Exterior Building Cladding

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Exterior wall cladding design has evolved quite a lot over the past decade.

Once upon a time, the brick was seen as a basic component to the building but more recently, it has become the designers colour palette for creativity. Exterior wall cladding can made from all kinds of materials but with so many options now available to architects, choosing the correct material for your next design project can be a challenge (albeit, a very fun one). In this post, we will explore 11 exterior wall cladding design ideas for you to consider on your next project. We couldn’t write a blog post about exterior wall cladding design without mentioning classic Brick cladding. Great for houses and commercial buildings alike, the Brick is now available in more colours than ever. Here is one of my personal favourites from manufacturer Wienerberger. Foundry Mews, United Kingdom © Jack Hobhouse.


Wood cladding has increased in popularity with specifiers in recent times as a great sustainable alternative to traditional materials. Wood cladding can give a home an instant style update. This practical, sustainable external finish is available in a wide variety of species, grades and profiles to suit your wall cladding design vision.



The Cedar Club, United Kingdom. Image Source: Building Design Index, Manufacturer: Silva Timber. Metal cladding can be a great supplement to your wall cladding design providing that modern, industrial look and feel. It is also very useful for incorporating bold colours into the project.


I particularly like this hybrid showing how metal cladding can work with traditional cladding materials like Timber. Image Source: CR Forma . Ceramic tiles have been used for wall cladding design since Ancient Egyptian times. In more recent times, terracotta rainscreen cladding and brick slip systems are popular choices for construction projects.

Ceramic rainscreen cladding systems are particularly good at protecting the structure of the building from the elements whilst having a nice finish. Image Source: Mosa. Precast concrete cladding is formed by off-site by manufacturing precast concrete panels.

These panels can be used for a wide in a wide range of applications.

Besides it’s structural benefits, concrete cladding can be a great way to incorporate sculptured shapes into your exterior cladding design project.


Image Source: Grants of Shoreditch. Innovative stone cladding systems that simply slot together have been developed to make stone cladding practical and cost effective.

Stone cladding brings a level of detail and heritage with it that is truly unique. Image Source: Natural Stone Veneers (view products) . Composite cladding is a great alternative to timber cladding. Typically made from a combination of recycled wood and plastic, composite cladding combines the traditional appearance of wood with the durability of an engineered composite.

Image Source: Dura Composites. There is no double that metal mesh cladding design has it’s very own unique look. An extremely versatile material, metal mesh cladding is great for shaping different designs to form interesting architectural designs. It can also be effectively used for wall cladding design elements like privacy screens or sun protection. Image Source: Haver Boecker. Like metal cladding, plastic cladding panels can be a great supplement to the overall building Façade. Plastic cladding is usually cheap, lightweight and easy to install and can give building elements an instant facelift or colour splash. Image Source: Dupont (view products) . Like metal cladding, plastic cladding panels can be a great supplement to the overall building Façade.

Plastic cladding is usually cheap, lightweight and easy to install and can give building elements an instant facelift or colour splash. Image Source: Sagiwall. 3D cladding has become increasingly popular in modern architecture. However, I think 3D cladding design can be the marmite of the design world; you either love it or you hate it. I have seen some truly stunning projects using 3D cladding and walls and then I have seen some horrible ones. Nevertheless, the creativity taking place by using bendable materials is to be admired. Image Source: Alucobond (view products) . BIMsmith is a free cloud platform for architects, designers, and building professionals to research, select, and download building product data.



  1. Search, discover, compare, and download free Revit families on BIMsmith Market, or build complete, data-rich Revit wall, floor, ceiling, and roof systems faster with BIMsmith Forge.
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  4. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Install flashing at bottom of all exterior walls and properly integrate the flashing with other wall water management details to direct water down and out of the wall.
  5. Install flashing under the bottom edge of the house wrap or other weather-resistant barrier shingle fashion to direct water out of the wall. Stucco cladding – install self-adhesive flashing behind the weep screed, a perforated metal strip at the base of the exterior walls, at the height above grade specified by the local building code.
  6. Install the water-resistant barrier to overlap the top edge of the weep screed. Install the lathe and stucco to the first bend in the weep screed.
  7. Brick veneer – install metal or flexible through-the-wall flashing that starts behind the bottom edge of the weather-resistant barrier and extends down and out across the support ledge then hangs down.
Ensure that weep holes are included in the bottom course of brick to allow water to drip out and down the flashing.