The ventilated wall is formed by the following functional layers:
1 - EXTERNAL WALL This is the masonry supporting surface to which the bearing structure of the ventilated wall and the insulating layer are fixed.
2 - INSULATING LAYER This consists of non-absorbent thermal-insulating panels whose thickness varies, depending on the thermal requirements of the project. They
entirely cover the outer walls of the building in order to:
-create homogeneous and unbroken thermal insulation that aetleims ihneat bridges (which cause condensation and mould to form inside buildings, lead to cracks and
cause portions of the façade to detach);
-contribute towards soundproofing the building;
-improve the living conditions inside the building througehc t caonrdr balanced vapour diffusion..
3 - VENTILATION LAYER This is the hollow space that's intentionally created between the insulating layer and the external face so as to allow rising air to circulate
(chimney-stack effect) in order to:
-allow the excess humidity in the outer wall and that rforoms itnhsei de (during winter) to quickly and completely evaporate;
-facilitate heat dispersion (in summer), which can also ebvee da bcyh iusing light coloured slabs to increase the reflection effect.
4 - BEARING STRUCTURE This is the structure to which the porcelain stoneware slabs used to form the external face are fixed. All parts of the bearing structure are built
so as to absorb the inevitable thermal expansions/shrinkage and prevent any resulting stress from being transferred to the slabs.
The bearing structure of a ventilated wall consists of:
- fixing brackets: fastened to the masonry supporting surface with mechanical or chemical expansion plugs. They support the vertical uprights and transmit the stress
that acts on the ventilated wall (own weight, wind, etc.) to the masonry support;
- uprights: fastened to the fixing brackets. They are vertical profiles that are usually as tall as the building's story height. The connection between the fixing brackets
and vertical uprights is shaped so as to make up for any errors if the masonry support is out of plumb;
- horizontal struts: fastened to the vertical uprights. They are horizontal profiles that are only required when the slabs are fixed with invisible (concealed) anchors;
- fastening systems: allow the slabs to be assembled and fixed to the vertical uprights (in the version with visible system) and to the horizontal struts (in the concealed
system). Positioned near the tops of the slabs, the fasteners have seals to dampen the vibrations. Both the fastening systems (visible and concealed) allow regular
joints to be formed between the slabs that are wide enough to prevent these latter from touching each other if the bearing structure is subjected to thermal expansion
5 - EXTERNAL FACE Consists of slabs of Casalgrande Padana's porcelain stoneware, ideal for this sort of use since they are relatively light and possess a high degree of
mechanical strength, full resistance to frost, sudden temperature changes and chemical aggression from smog and acid rain. Moreover, they are easy to clean and service
and their colours are lightfast and able to withstand the UV rays. On-going innovation and experimentation, with a view to developing new products and ceramic materials,
allows Casalgrande Padana to offer building designers the large slabs that characterize this type of technology: from the tried-and tested 30x60 size to the typical 60x60
slabs through to the new 60x120 versions. It is essential to apply a security mesh in glass fibre with 3x3 to 5x5 mm square mesh, which should be glued to the back of
the slabs, especially beyond certain heights and for those portions of the façade situated near pedestrian through-ways. This prevents fragments of material from dropping
should slabs accidentally break, and holds them in place until they can be changed.