Many of our leaders in the tile industry are working diligently to understand the requirements of LEED certification, and the impact our products can contribute to the environment and sustainability. We know that ventilated facades can provide many benefits that center on energy savings by reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. We also know that there are long-term benefits in relation to a lengthy life cycle of a ceramic tile ventilated façade installation. Polished porcelain tile is especially attractive as a product selection, as it is lighter in weight than natural stone, and they reflect the surroundings of the structure and are visually stunning.
An exterior cladding system can contribute to LEED certification in a variety of ways. This may apply to commercial or residential construction. Credit could be available in the category of Energy and Atmosphere and also Materials and Resources. Additional credits could potentially be obtained by utilizing recycled material or offering products that meet regional criteria.
In order to successfully sell these systems to the architectural and design community, it is necessary to become knowledgeable in both the product and the entire cladding system. The design and performance benefits are numerous, and must be explained to the specifier and general contractor. A company partner should be selected to install the cladding system. This could be a ceramic tile installation company, but in some instances it may be the glass/storefront subcontracting community. I urge tile-contracting companies to explore these opportunities if they exist in your respective state. The supplier of the ventilated façade system should be encouraged to provide all engineering test data to address any skepticism from the architect or designer. The way the product is designed makes the installation of a cladding system easy to embrace and perfect. The opportunity is there for the company willing to embrace change.
As the green building movement continues to encompass more and more of the overall construction in the United States, the opportunities for exterior façade sales and installation will increase.