Light: 75 kg/m2 < p ≤ 125 kg/m2

The ventilated façade of the Institut Geològic de Catalunya -IGC- responds with the inner layer to the needs in terms of windows distribution that the use requires; and with the exterior, to formal aspects. The perforated corten sheet that clads the entire facade allows giving an abstract image, solving domesticity behind it. This perforated metal sheet, beyond showing a certain drawing, allows playing with transparencies, a rich composition resource possible in multilayer facades.

Years after the construction of the AC hotel in the Forum area, the one in Sants was built. The constructive solution adopted for the rain screen facade is practically the same in both cases. Again a lightweight enclosure when the use demands low thermal mass solutions.Again a reinforced frame supporting the window as the necessary structure to release an opening in this unidirectional facade structures. This frame, originally conceived to assume tolerances between the brick wall and the window, far from losing its sense gains new functions in that sort of facades.

In this case study we want to emphasize the constructive solution applied either in the facades as in the roof: an ETICS system coated with ceramic tiles. External thermal insulation construction systems have come to stay. Like the ventilated façade, these systems allow the complete continuity of the thermal insulation in front of the structure. The great difference is that, if the majority of ventilated façades clearly show the breakup due to the open joints, in the case of ETICS with a ceramic coating, the grouting permits making the joints practically imperceptible.

We include here RBA headquarters building not with the aim of talking about the project as a whole, an analysis that would allow us to highlight very positive aspects, but just focusing our interest on the façade. That leads us to talk about its lack of sincerity. The two longitudinal facades of the lower volume are articulated from a grid that reproduces the rhythm of the concrete structure. It is not the true "structure" that we see. The façade enclosure covers pillars and slab edges from the outside hiding them in sight.

Mecanotubo is one of the façade industries that most invested the latest 90s’ in Catalonia to give a unitary response to the rain screen façade.They wagered to adapt the stick curtain wall technology to this two layers facade. As it happens in Carburos Metalicos façade, the resulting inner sheet provides water tightness enough to consider the drainage cavity, and consequently the outer layer, unnecessary.

If the inner layer of the rain-screen façade at the Hotel AC was innovative, it was still more innovative the proposal for the neighboring office tower for the Zona Franca Consortium. Again the exterior image is a sober stone skin anchored over aluminum profiles; but on this occasion the inner layer made of boards over a steel framing was prefabricated, arriving to the site as panels.

The AC Hotel was one of the first buildings in Barcelona where it was used a ventilated façade system with a light interior layer made of cement boards over metallic folded sheet profiles. Since then, these systems have evolved looking for a clearer solution for the edge of the slab according either to the continuity of the thermal insulation as well as to guaranteeing air tightness –achieved by the cement boards and an adequate joints treatment.

Profiled metal trays, so common in industrial buildings, find a new use in this residential complex in Guadalajara, Spain. Even with great appreciation of the cleverness and simplicity of the solution, we cannot fail to mention problems such as the thermal bridges that occur through the metallic ribs, the lack of steam permeability, or the compositional limitations derived from the tray width.The thermal bridges are easily resolvable with additional insulation.

Renzo Piano gives us several examples of interesting ceramic façades, despite the problems that some of them may have suffered over time.The use of dry ceramics as a facade cladding, and the resort to prefabrication, are aspects that are repeated throughout the career of Piano experiencing different strategies in each project. In the case of the houses of the Rue Meaux, he bets for hang the ceramic from GRC support panels that close the building.

St Giles is one of the latest projects designed by Renzo Piano’s studio with a dry fixed ceramic façade. In this case, they resort to unitized panels for its construction. Despite using the latest façade technologies, St Giles does not show the wit present in IRCAM or at the Rue Meaux dwellings complex.