By Dr Jonathan Evans, CEO and chairman of Ash & Lacy

Building owners and insurance providers are increasingly demanding robust and durable external facade solutions, following the many fires seen around the world. Not only is it important to limit the external spread of fire on a building, it is also crucial to maintain the integrity of the facade in such an event for the safety of occupants and fire-fighters whilst limiting damage to nearby property due to flying, burning debris.
For example, it is important to use a mounting system whose melting point exceeds or matches that of the facade panels that are supporting it. This avoids the potential for the catastrophic collapse of the external panel system, should the mounting system melt before the suspended panels. This reduces the danger to those below, as well as minimising the collateral damage to property and people in the vicinity.

With our new patented stainless helping hand bracket and rail systems, we have endeavoured to provide the ultimate technical solution at a similar or lower cost to aluminium alternatives. Our novel design creates a thermally insulating air pocket that obviates the need for a combustible and expensive polymer spacer pad. This also has the benefit of reducing packaging and waste on-site, as well as simplifying construction and increasing confidence that the as-built solution is as designed.

The system is manufactured totally in-house in a quality-controlled environment, and our engineers can readily tailor the design to suit a particular application. All our materials are 100% traceable, ensuring that we deliver high-quality, sustainable products to the construction industry.

Why 316?
The Grade 316 stainless system range not only benefits from robustness and non-combustibility, it also possesses a high corrosivity resistance as it incorporates approximately 2% to 3% molybdenum into its composition. This is a particularly advantageous property for construction in coastal and industrial environments. These systems should be installed with stainless fixings and rivets, to ensure the loadings are correctly balanced to maintain structural integrity of the facade panel and supporting bracketry and prolonging the life of the building.

When considering the fire safety, structural integrity and energy efficiency of a building, the selection of non-combustible, robust elements is essential.

As construction methods become more advanced in conjunction with increasingly demanding building regulations, the transition from traditional building methods is obvious. Newer methods rely on dry-construction types, which prevents work falling behind schedule based on weather-related issues. Dry-construction methods include the use of steel framing systems with cement particle boards and rainscreen facade systems for structural and aesthetic purposes.

Rainscreen facade cladding systems are suitable for both new build and refurbishment projects. Cladding systems provide a weather-resistant decorative skin, fixed to a substructure by means of a supporting grid. This maintains a ventilated and drained cavity between itself and the primary structure. A ventilated rainscreen with insulation on the backing wall will allow the building fabric to breathe, without the risk of interstitial condensation or structural degradation.

Rainscreen support systems and lightweight framing components offer a diverse selection of generic framing options that can accommodate a wide spectrum of materials and design requirements. Benefiting from the safety of mechanical fixing methodology, there is a system to suit the needs for buildings that are built to last.

Rainscreen bracket systems are manufactured from the highest quality Grade 316 Stainless Steel, ensuring optimum structural integrity and longevity – striving to meet and exceed the performance requirements of the cladding and facade industry.

Stainless steel support bracket:
•    Stainless steel non-combustible support system.
•    Suitable for mechanical face fixing of cladding elements by means of rivet or screw.
•    Flexible point brackets allow for expansion and contraction, designed for wind loads.
•    Fixed point brackets absorb vertical dead loads.


Aluminium extruded plank facade:
•    Extruded aluminium plank system, offering designers the ultimate flatness and precision.
•    Comprises of a flat-faced interlocking linear plank, mechanically fixed to the adjustable support system.
•    Available in a spectrum of finishes, including terracotta lookalike.


The range of stainless steel rainscreen support brackets
The stainless steel systems achieve the ultimate technical performance. The stainless system is suitable for a wide range of external finishes. It has a melting point twice that of aluminium, 10% of the thermal conductivity and twice the tensile strength. The stainless steel system is the ideal choice for structural integrity and capacity with enhanced thermal performance, allowing a reduction of insulation thickness even without a polymer thermal pad.

Stainless steel system suitable for mechanical face fixing of cladding elements by means of rivet or screw, in horizontal application:
•    Query: What does T & L stand for? T & L profiles are fixed using support brackets, comprising fixed and flexible point options.
•    Flexible point brackets allow for expansion and contraction, designed to absorb wind loads.
•    Fixed point brackets absorb vertical dead loads.
•    Systems offer mill finish or powder-coated aluminium components.

Stainless steel support system suitable for mechanical concealed fixing of horizontal and vertical application cassette panels:
•    Secure mechanical concealed panel fixing, located in the horizontal shadow joint.
•    U-profiles are fixed using support brackets, comprising fixed and flexible point options.
•    Flexible point brackets allow for expansion and contraction, designed to absorb wind loads.
•    Fixed point brackets absorb vertical dead loads.

Stainless steel support system suitable for face-fix rainscreen with a shallow cladding zone and no adjustability requirement in the cladding zone:
•    AxiAL Omega & Zed profiles are used at panel and corner joints respectively.
•    Applications:
–    HPL.
–    Rockpanel.
–    Fibre cement.
–    ACM.
–    Aluminium.
–    Timber laminates.
–    Weatherboarding.
–    Brick slip.



Ash & Lacy South Africa
Tel: 021 951 1036