Newsletter September


Whether your building projects are low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise, we’ve got the cladding for you!

Welcome back to our monthly newsletter. In today’s project example, you’ll see another architect with a high-rise building that found porcelain cladding as their perfect solution.

And the article below will highlight several of our material features that really do make exterior porcelain the best cladding for all your buildings.

We’re excited to share, so let’s go…

Your Porcelain Cladding Resource

Looking Up! The Upside to Using Exterior Porcelain Cladding for Your Soffits

Technical Bulletin: Ventilated Façade System Soffit Installation

As you develop your design and details for your next exterior porcelain cladding project, don’t forget the soffits.

And be sure to download our helpful technical bulletin to help you visualize and understand the best practices for detailing porcelain panel soffits as part of your ventilated façade system.

Check out our seven-page soffit installation bulletin here to learn how contractors install porcelain cladding panels on your buildings soffits. Plus you’ll see several example images of successful soffit installations.

Your Porcelain Cladding Project Example

Alta LIC Tower

Location: Queens, NY
Architect: Stephen B. Jacobs Group
Building Typologies: Multi-Family; New Construction; High-Rise
Year Constructed: 2018
Porcelain Cladding Used: 147,000 SF
Colors: Extreme White (Technic Porcelain Series) and Cubica Black (Decorative Porcelain Series)

Here’s a link to see more images and details about this striking high-rise building on a challenging site that showcases the design flexibility of our porcelain cladding.

Here’s what the architect had to say about this project’s challenges, choosing exterior porcelain cladding, and working with our team:

“We considered several different exterior walls for the design of our 43-story tower [project]. We were initially thinking of a glass curtainwall, but we had incredible noise levels to deal with from the elevated subway tracks surrounding the site. It became obvious that a glass curtainwall was going to be very complicated and not very cost effective.

We moved toward more of a punched opening façade -- more mass and less glass. We considered brick, but we didn't want to do brick on a 40-story tower. Next, we considered precast concrete, but with our tight site location, precast wasn't very feasible to hoist the panels into place.

It just happened around this time when we were working through our design, Porcelanosa Facades visited our office to present their products. We’d never considered using porcelain on a building’s exterior wall. Their presentation was so good, and their products were so attractive, I loved the idea and started thinking about it.

They had one project going on in our city at that time, but no one had used Porcelanosa's system at such heights as our tower project. Regardless, we knew that this was the product we wanted to use for this project. We're always trying to push the envelope in our practice, and I thought, 'Why not! Let's look into it.’

I also had the opportunity to visit their factory in Spain and that blew me away. From there it was a no-brainer. Doing something we hadn't done before, I wanted to make sure it was going to turn out the way we wanted. And the more we got to know each other, the more comfortable we were working together…

…I consider ALTA LIC one of our most successful projects. And seeing it now, among all the new glass towers in that area, makes it stand out even more because it's different.

The tile colors we chose worked out really well - Extreme White and a textured darker tile called Cubica Silver, which catches the light differently depending on the time of the day. Its location is right on axis with the Queensboro Bridge, so you can't miss it. It stands on its own and offers 360-degree views. The way we designed it with this combination between the porcelain tiles and punched openings on the lower floors, and then becoming more transparent with the window wall on the upper floors... It's a very striking building…”

Isaac-Daniel Astrahan, Aia, LEED AP, Principal
Stephen B. Jacobs Group, 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

How Exterior Porcelain Cladding Stands Up Against Everything Mother Nature Throws at It

From a technical standpoint, exterior porcelain cladding panels are the BEST material for your exterior architectural facades. This even applies to your high-rise building projects.

As you look through our project examples on our website or in the catalog, you'll see many high-rise projects are using exterior porcelain cladding panels. And that should tell you something about the quality and durability of the material.

So, today, we'll look at some of the porcelain panel features that help you provide a facade that stands up to all the elements it will face.


To be clear, we're not talking about ceramic tile. Or even the standard porcelain tile we recommend for your building's interiors.

We're talking about technical porcelain. And that isn't just some fancy marketing label. It means we take your exterior porcelain cladding panels to another level by firing each panel, so it absorbs no more than 0.1% of water. This makes it virtually impervious to moisture.

Compare that to tile industry standards for other tiles:

  • Porcelain water absorption: ≤ 0.5% (which is excellent)
  • Ceramic water absorption: between 0.5% - 3.0%

That means technical porcelain panels don't absorb water. So, you and your client don't have to worry about thermal expansion & contraction, freeze-thaw, or efflorescence issues. Our porcelain cladding system is ideal for all climate zones your projects require.


Our open joint porcelain cladding system is thermally broken. We've designed it to meet the strictest IECC guidelines. With effective R values of up to 23.5 and U-factors as low as 0.038, our exterior cladding system lets you design freely, knowing you'll meet the latest energy code requirements.

High UV Resistance

The ingredients of our porcelain panels and our patented manufacturing process give your building's exterior facade a finish that's resistant to UV degradation for the lifetime of the panel. That means you don't have to worry about your beautiful design fading over time.

Freeze-Thaw Proof

Our exterior porcelain panels exceed the requirements of ASTM C1026 for freeze-thaw cycling without cracking. Even cut, exposed areas such as kerf saw cuts, mitered corner joints, or open corners don't need sealing or coating. That means one less worry for you and fewer building maintenance headaches for your client.


There are no materials in our Open Joint Porcelain Cladding system to attract insects or woodpeckers. So critters won't want to settle in your building's facade.

They don’t rot or delaminate

Our porcelain cladding panels are not layered or made from a wet slurry. Our modern manufacturing process ensures your exterior porcelain panels are highly dense, strong, and completely resistant to rot or delamination.

Third-Party Testing

Need proof? We've got all the testing and certifications to assure you and your client that we've got your back.

  • ICC-ER Report #ESR-3343: This means you and your client know you're choosing an innovative exterior cladding product that complies with building codes. We were the FIRST porcelain panel rainscreen façade system to receive ICC-ES certification.
  • Florida Product Approval – FL-20391: The Florida Building code requires all exterior wall panels to be tested and registered with the State through their product approval program.
  • American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) – AAMA 509-9: This assures you our system has been successfully tested under the "Voluntary Test and Classification Method of Drained and Back Ventilated Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems."

We hope that helps give you a clearer idea of the many ways we’ve tried to create the best material for your next building’s cladding. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out and we’re always happy to get you the answers you need.

That’s all for today. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading another issue of our newsletter’s updated format.

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 looking up…

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 1.866.FACHADA

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!