The cladding is the application of one material over another to provide a skin or layer. In construction, the cladding is used to provide a degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance, and to improve the appearance of buildings. Cladding can be made of any of a wide range of materials including wood, metal, brick, vinyl, and composite materials that can include aluminium, wood, blends of cement and recycled polystyrene, wheat/rice straw fibres. The rain-screen cladding is a form of weather cladding designed to protect against the elements, but also offers thermal insulation.
High-quality, well-designed, properly-installed cladding can help maximize thermal performance, minimize air leakage, and optimize natural daylighting. This can help reduce the need for mechanical and electrical building services, and so improve energy efficiency and lower capital and running costs.