FAQs – frequently asked questions

1. What is the most suitable system for my project?

Before choosing the most suitable system for a project, at Sistema masa we take into account a series of parameters that directly influence the final choice.

Type of material

The type of material that we are going to place on the façade and its thickness will directly influence the type of anchoring that we must use to hold it.

For example, in the case of light cladding (ceramic, fiber cement, composite, etc.) we will use SOV anchors. For slate cladding, we will use systems that do not require machining on the edges of the pieces, such as CER, etc.

Distance to the outside of the cladding

One of the screening parameters to take into account for ventilated facades is the total distance (X axis) of the system, since not all our systems have the same regulation ranges.
Said distance will always be considered from the enclosure or support to the exterior face of the lining or cladding.
It is very important that said distance be between 6cm and 32cm, since outside of this range we will have to use a specific complement to our profiling system and we will have to carry out a specific study of the project to achieve said distance.

Dimensions, Position and Placement of the Cladding

It is necessary to know the relationship between the three factors that will define the design of the façade, which are: the size of the plates, their vertical or horizontal position and their placement in relation to the other plates, that is, if they will be placed together running, lock, with free vertical or horizontal joint, etc.

For example, for a quartering of 100×50 cm. Placed in a horizontal position, it will lead us to a system with a point clamp on a vertical profile. But nevertheless the same quartering of 100×50 cm. placed vertically, it will surely lead us to the choice of a system with horizontal profiling (or continuous clip) on vertical profiling.

In this way, various combinations between position and placement are created, here we detail the most frequent:

-Horizontal Position + Continuous Joint Placement
Systems for ventilated facades
-Horizontal Position + Placement to Break Joints

In the Vertical Board:
Systems for ventilated facades
At the Horizontal Joint:
Systems for ventilated facades
-Vertical Position + Continuous Joint Placement
Systems for ventilated facades
-Vertical Position + Placement to Break Joints
In the Vertical Board:
Systems for ventilated facades
At the Horizontal Joint:
Systems for ventilated facades
There can also be combinations between horizontal and vertical positions, but they are not usually very common, such as the following:

– 2 courses in Vertical Position + 1 course in Horizontal Position
Systems for ventilated facades
+Placement of Rompe Joints in the Vertical Joint
Systems for ventilated facades

Staple Type

Whether our clamp is punctual on a vertical profile or if it is a horizontal profile (continuous clamp) on a vertical profile, we can differentiate between systems with visible clamp or hidden clamp. The use of one or the other will be determined by the type of material (such as in the case of slates that cannot be mechanized) or by a matter of an economic or aesthetic nature.

Support Type

In order to make a budget that is as reliable as possible, we also need to know what type of support or enclosure we are going to anchor our system in, differentiating them into the following groups:

– Concrete (Structure and Enclosure)
– Ceramic (Concrete Structure and Ceramic Enclosure)
– Metallic (Metallic Structure and Ceramic Enclosure)
– Light (Concrete or metal structure and light enclosure, Fiber Cement Panels,…)
- ETC….

Depending on the support and the resulting load of the whole, we will know what type of anchorage we will have to use and also if the chosen System has to be self-supporting with a recessed connection or Articulated the structure and the enclosure, we will have to choose which anchor point we will have what to use, etc... as we will see later.

Board Type

We must also take into account the type and thickness of the joints required by the project, both horizontally and vertically.
As standard our systems maintain a minimum joint of 6/7 mm. horizontally and allow adjustment of the vertical joint ranging from 1mm (recommended min.) to what the project requires.
In any case, our systems allow the joints to be adjusted by means of extra mechanizations in the cladding.

Choice of the profile and corbel suitable for the project

Once the type of System has been defined, depending on the design of the cladding, we must choose the model of the vertical profile and the corbels to use. This choice also depends on the characteristics of the project.

We must distinguish the profiles and corbels of our system according to the following parameters:

-Depending on the LINING

Vertical profile with point clamp
Systems for ventilated facades
Vertical profile with horizontal profile
Systems for ventilated facades

-Depending on the type of attachment to the support
Articulated (A)
Systems for ventilated facades
Articulated wind (AV)
Systems for ventilated facades
Embedded (E)
Systems for ventilated facades
Recessed wind (EV)
Systems for ventilated facades

The different modalities respond to the characteristics of the enclosure.

For example, if the enclosure is load-bearing, we will use the Articulated modality, distributing the loads between each of the corbels. However, when the enclosure is not load-bearing, we will use the Embedded mode to transmit the load directly to the building structure.

The Articulated wind and Embedded wind modalities will help us in both cases to reduce the section of the Vertical Profile against the effect of pressure/suction of the wind on the façade enclosure.

Depending on the modality chosen, we will use articulated, embedded or wind brackets.

-Depending on support

Concrete (Hor) / Ceramic (Cer)
Systems for ventilated facades
Metallic (Met) / Wood
Systems for ventilated facades

Depending on the support to which we are going to attach the System, we can differentiate between standard or metal brackets, the latter for Steel structures.

2. What benefits does the ventilated façade provide in relation to the mortared one?

It is possible to distinguish two types of benefits, Technical and Aesthetic.

TECHNICAL: The technical benefits of the Ventilated Facade in relation to the Mortared Facade are several and all of them of capital importance.
As it is a layered construction system, it allows each of them to be valued separately.
The composition of a Ventilated Facade is made up of four layers, listed from the inside out they would be:
1st.: Enclosure, 2nd.: Thermal insulation, 3rd.: Air chamber and 4.: Coating. Others can be added to these four layers, such as 5th: Acoustic Insulation and 6th: Waterproof Insulation.

1.- THERMAL: Thermal protection is achieved with the 2nd and 3rd layer. The main function of the air chamber is to balance the outside temperature with the interior, due to the effect of the sun's rays hitting the Cladding, they cause an increase in the thermal degree of the temperature of the chamber, causing an upward movement of the air inside. , due to the greater volatility of the hot air, colder outside temperature air entering through the lower part of the façade or through the open joints between the plates, managing to balance both temperatures.
This effect is not applicable in winter as cold outside air would enter the chamber to cool it and consequently cool the Enclosure (1st layer). To avoid this cooling, the Thermal Insulation (2nd layer) must be applied, which must be attached to the 1st layer and its purpose is to prevent the cold from the outside from coming into direct contact with the Enclosure.
The 2nd layer also encourages the 1st layer to act as a heat accumulator for interior heating in winter and also in summer, preventing the cold temperature inside (air conditioning) from being eliminated through the façade.
Depending on the glazed surface, it can be considered that a Ventilated Facade can generate savings in energy consumption of approximately 30 to 40%.

2.- ACOUSTIC: Acoustic protection can be made in two versions: INTEGRAL, which would consist of placing in the second position counting from the inside, between the enclosure and the thermal insulation, a specific acoustic blanket attached to the Enclosure, so that it absorbs all vibrations. that comes from an excess of decibels from outside. Even placing the Fastening Elements of the structure of the façade system, in front of the blanket itself.

And a second PARTIAL version that consists of placing a specific insulator only at the base of the Fastening Elements that prevents the vibrations caused by excess decibels from being transmitted to the interior.

3.- WATERPROOF: as a general rule, this insulation is inherent to thermal and/or acoustic insulation. It is an added security to apply it independently.
It is usually applied in the case of not placing the thermal insulation in front of the enclosure, because it has been projected on the inside, in this case it will consist of a waterproof paint that is generally applied with a roller. (see characteristics and application of the manufacturer, it is recommended that it be breathable from the inside out, to avoid condensation) 

AESTHETICS: In this second group, special mention should be made of the appearance of the Ventilated Facade in relation to the Mortared Facade in terms of the appearance of humidity and efflorescence.
The Ventilated Façade is only in contact with the enclosure by a few small contact points (Anchors) that allow the appearance of an air chamber in the back of the cladding and that makes it possible for the water coming from the rain on the façade not to accumulates in the enclosure as a whole (sponge effect). As this interior air space exists, at the moment when Solar heating on the surface of the cladding causes an exterior/interior thermal difference, an ascending and continuous air current is produced with a tendency to equalize both temperatures, due to the greater volatility of the air. hot (Chimney Effect) that favors the elimination, in a short period of time, of the humidity coming from the outside and consequently to the appearance of humidity and efflorescence.

3. What guarantees does the system offer in terms of security?

SAFETY: It is the great attribute of a ventilated façade since the use of the fastening structure or the support anchors are essential for the façade to be executed since without them the façade cannot prosper, this modality offering great reliability .

In contrast, mortared facades in which the anchors only act as retention and are not essential for the temporary placement of the cladding, because the mortar or cement glue act as a suction cup and allow the facade to be placed apparently safely , but with the real possibility of shrinkage of the mortar or adhesive cement, causing some detachment in the façade coating.

4. How much does the system cost?

Giving an exact price on a facade is very difficult because it depends on many factors that make each facade have its own price, such as:
to. Type of anchors: facade with direct anchors (ventilated or mortared) and facade with profiles.
b. Type of material: They can be made with different materials such as stone, ceramic, fiber cement, HPL's
c. Arrangement of the cladding: It can be horizontal, vertical and/or alternate both arrangements
d. Cladding thickness: The thicknesses vary from 5mm to 5 cm in a standard way
and. Exit: The exit differs in the direct anchorages to those of profiles. In the direct ones the minimum is 4,5 cm and in the profiles they are around 10/15 cm.
F. Type of facade: If it is blind, that is, without windows, or if there are many interruptions by the windows
g. Building situation: If it is an exposed or non-exposed situation and depending on the height of the building.
Therefore, we prefer to give a price from the commercial department in each case, except for direct anchors that can be given individually.

5. On what type of enclosures can the system be hung?

At Sistema MASA we have a high range of systems that allow any type of facade to be placed (according to UNE 41957-1:2000 Part 1: Anchorage subsystems for light coatings. Up to 180,- Kg/m2.) on any type of structure, whether concrete or metallic, and also on any type of enclosure, whether load-bearing or not.

6. What yields does the system have per square meter?

The yields depend on the type of anchorage and the skill of the installer, but the approximate yields are usually the following:
to. Mortared: +/- 10 m2 / day / couple
b. Direct: +/- 10 m2 / day / couple
c. Vertical profiles and staple: +/- 30 m2 / day / couple
d. Vertical profiles and horizontal profiles: +/- 60 m2 / day / couple

7. How soon can you supply the material?

We always have in our warehouse the necessary stock as a result of the consumption and replacement terms of each item in standard material, that is, in 304/A2 stainless steel and raw extruded aluminum, in order to be able to supply immediately. In the case of custom-made material, 316/A4 stainless steel and anodized extruded aluminum, it always has to be made to order, never to be stocked as it has very little rotation and is only for special cases, such as areas with aggressive environments: near the sea, in industrial estates.

8. What percentage does the system represent within an installed façade?

There is no fixed percentage but it usually ranges between 20% and 30%

9. Who does the façade engineering at the level of structural calculations?

Since its creation, Sistema MASA has maintained a close collaboration with one of the most recognized engineering companies specialized in structural calculations at an international level. BAC Engineering Consultancy Group (www.bacecg.com). Company that has developed all the calculations of gravity, wind and seismic loads appropriate to both the CTE Standards. as to Eurocodes and are currently converting to DIN Standards. In addition, we have our own department of Structural Calculation, under the supervision of BAC, SL To study all the particular cases of the detailed study of a Façade.

10. What type of insulation can a ventilated façade have?

One of the great advantages of the Ventilated Facade is that of being able to use the Thermal Insulation continuously on the outside, protecting all the structural elements (Slabs and Pillars) thus achieving the total elimination of Thermal Bridges.
The fundamental characteristics that these Insulations must meet is their total resistance to Fire (Total Fireproof capacity), in addition to fulfilling their Thermal mission, being able to also require Waterproof resistance, which must be agreed with the manufacturers depending on the weather where it will be located. the Building under study, assessing the thicknesses, densities, transmittance, thermal resistance and Lambda Coefficient (λ).

11. How often are the corbels and profiles separated?

Each Project in its study phase requires some calculations and a specific Product application, although it is true that we have generic "double entry" tables that allow applying the parameters of the project under study, either starting from the distance between slabs or starting from the size and thickness of the lining plate to be hung. This detailed study will allow us to choose or advise, within our wide range of solutions and products, the most suitable for the project and from this point is when we can know the distances between profiles, corbels, etc.

12. What is the minimum and maximum distance between the building envelope and the visible face of the cladding?

The distance is variable and is directly related to the final system that is applied. Without going into specifics, we can delimit a minimum of 5 cm. in direct cladding with a 2 cm chamber. (minimum possible) and a coating of 3 cm. but "without" thermal insulation, in the case of needing the insulation, the distance will have to be increased with its thickness.
The maximum is always defined by the Project itself and the determining factors are: the thickness of the Thermal Insulation, the use of vertical profiles plus horizontal profiles, the use of the façade to camouflage service pipes, etc.

13. Can there be thermal bridges in a ventilated façade?

Technically they should NOT exist, there are means and systems to avoid them, starting with the thermal insulation running on the outside of the enclosure and the structure.
Conflicting points may appear, such as borders on doors or windows, coronations, etc... but they are solvable.

14. Are the pieces of the ventilated facades registrable?

The Systems for Ventilated Facades have not been studied so that they can be registered, except for a specific study. What they do allow is to place the last pieces of the cladding, which could not have been placed at the time because the scaffolding braces were anchored, once they are being dismantled, always mechanically.

15. How do you place the pieces of the braces?

Varies depending on the System. In all cases it is imperative that the joint be the same, mechanical or chemical, that has been used in the rest of the cladding.

16. If a piece inside the façade breaks, how is it repaired?

As a general rule, the broken plate must be removed and it will be placed in the same way as if it were a piece from the previous case.

17. What is the recommended thickness of the cladding to work with a ventilated façade?

The thickness of the cladding varies depending on the type of coating, whether it is Stone, Ceramic, Fiber Cement, HPL. etc... for each type of coating there is a specific system that adapts to the thickness.

18. Does a ventilated façade require maintenance?

The first maintenance is a good supervision at the time of execution and a good cleaning before dismantling scaffolding.  
The CTE in its Basic Document HS Health establishes and recommends:
– Checking the state of conservation of the coating: possible appearance of cracks, detachments, humidity and stains. …………..Every 3 years.
– Verification of the state of conservation of singular points, see: corners, coronations, projections, canopies, etc……….….Every 3 years.
– Verification of the possible existence of cracks and fissures, as well as collapses or other deformations, in the main sheet………..…..Every 5 years.
Verification of the state of cleanliness of the sores or of the ventilation openings of the chamber…………………………………………..….Every 10 years

19. Can the cladding be placed in any position and with any type of joint?

At Sistema MASA we have a high range of systems that allow you to place any type of Facade with any type of position and if we cannot solve it with the application of the standard Systems, we will design your own.

20. What applications does the ventilated façade have?

The ventilated facade has multiple applications such as: hotels, offices, single-family homes, multi-family homes, universities, hospitals, schools, casinos, shopping centers, libraries, museums, sports centers, nursing homes, funeral homes, theaters, etc.