What is cladding?

Cladding refers to any element added to the structure and mechanically attached to it. This new skin or layer usually improves thermal insulation and weather resistance, or the aesthetics of the building. 
Cladding does not contribute to the stability of the building structure. 
The cladding has an impact on the structure, as it transfers wind loads, impact loads, snow loads and its own self-weight back to the structure. 

Several criteria have to be taken into account to select a cladding: 
- Aesthetics and use of the building 
- Environment (neighbour buildings, climate conditions...)
- Performance required (durability, thermal, acoustics, waterproofing, fire, daylight...) 
- Structural constraints' 
- Budget.  

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