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How To Specify Terracotta

20 Jun 2022 by Fairview

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.  

How To Specify Terracotta

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:

How To Specify Terracotta

 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. 

How To Specify Terracotta

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:

How To Specify Terracotta

 Brushed surfaces:

How To Specify Terracotta

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:

How To Specify Terracotta

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: 

How To Specify Terracotta

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)

Fairview
Australia
With almost 30 years’ experience in the façade industry, Fairview is committed to providing aesthetically pleasing and safe cladding products to the construction industry. Our aim is to consistently facilitate the successful delivery of innovative façades that meet the requirements and vision of every project.With one of the largest stock holds in Australia, we have the ability to ensure a consistent and timely supply to our dedicated installer network. In addition, our flexible and innovative approach allows us to work closely with our clients to deliver the best possible project outcomes.Our HistoryFairview Architectural was developed to primarily service the aluminium composite façade market with our product Vitrabond. After several years, we began manufacturing Ceramapanel pre-finished CFC and soon after, secured the coveted ArGeTon terracotta façade tiles distribution for Australia.Our expansion into the United Kingdom market with our flagship product Vitrabond allowed us to establish a global presence, and this, in addition to growing our suite of façade solutions, indicated the need for a strategic realignment of our brand. In 2015 Fairview Architectural moved to simply be known as Fairview. This new approach allows us to better house the extensive suite of products we now manufacture and distribute and more effectively represents the innovative and professional company we have become.Our flexibility and attention to innovation, allowed us the ability to develop a range of non-combustible aluminium composite panel solutions, as part of our focus on addressing the issue of combustible façades; launching Vitracore G2 in 2015 and Vitradual in 2017.Corporate FoundationOur MissionInnovative and proactive organisation, consistently delivering industry leading façade solutions; renowned for excellence of product and superior customer service.Our VisionTo lead the industry through consistently facilitating the successful delivery of innovative façade solutions.Our ValuesTrust and respect / We work together to create a culture of interdependence built on trust, respect and dignity for all. Each person’s contribution is critical to our success.Achievement and Excellence / We strive for excellence in everything we do; we challenge our thinking and look beyond the obvious.Customer Service / We serve people in a way that is above and beyond what is expected.Meaningful Innovation / We are the Façade Company that invents products and solutions that matter.Uncompromising Integrity / We are open, honest and direct in our dealings.Solutions Minded / We are passionate about developing and presenting solutions for every project.

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