Mosaic - Mosaic is a decorative finish that can be used on walls, floors, and other surfaces. It can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, ceramic, and natural stone.
  1. Metal finishes - Metal finishes can be applied to a variety of surfaces such as walls, ceilings and exterior surfaces. They can be in the form of sheets, panels or shingles.

These are several hundreds of finishes available today with a wide range of colours and textures. Choosing the right finish is important, especially for interior design.

Types Of Coatings

Coatings are an important aspect of your design, as they not only improve the appearance of a building but also protect it from the elements like climate and fire. There are several types of coatings that can be applied to buildings, each with their own unique properties and benefits.

1) Elastomeric Coatings

Elastomeric Coating

Elastomeric coatings are a type of coating that is highly flexible and can expand and contract with temperature changes. These coatings are typically used on exterior surfaces, such as walls, roofs, and decks. They are ideal for protecting buildings from weathering and UV rays and can help extend the life of

2) Thermal Coatings

Thermal Coating

Thermally efficient building coatings are typically made of materials that can reflect and/or absorb heat to regulate the building's temperature. Some common examples are:

  • Insulating paint: This type of paint contains microspheres of materials such as ceramic or glass, which help to improve the insulation of a building.
  • Radiant barrier coatings: These coatings are made of aluminum or other reflective materials and are applied to surfaces such as roof decks and attics to reflect heat away from the building.
  • Low-E (low emissivity) coatings: These are thin, metallic coatings that are applied to windows to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
  • Solar-reflective coatings: These coatings are designed to reflect the sun's rays, reducing heat gain and improving the building's energy efficiency.

3) Heat And Fire-resistant Coatings

Fire Resistant Coating

There are several coatings that can be used to make buildings heat-resistant:

  • Fireproof coatings: These coatings are designed to protect building materials such as wood, steel, and concrete from fire. They typically contain intumescent materials that expand and form a protective layer in the event of a fire.
  • Heat-resistant coatings: These coatings are made of materials that can withstand high temperatures without degrading or melting. They are often used on metal surfaces and components that are exposed to high temperatures, such as chimneys, flues, and heating systems.
  • Ceramic coatings: These coatings contain ceramic particles that provide a barrier against heat and abrasion. They are commonly used in industrial applications, such as on high-heat equipment and in power plants.
  • Thermal barrier coatings: These coatings are designed to slow down heat transfer through a building's insulation and other thermal elements. They are often used in conjunction with insulating materials to improve the building's overall energy efficiency.

4) Water-resistance Coatings

Water Resistant Coating

Water resistance coatings are used in buildings to prevent water damage and improve their durability. Some common types of water resistance coatings include:

  • Waterproofing coatings: These coatings are designed to prevent water from penetrating the building's envelope. They are often applied to concrete, masonry, and other porous building materials to create a water-resistant barrier.
  • Water-repellent coatings: These coatings are designed to cause water to bead up and roll off of the surface, preventing it from penetrating the building material.
  • Sealants: These are applied to joints, seams, and other areas where two building materials meet to prevent water from entering and causing damage.

Roof coatings: These coatings are designed to protect roofing materials from water damage, UV light, and other environmental factors.

Cladding, Coatings And Finishes Used In Architecture