Wall panels for exterior wall cladding from NewMika FX

6 Basic Terms Related to Designing a High-Performance Building Envelope

Buildings are exposed to various external elements, such as heat, wind, rain, extreme temperature variations, and UV rays. That is why it is important to design a high-performance building envelope that has protection from such elements. There are a lot of considerations that go into designing a high-performance building envelope. Let’s look at some basic terms related to external wall systems. 

1. Exterior Wall Panels

Exterior wall panels (or exterior cladding) is a protective layer installed on a building’s exterior walls. It is a building’s first line of defense against external elements. The most preferred exterior wall panel material is high-pressure laminate. Designers and architects prefer HPL cladding such as NewMika FX over other materials such as stone, metal, and brick as it strikes a perfect balance between aesthetics, performance, and durability. 

2. Drainage Plane

The drainage plane refers to a section that lies between the dry zone and wet zone in an exterior wall system. Its purpose is to shed rainwater that seeps through the wall cladding or installation gaps. The drainage plane may also be referred to as the path that water takes as it flows downwards and away from a building’s envelope.

Read More: 4 Questions That You Must Ask Before Buying Exterior Wall Cladding

3. Air Barrier

The air barrier refers to the building assembly components that restrict/control airflow across a building’s envelope. It prevents the transfer of air (and moisture present in it) between a building’s exterior and interior, thereby regulating indoor temperatures. The air barrier also plays a significant role in preventing condensation and the damaging effects of moisture accumulation.

4. Vapor Retarder

A vapor retarder controls and limits vapor flow across a building envelope. Occupancy levels, local climate, building location, and the choice of material are some of the key considerations designers must pay attention to when choosing the right vapor retarder.

5. Insulating Element

The insulating element is designed to control and regulate heat transfer across a building’s exterior wall. It also helps minimize thermal bridging and condensation in the dry zones of the external wall system. Note - It is important to choose an insulating element that is designed to perform well in the wet zone.

6. Storage Capacity

Storage capacity refers to the level of moisture that materials used in the external wall system can safely hold. Many materials tend to deteriorate when exposed to moisture for long periods. HPL external cladding, on the other hand, has resistance to moisture, making them perfect for areas that experience heavy rainfall.

These are some of the many terms related to designing a high-performance building envelope. Other important terms include - capillary action, wind-driven rain, diffusive vapor flow, and interface condition. 

About NewMika

NewMika is one of the leading manufacturers of superior quality wall panels for residential and commercial properties. We offer an exclusive range of designs suited to modern style sensitivities and emerging global trends. To know more about available exterior wall cladding designs or discuss a requirement, call +91 11 4279 1399 or +91 11 4950 1499. You may also email or fill out our contact form, and we will get in touch with you at the earliest.