Exterior Wall Systems, Inc.


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The Rain Screen principle is a superior method for wall construction, to prevent water leakage, and provide a weather resistant exterior design. The exterior wall panel is still intended to deflect most of the water that contacts the wall. However, a one inch cavity is provided behind the wall panels. If water does penetrate the facade, it reaches the cavity and cannot move further into the wall assembly. Instead, water in the cavity will drain down the inside face of the wall panel or on the waterproof wall membrane at the other side of the cavity, and it will be deflected and drained out of the wall assembly. In practice the cavity acts as a capillary break to remove the capability of water to stagnate inside the walls. Therefore, this eliminates the need to caulk the panel joints, as the outer wall panels are not completely sealed.

Combining the beauty of the exterior wall panels with the forward thinking of Rain Screen technology, allows the architect to design without the need for exterior caulking. Utilizing Rain Screen technology, the architectural wall panels are attached to an aluminum frame system over the watertight wrapping of the building. This creates a back-ventilated, pressure equalized system that of itself aids in moving moisture away from the building. With the weather barrier behind the system away from the damaging effects of weather, your project will be watertight year after year without the risk of a caulk joint failure.

In general, only minor modifications to conventional stud wall construction are required. Care should be given in the selection of materials to contribute to a flat, aesthetically pleasing finished installation. Exterior sheathing, protected by the weather barrier, provides a leveling plane for the panel assembly and functions as a secondary barrier to air and water infiltration. Extruded Aluminum Hat Channels are positioned continuously at each panel perimeter and to intermediate Extruded Aluminum J-Channels, not more than 24” O.C. These extrusions have a 1/8” wall thickness. The Extruded Aluminum Hat and J-Channels are firmly fastened through the weather barrier and sheathing into the horizontal steel backing plate (18 gauge min.)*, using Stainless Steel fasteners. For convenience, slots are provided in the extrusions approx. every 24 inches for attaching to the building.

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Profile Drawings:

H Channel

J Channel

HC01 H Channel

HC02 H Channel

JC02 J Channel

VS01 Vent Screen

Rain Screen


Picture of channels 24” on center Picture of finished rain screen design.