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Glossary of Common Facades Terminology

To better understand the terminology that is frequently used within Alumasc Facades, we have collated some into an online glossary. Below, you will find concise explanations of a number of measurements, products and materials to help increase clarity surrounding facades language.

Bedding adhesive – sometimes referred to as bedding mortar, a mixture of sand and cement used to pave tile and stone.

BIM – an abbreviation for Building Information Modeling.

Cavity wall – a wall constructed by two masonries, often brick or concrete, with a space in the center of the two.

Cladding – a substance added to cover the exterior of a structure.

Condensation – water vapour from the air condenses when it meets a cool surface.

Conduction – a transfer of thermal energy (heat) through an object, e.g. a metal that heats up.

Convection – a transfer of thermal energy (heat) through gases and liquids, e.g. the air.

Density – how compact a substance is.

DPC level – damp-proof course; a barrier in a wall that resists rising moisture.

Drained cavity – a cavity wall in which moisture drains out of the cavity to protect the structure of the building.

Dual density – a quality that involves the outer layer of insulation being of a higher density than the rest of the product. Possessing dual density allows minor imperfections in the substrate to be covered, and for an ideal application of render and/or brick slips.

EPS – expanded polystyrene. This low-cost material is used as insulation for its high thermal efficiency and resistance to heat flow.

External wall insulation – insulation installed on the exterior walls of a building or structure to increase its overall thermal efficiency.

Impact resistance – how a material resists fracturing to some form of external force.

Internal wall insulation – insulation systems applied to the interior of a building or structure, usually using a stud wall.

Masonry paint – the paint used to cover render to give it an aesthetic finish.

Mineral wool – made from molten glass which is spun to create a fibrous material used as insulation.

Permeability – the measure of how capable a substance is of being able to pass fluids through its structure.

Pointing mortars – a substance used to fill gaps between bricks to secure brickwork or other masonry structures.

PSI value – how much heat is able to escape from thermal bridges within the structure of a building.

Radiation – the transfer of thermal energy (heat) that requires no means of contact in order to be transferred; it occurs through empty space.

Render – the decorative finish applied to the outer layer of EWI systems. Render is available in many colors and textures.

SAP – an abbreviation for Standard Assessment Procedure. This procedure assesses and compared the environmental and energy performance of buildings.

Tensile strength – how much resistance a material can withstand before it breaks.

U-Value – a measurement of how well a material performs as an insulator.

Y-Value – a measure of the amount of heat that can escape through junctions within a building’s structure.

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