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Cladding is the application of one material over another to provide a skin or layer. This may be for protection against the weather, or it may be for aesthetic purposes.[1]

Rainscreen cladding is one form of weather cladding: it is designed to protect against the elements, but also offers thermal insulation. The cladding does not need, itself, to be waterproof, merely a control element: it may serve only to direct water or wind safely away in order to control run-off and prevent its infiltration into the building structure. Cladding may also be a control element for noise: whether entering or escaping. Cladding applied to windows is often referred to as window capping and is a specialized field.[2]

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, in London, and similar fires, in France, Dubai and elsewhere, great attention has been paid to the fire protection qualities of cladding used in tower-blocks and similar high-rise multiple-occupancy housing and, in particular, the use of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) and ACM panels (ACP).

  1. Fleming, et al., The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, p.76 (1980)
  2. Nik Vigener, PE and Mark A. Brown. WBDG Missing or empty |title= (help)