What is Rainscreen Cladding?

Rainscreen Cladding with Valcan: Architectural Innovation Meets Weatherproof Excellence.
Rainscreen cladding is the most popular architectural choice for finishing buildings in a modern, stylish and aesthetically pleasing way. Rainscreen cladding systems are designed to work with natural elements to protect the core structures of a building from rain and wind. Correctly installed these systems provide insulation for a building and weatherproofing.

Valcan Cladding

Valcan offer a complete product range of architectural cladding panel solutions offering an aesthetic for all projects as well as being fire-rated cladding. Our product range includes Vitranamel (with a vitreous enamel coating), VitraDual (A1-rated aluminium panel), Ceramapanel (compressed fibre cement) and Evverlap (A2-rated fibre cement weatherboard).

Why Choose Valcan Cladding

Valcan are experts in rainscreen cladding and one of the largest stockists of ACM in the UK. We pride ourselves on fast lead times and have a wide distributor network to deliver and manufacture composite panelling. We supply large and small projects at highly competitive prices. We offer a full-colour matching service and can provide samples of all our finishes. Thanks to our vast experience, we can assist you technically to help you choose the right project for your project. 

Keep reading for more information on Rainscreen Cladding. Or you can download the Valcan brochure here. Request samples or get in touch here.

Advantages of Rainscreen Cladding Systems

  • Lightweight Materials – A typical 4mm thick sheet weighs just 5.6kg/m²
  • Simple Installation – Reducing project time and allowing external works to be completed rapidly
  • Decreased Condensation – Reduced condensation on building structure from the air flow and moisture management systems
  • Easily removed – Panels can be easily detached for monitoring and maintenance of the structure
  • Aesthetic Benefits – Valcan composite panels have an unlimited colour range allowing you to create facades that reflect corporate branding or project design intent
  • Flexibility – Composite cladding can be bent and rolled to create superior edgings and corners compared to other systems.

How Do Rainscreen Cladding Systems Work?

Rainscreen facades consist of four main parts, a outer panel, carrier systems for panels, an inner membrane and a cavity for ventilation – some systems may also include insulation within the cavity zone. When rain and wind force moisture towards the building moisture forms across the joints with the majority being deflected off the façade itself. Moisture that permeates this outer layer is then removed through ventilation and drainage air flow management between panels and cavities. Rainscreen systems Rainscreen systems utilise air flow to insulate buildings and minimise exposure and damage caused by the elements.

Types of Rainscreen Cladding Sytems

Vented & Pressure Equalised

Vented and pressure-equalised rainscreen facades are most commonly used on tall commercial buildings. They are designed to prevent moisture from entering into the air gap between the façade and the internal structure. This works by sealing the top section of the façade and creating separate ventilation cavities. When wind tries to drive moisture into the ventilation gap the air in the cavity pushes back – equalising the pressure. The ventilation gaps also allow moisture to drain from the cladding system.

Drained & Vented

Drained and vented rainscreen façade systems are not watertight and feature an open cavity at the top and the bottom. These are designed to provide drainage and provide convection heating ventilation. The top air cavity is protected with an overhang to minimise moisture entering and a moisture barrier is used to protect the building structure.


Vented systems have a cavity open at the bottom of the façade that provides drainage but no ventilation. This maintains a warm cavity that helps water condense and drain as the dew point sits close outside the facade. These systems are usually used with a render and are only suitable for smaller buildings between 1 and 4 storeys high, above this height the building is likely to suffer from water penetration during high window loads, allowing condensation to build in the cavity.

Rainscreen Cladding Joint Types

There are 3 main joint types that dictate the cavity size required for a correctly ventilating facade system according to the CWCT guidance, these are as below. It is also notable that these cavities can be reduced by 50% at fire barrier locations or panel joints.

Open Joint

An open joint allows direct airflow from the front of the façade to the back, these are typically found on rivet fixed systems on the horizontals and should be around 8-10mm. This joint type requires a 50mm air cavity from the rear of the panel to the face of the insulation

Closed Joint

A closed joint can be typically found on discrete fix cassette system or where a face fixed system has used a closing off profile behind joints, these joint widths are typically 15-20mm to allow for getting fixings in the reveal. The cavity required for this joint is 25mm, this is from the back of the panel to the face of the insulation.

Labyrinth Joint

This joint allows airflow through to the cavity via the joint however the joint is not closed off, these are typically found on hook-on cassette systems and joints can be from 10mm upwards as required. The cavity required for this joint is 38mm from the back of the panel to the face of the insulation.

Aesthetic Choices on Rainscreen Cladding Systems

Valcan composite cladding systems offer designers and architects the most versatility of any cladding system through our extensive range to match existing or new facades, visit the colour chart here.

Special Effect Colours

Our unique colouring systems mean we can create special effect finishes from chromatic spectrums, metallic colours to spectrum finishes.

Metal & Wood Finishes

We offer a wide range of natural metal finishes including zinc, brushed aluminium, copper, mirror finishes and ersatz finishes. In addition, we offer natural feel wood grain finishes including pine, cedar, teak and dark oak.

Colour Choices

The standard colour choice options are in excess of 70 colours. However, we also offer a full colour match system that allows you to choose any colours you could possibly require. This gives unlimited creative license for design and the ability to reflect corporate branding easily and cost efficiently.

Cornering & Finishing Touches

Valcan metal composite cladding panels are amongst the most versatile and easily formable in the industry. 

MCM panels can be machined in numerous ways including machine cutting, shearing, routing, folding, gluing, roll bending, punching and bending. As a result, you can finish your cladding façade using a wide range of finishes without the need for separate cornering. This lets you create seamless finishes around corners, on overhangs and edgings to put aesthetics and practicality at the forefront of your architectural designs. 

It also helps ensure the maximum coverage for buildings – keeping the elements away from the main structure more efficiently. 

Types of finishing and cornering available include:
Valcan is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and all products sold are fully recyclable
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