Newsletter June


Do you ever step back to admire the collection of buildings you and your firm are creating for our world? When you look at them – as a collection – they really are like your own “garden” you’ve helped create for the public to experience and enjoy.

Every day, another mundane building design gets approved. As an architect, you want to contribute to our cities’ landscapes with inspiring buildings. And, to do that, you need to maintain control of your project’s design vision --- that’s where we can help you…

That’s why, in today’s newsletter, we’re going to begin our new format of sharing three things in a slightly different way to help you grow and tend your beautiful, architectural garden:

  1. First will be one of our resources or a brief, helpful list you can use as you’re noodling over your next facade…
  2. Next, you’ll get a project profile, alongside the words of the architect we had the pleasure to work with…
  3. And, finally, a short article to help you envision where porcelain cladding might be the right choice on some of your current and future façade projects.

Enough! Let’s jump in and get you started…

How to Work With a Design Assist Partner

Whether you know it or not, you may have already been participating in some form of design assist services with product manufacturers. But maybe you’re not getting all the benefits that come with a design assist partner…
In talking to other architects, we’ve found the industry term “design assist” isn’t as understood as we always thought. So, we’ve put together a short guide to help you understand:
  • What our Design Assist process looks like and includes
  • How it can help you protect your exterior façade design
  • How much it costs (you’ll really like that part)
Check out our two-page Design Assist Services description here to help understand a bit more about this awesome way we can work together.

Your Porcelain Cladding Project Example

Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Manhattan

Architect: DSM Design Group
Building Typologies: Hospitality; New Construction; High-Rise
Year Constructed: 2018
Porcelain Cladding Used: 62,000 SF
Colors: Town White & Town Niquel

Here’s a link to see more images and details about this fantastic example of a coordinated effort throughout design & construction to create a stunning building for the client and the city.

And, you don’t have to take our word for it… Here’s what the architect had to say about this project’s challenges, choosing exterior porcelain cladding, and working with our team:

“For this project, our main concern was the durability of the entire façade system -- the support system and the cladding itself -- to serve as a long-term façade finish for the high-rise building.

Also, this project is in New York City, which has a lot of regulations. And we were finding many of cladding products or other systems at the time, who hadn’t been tested to meet the codes. This was a big concern as well.

We were in the early stage of finalizing the façade concept. We had a design in mind, and we were looking for a product to achieve it. Before working with Porcelanosa Facades, I reviewed several different porcelain facade systems. But none of the other companies provided the full façade system I was looking for.

When I was finally introduced to Porcelanosa, I was upfront with them in the beginning. I requested what I needed to be comfortable using their system: their testing, their warranties, and all the technical items. And they provided all this immediately. From there, I knew this was the cladding system and team I wanted to work with.
Throughout the design process, they developed all the technical details and ideal panel sizes. And they helped us achieve a panel layout that most effectively reduced the waste. They were very helpful during the design to achieve the construction time and cost. This was a big concern for the client during design.

Having them involved in the design process -- it helps a lot. And not only on the design side. It also helped us in the construction phase. Everyone throughout the construction and shop drawing process were happy with the product…

…The system itself has really proven their quality. We just finished construction, and the project team is pleased with the results. We’re getting many compliments from everyone seeing the system installed. I’ve enjoyed the experience working with them, and I'm already planning to work with them on a couple of future projects…

…This was my first rainscreen system to design. This project has been a successful experience and I'm looking forward to future projects with them.”

Ehab Elsherif, Senior Associate

(formerly with DSM Design Group, now with Fischer + Makooi Architects, New York, NY)

Do you have a great project you’ve worked on with us that you’d like to see featured here?

Hit reply and let us know…

Your Porcelain Cladding Article

3 Ways an Exterior Porcelain Cladding System Can Help Boost Your Building Facade

As Ehab found in the project example above, many cladding manufacturers only provide the cladding itself. They leave the support framing and attachment for you to figure out. Don’t worry – that’s not how we do things... we have you covered with our complete Open-Joint Porcelain Cladding System (“OJ-PC system”).

That means less risk for you and your client since we provide your entire exterior cladding and support system and give you a 10-year warranty.

Our OJ-PC system has been used and tested for over 20 years - on hundreds of project types and conditions. So, you can sleep at night knowing it’ll work for you. Freeing you up to focus on those 1,000 other decisions you need to make.

And here are just three ways our exterior porcelain cladding system can help you deliver a more efficient and effective exterior envelope for your client’s building.

An Effective Drainage, Thermal & Acoustical Solution

One goal for your client’s building envelope design is to ensure maximum energy savings and noise reduction.

Our OJ-PC system gives you an ideal solution -- while preserving the beauty of the exterior porcelain cladding. And its design lets you use the OJ-PC system on new construction or to renovate or re-clad an existing building.

The system is classified as a Drained/Back Ventilated Rainscreen. Its open cladding joints, continuous insulation, and thermally broken support system help you:

  1. Keep bad weather out to reduce mold through efficient heat and moisture removal -- improving indoor air quality for the building users and mitigating your building structure’s deterioration.
  2. Achieve R-values from 9.1 to 24 - retaining more heat in cold months, keeping cooler in warm months.
  3. Reduce outside noises by 10-15 dB – another way you can contribute to healthier indoor environments.

Engineered to Perform

Over the years, we’ve engineered the OJ-PC system to help you meet the increasing code demands:

  • Allowing for thermal expansion movement, so it’s ready for your most extreme conditions.
  • Resisting wind loads up to 213 mph to protect your building’s occupants and valuable contents.
  • Self-leveling makes the system easier for installers, without shimming or other dangerous practices
  • Its self-supporting system weighing only 6 lbs/SF to minimize the impact on your building’s structure.

You’ll also get a Class A Fire Rating, meaning you can use the system as an interior wall finish, while meeting NFPA 285 for your exterior finish.

Design Flexibility

You get design flexibility for the façade look you need. Our goal was to design a cladding system that lets you bring all your design ideas and inspirations to life.

And we feel we succeeded at that… (Dig deeper and we think you’ll agree!)

The system can be modified and customized for any project type you have on the boards - from residential and commercial projects to multi-family or high-rise buildings. We have a technical team to help you find the right porcelain cladding solution for your facade design.

The versatility of ventilated facades made of porcelain…

The environmentally friendly principle behind its chimney effect…

And the superior performance of porcelain…

All this combines to make our Open-Joint Porcelain Cladding System the perfect exterior envelope option for a new or existing building. By creating several protective layers around your building’s exterior envelope. And, since our system is all provided by a single manufacturer, you get a turnkey solution with a better warranty.

That’s all for today. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this new, improved format for our newsletter.
We’d love to hear what you think of it! What you’d like to hear more about… Or hear more about what you’re working on.

Just hit reply and let us know. We read every response.

Until next time, keep growing your garden with beautiful building facades…

Thank you,
Your Partners in Design at

P.S. Here’s three ways we can help you right now…

1) Sign up for our Virtual Online Lunch & Learn CEU presentation.
Sign up here for our presentation called, “Ventilated Façade System for Buildings.”

You’ll earn 1 AIA HSW CEU, and you’ll learn more about when & how to use a ventilated façade, as well as the advantages you’ll get using a ventilated façade over using other cladding systems.

2) Contact us for a free, no-obligation project consultation.

Go here to schedule a no-obligation call. Get to know us and share your vision for your project. If this project isn’t a great fit, we’ll just let each other know. And part as new BFFs looking forward to the next chance to work together.

Or you can always give us a call at 201-712-0556 (x2218)

3) See if your project is a good fit for our Design Assist service.
Check out our two-page Design Assist Services description here to help understand a bit more about this awesome way we can work together.

The TL;DR version: If your project meets just two simple requirements, our complimentary Design Assist service will help ensure your façade design’s success, while saving your design team time, money, and headaches.

Check it out today!