How To Specify Terracotta

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What is terracotta?  

A building’s façade can feature an array of materials such as timber, masonry, fibre cement, metal, steel and aluminium. The design and performance characteristics of these materials vary significantly, and your choice of cladding should be based on a careful assessment of the project’s climate conditions, as well as the aesthetic design intent. 

As a building product, terracotta has been in use for thousands of years however of late, terracotta has gained increasing interest by architects and designers looking for a compliant and durable material that adds texture, warmth and character with beautiful, rich and earthy-tone colours.  

Terracotta cladding is made from clay ground to a fine dust, mixed with water, extruded to shape, then fired at incredibly high temperatures in order to create an architectural cladding material that offers resistance to extreme weather, thermal insulation, a natural texture and is recyclable.  

 

Fairview’s Argeton terracotta ventilated façade system is ideal for large scale landmark constructions,
designed to leave a green footprint with character for our
future communities”,
Meena Somi, Fairview’s Senior Category Manager 

 

 

Terracotta – Allowing you to achieve an eco-friendly design that makes an impact with its exquisite beauty.  

 

Aesthetics 

The range of colours that can be achieved with terracotta are endless. Terracotta is well known for its red earthy colour, however, the options for colours range from white, yellow, blue, red, green, purple and black. almost any colour is possible. The colour finishes for terracotta generally fall into two categories – glazed and unglazed. 

 

Glazed:  Glazed terracotta starts with a body colour, normally white or off-white, a glaze is then applied to the surface prior to the firing process, giving you the ability to achieve different opacities and finishes. The glaze can be transparent allowing you to see the body colour underneath or be completely opaque.  

The options for colour and finishes are endless.

The glazing process also provides an opportunity to add gloss, giving you the ability to create finishes that range from matte, all the way to high gloss. During the production process it’s also possible to combine two or three glazes on different layers to create other special effects including a process called digital engobing. Like digital printing, digital engobing involves applying a digital image on top of an engobed clay panel, in the firing process, the applied image fuses with the engobe and the panel to form an inseparable unit – allowing you to create patterns such as the one’s below: 

 Argeton’s Digital Engobing – adds a new dimension to terracotta finishes.

 

Unglazed:  Various colours can be created by mixing different types of clay. Natural colours normally include white, sand, yellow, taupe as well as a range of red hues. In order to increase the range of colours on offer, pigments or oxides are added to the clay to give you an almost endless range of options to choose from. 

Careful development work is involved in creating new colours as in most cases the final colour is a function of the clay, pigment, oxides and the heat applied during the firing process. The tile colour going into the firing process can be very different to the colour that emerges from the firing process. 

This process of creating the colour and vitrification of the colour into the clay creates stable and ever-lasting colours that will easily endure over 50 or more years.

Argeton offer a range of standard and standard plus colours in the range. 

 

Textured Surfaces

Terracotta is renowned for adding warmth and texture to any architectural design. Within the terracotta cladding range a number of surface textures can be achieved, adding to the flexibility in design and the imagination of the architect. 

The Standard surface textures available with the Argeton range includes 8 options: 

 

 Brushed surfaces: 

Combining 8 textured surfaces and a limitless range in colour allow for endless possibilities for the design aesthetics of the building. Terracotta not only offers improved performance as a cladding product but also removed design constraints associated with other cladding products – making it the ideal option for contemporary buildings. 

 

Profiles and Shapes

Argeton offers a range of classic standard profiles that offer classic to contemporary design flexibility with a choice of 6 profiles to choose from. The standard profiles range from the flat Tampa profile – a flat tile available to various sizes offers a clean and classic design to any building to the Altivo panel, a vertically oriented tile with vertical striation lines that bring a contemporary flair to the design. 

The standard Argeton range include: 

          

Traditionally, terracotta cladding used to be flat – however, with improvements in production technologies the options for profiles and specially shaped terracotta cladding have grown. 

With over 130 extrusion dies developed, Argeton has a wide variety of profiles ready for extruding panels to suit many design – from flat to all sorts of three dimensional contemporary designs.

A comprehensive list of ready dies/profiles can be found at:- Argeton_dies overview compact 

Within this range exists a series of baguettes and louvers that are perfectly suited to act as a sunscreen façade or to accentuate the façade by adding depth, shape and pattern. 

Available in unglazed as well as glazed options, Argeton’s Barro range of baguettes and louvers are increasing becoming popular for use indoor and out due to their versatility, range and simplicity in installation. 

The range consists of three Baguette types as seen below: 

 

 

Historically – buildings in Australia have tended to rely heavily on metal cladding of various forms – there is a strong trend towards alternative cladding products that bring warmth, texture, dimensional variety and a shift towards natural and Earthy products. 

There is still a lot of unexplored potential in using terracotta as a cladding material on buildings. The Argeton range of terracotta cladding is the right product for architects looking to challenge the status quo, reinvent building with a traditional building material that offer features that cannot be matched with typical building products. 

With its excellent thermal and cooling efficiency, improvement of sound protection by 9dB, non-combustibility and frost-proofing, Argeton is not just a decorative cladding material, but a product that enhances the sustainability of the entire building.  

 

Explore the sustainable, efficiency and performance benefits of Argeton’s terracotta rainscreen system at: Argeton Terrocotta Cladding (fv.com.au)

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