Slate Siding: New Trend in Sustainable Architecture

September 18, 2017

With concern for our planet’s health continuing to grow, architects and engineers are getting creative with sustainable building solutions. Recently, slate siding has emerged as a strong contender, offering a beautifully modern, durable, and eco-friendly facade.

The CUPACLAD system is a rainscreen slate siding apparatus that comes in a number of different patterns and designs. Slate roofing has been around since the days of medieval castles, and is widely regarded as a high-end material.

slate siding
So what sets the CUPACLAD slate siding system apart? Here are a couple ways the rainscreen system supports an environmentally friendly structure:

Simple Manufacturing

Due to the minimal processing that goes into the creation of slate tile, it is one of the more environmentally friendly materials on today’s market. Slate is removed from the quarry, split by hand, shaped, and shipped– no chemicals are added, very little water is used, and the only CO2 emissions come from the transportation.
slate siding
Additionally, once done with a quarrying site, workers are obligated to restore the overburden (the top layer of unusable stone, sometimes hundreds of feet deep) and re-stock the natural flora of the area. So, even considering the massive scale of these operations, the site is restored to the best ability.

Envelope Environment

One of the greatest advantages to the CUPAClad facade lies in the system’s use of thermal spacers. Thermal spacers help reduce the effect of thermal bridging, which is the transfer of heat in and out of the building. By keeping a more constant internal temperature, mechanical heating and cooling demands of the home are lowered. Not only is this a money-saver, but it’s great for Mother Earth, too.

Recyclable Disposal

Slate has an impressively long lifespan; if selecting a quality strain, such as any of the stone we provide, the minimum warranted lifespan is 75 years, with an expectation of closer to 150 years. In fact, it is not uncommon for slate roofing to be removed from its decaying parent building and refitted on a different structure.

slate siding

When it does come time for the slate to be retired, it is often ground down and recycled into gravel. This method helps limit the contribution of landfills.

CUPACLAD in Action

The CUPACLAD 101 Logic is being installed on the BoyScout Headquarters in Springfield, MO. This is a project in process, but take a look at the rendering drawings below:
Slate Siding Drawing by Chad Clow Slate Siding Drawing by Chad Clow

Any questions? Contact us for some more information, or to schedule a 1.5 credit lunch and learn session.