What Makes Natural Façade Cladding Such a Popular Choice?

Natural cladding materials such as clay, stone, brick and compressed fibre cement have stepped into the spotlight in the design world. With a push towards sustainability in design and a conscious focus around reducing energy consumption, as well as a trend towards biophilic design, natural materials are in high demand. Formed from the earth’s renewable resources and recreating popular natural aesthetics, façade products such as terracotta cladding allow occupants to experience the raw beauty of the earth’s elements, while also complying with sustainability requirements for new builds. Terracotta cladding systems also deliver on durability and long-term sustainability, acting as rainscreens for energy efficiency and protecting against impact and weather damage. When it comes to meeting the sustainability demands of the architectural industry, as well as the design needs of today’s market, natural cladding materials are the obvious choice for many architects and designers.

Benefits of Using Cladding Made from Natural Materials

Natural cladding is having its moment as designers become aware of the many benefits it holds. From being environmentally friendly to adding years to a building’s lifespan and delivering on striking visuals, natural cladding offers many reasons to impress.


Biophilic designs, which both incorporate nature and evoke human experiences with the natural world, are in high demand. Natural materials offer the ability to make a stunning visual impact and help a building’s occupant connect with nature. The versatility of materials such as terracotta tiles means design expressions can be limitless, with wide varieties of colours, glazes, textures and styles available.


Natural materials such as stone, terracotta and brick are robust and resistant to damage over time, helping create a façade that will retain its appearance and have minimal impact on the environment due to reduced wastage and replacement rates. Terracotta in particular is highly durable and impact-resistant and requires little maintenance to retain its qualities.


Made from the earth’s natural resources with minimal processing, natural cladding materials reduce energy consumption in manufacturing. They are also easily recycled, or degrade easily, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.

Energy Savings

Many natural materials are also resilient – meaning they are able to withstand harsh environmental conditions – and protect the building against harsh weather conditions to improve energy efficiency. This in turn helps keep the entire building environmentally friendly. Many natural materials are available as part of a rainscreen system, with a ventilated cavity to help keep a building’s airflow and temperature regulated. Materials such as terracotta also prevent absorption of heat, preventing thermal transfer to the rest of the building which could otherwise increase the temperature.

Ease of Installation

Today’s natural cladding materials come in easy-install systems for convenience, efficiency, and the ability to install across large-scale façades with reduced labour time and costs. Terracotta tiles or brick slips can often slot easily into a simple track system, creating a durable façade that is also easy to construct.


Design Options of a Terracotta Façade

Terracotta cladding has long been popular for its natural, earthy design. Made from clay, it evokes classic natural designs harking back to centuries past and ancient dynasties. However, façades made using terracotta cladding aren’t restricted to brownish hues and simple tiles. Terracotta is an exceptionally versatile material – the sky is the limit when it comes to designs, with every aspect of the material customisable to suit a wide variety of classic and contemporary designs – and everything in between. Click to learn more about the Clayton terracotta cladding system.


Glazes give terracotta tiles their unique ceramic look and add a glossy texture, but they can be used to further customise tiles. Glazes allow for almost limitless colour options, so terracotta tiles can be adapted to suit certain design styles, making them more traditional, contemporary or even suited to certain brand colours. While terracotta can be coloured naturally in a range of subtle hues, glazes offer vibrant, bold shades to create standout façades. For variety, unglazed tiles also offer a rougher, earthier texture – the aesthetic choice is in the hands of the designer.


Part of a terracotta cladding aesthetic comes from the texture of the tiles – different surface textures allow designers to play with light and shadows, creating different effects on the façade. A standard rough texture pays homage to classic, earthy designs, while unique combinations of dimples, etching, indents and rough or smooth surfaces can change the surface appearance of tiles, and by extension the whole façade.


The simple terracotta tile lends itself to a variety of shapes to create different effects – from basic, clean-cut tiles to lively castellated designs with grooves and false joints, overlapping panels to play with light and shadow, and even vertically-oriented tiles for a contemporary design. Rounded options can also add interesting visual elements to an architectural design – such as baguette and louvre shapes. The clay can even be moulded into custom shapes for a truly one-of-a-kind design.


Is a Natural Façade Right for Your Project?

Natural cladding materials not only offer sustainability benefits, but are easy to install, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. Natural products like terracotta cladding offer a durable, completely customisable way to create a long-lasting yet natural façade and make your mark on the design landscape.

Industry leaders and cladding experts Fairview understand the benefits of natural cladding materials. As well as offering a stylish range of natural cladding systems to suit aesthetic and compliance requirements, Fairview’s 360 VIEW quality assurance and experience in the architectural space mean we can guide you when choosing the right product for your project needs.

Contact us to discuss your natural façade cladding project with our team.