a05 - Ventilated facade – heated buildings


The two most common constructions for heated buildings are the ventilated cavity wall and the massive wall. Rainy climates like northwest Europe have mostly cavity walls. Middle and southern European countries have mainly massive walls.


Building physics

Different type of cavity walls are:

  1. brick cavity wall
  2. cladding cavity wall
  3. wood skeleton wall


Illustration of 3 wall types. a. brick wall, b. cladding wall and c. wood skeleton wall.

Brick cavity wall structure from the inside to the outside:

  1. stone/concrete bearing wall 200 – 300 mm
  2. thermal insulation 100 – 150 mm
  3. cavity 30 – 80 mm
  4. outside brick wall 90 – 110 mm

Cladding cavity wall as a structure is the same but the outside brick is replaced for a cladding material. This saves space and weight.

  1. stone/concrete bearing wall 200 – 300 mm
  2. vertical support structure 130 – 230 mm
  3. thermal insulation 100 – 150 mm between support structure
  4. cavity 30 – 80 mm part of support structure
  5. horizontal support structure 20 – 30 mm
  6. cladding material 10 – 20 mm

The wood skeleton structure is completely made with wood.

  1. gypsum board 10 – 15 mm
  2. multiplex 10 – 15 mm
  3. vertical studs 120 – 160 mm with thermal insulation in between
  4. horizontal bats 40 50 mm with insulation in between
  5. vertical bats  as support structure 20 Р30 mm
  6. cladding material 10 – 20 mm


Illustration of 3 wall finishes. a. brick wall, b. aluminium wall and c. wood wall.


Relation with PV-Module

PV solar modules can be added depending on the underlaying construction. The important issues are the mounting of the modules and the ventilation of the cavity. No hindrance because of a horizontal substructure. The substructure is also useful for the mounting of the cables.

Good ventilation in the cavity is not only important for the building structure but also for the temperature of the modules.

a05 vent wall 1 a05 vent wall 2

Explanation of the rain shield of a ventilated facade.