Vox Media

2022-05-26 08:26:35 By : Ms. Sunny Zeng

These panels are everywhere — and they’re part of a hidden system.

If you’ve seen new construction around your city, you’ve probably seen these distinctive rectangular panels. Sometimes plain, sometimes multi-colored, they’re absolutely everywhere. The video above explains how they conceal an entire system that helps protect buildings.

Over the course of the 20th century, building technology changed to allow the exterior of a building to be separate from the structure holding it up. Now there’s rainscreen cladding — the enclosure system that ends up being used in so many of those distinctive panels. By creating a small air gap between the exterior wall and the structure, it gives water an opportunity to dry, saving our modern buildings from rot and decay.

Building enclosure is an entire field with lots of intense debate, associations, and academic research. If you’re looking for a way into the world of rainscreens, you can listen to this podcast with John Straube or check out his technical papers, found at RDH.

You can find this video and the entire library of Vox’s videos on YouTube.

Will you support Vox’s explanatory journalism?

Millions turn to Vox to understand what’s happening in the news. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower through understanding. Financial contributions from our readers are a critical part of supporting our resource-intensive work and help us keep our journalism free for all. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.

Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays.

Check your inbox for a welcome email.