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September 2011

Benefits in Building with Lightweight Cladding

Lightweight cladding materials also require less bracing. For example lightweight Linea Weatherboard used on a building in conjunction with a lightweight roof requires half the amount of bracing that a combination of heavyweight cladding and heavy roofing materials needs. This is due to the fact that heavy weight materials result in generating more severe forces which destabilise the structure in the event of an earthquake therefore requiring a higher level of bracing to keep it stable.

Linea Weatherboard can give an added benefit of bracing, whereas a heavyweight cladding like brick cannot provide any bracing to the structure. When When Linea Weatherboard is not installed as a bracing element, the concealed fixing option allows the boards to move independently during an earthquake or any structural movement. This makes lightweight claddings like Linea Weatherboard a far more suitable and practical option for use in areas subject to higher seismic activity and wind speeds.

This has been proven in the recent earthquake events in Christchurch.

Other James Hardie products such as Axon Panel, HardieFlex Sheet, Monotek Sheet and RAB Board are all also suitable to achieve structural bracing. Even if these products are not used for bracing, their fixing to timber framing increases the overall rigidity of the structure helping to keep it stable and making them less vulnerable to seismic damage.

Lightweight cladding creates considerable cost saving in materials which are achieved via smaller cross-sectional timber section required for timber lintels or other structural beams.

There is a 35% saving in timber when choosing a lintel for a light weight roof and light weight wall cladding when compared to heavy weight roof and medium weight wall cladding. This will not only result in considerable savings in the cost of construction but helps considerably in keeping these structures lighter, which is ideal in high seismic activity zones.

For further information view the online technical resource.

View more information on James Hardie, including contact details.
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