Title:
Cladding member and/or a cladding system and/or a method of cladding
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention comprises a cladding member formed by a member of insulating material having front and rear faces and top, bottom faces and side faces. The front face has a plurality of substantially parallel channels formed there. The cladding members can be associated with base blocks. The base blocks have a moisture receiving means to receive moisture from the channels of the cladding members, and discharge means to allow such moisture to be discharged from the receiving means. Flashings and fixing devices are also described.



Inventors:
Dickinson, David Peter (Auckland, NZ)
Application Number:
10/487542
Publication Date:
11/04/2004
Filing Date:
02/24/2004
Assignee:
DICKINSON DAVID PETER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/506.08
International Classes:
E04B1/70; E04B1/76; (IPC1-7): E04B9/00; E04B5/00
View Patent Images:



Foreign References:
WO1995022670A11995-08-24
Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David Peter Dickinson (Auckland, NZ)
Claims:
1. A cladding member comprising a member of insulating material having front and rear faces and top, bottom faces and side faces, the front face having a plurality of substantially parallel channels formed therein.

2. A cladding member as claimed in claim 1 wherein the channels extend between the top and bottom faces.

3. A cladding member as claimed in either claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the channels are provided to increase impact resistance of the front face when used in conjunction with an EIFS reinforced plaster-finishing system.

4. A cladding member as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the insulating material comprises expanded polystyrene.

5. A cladding member as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the channels are substantially 20 mm to 50 mm wide and substantially 5 mm to 30 mm in depth.

6. A cladding member as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the channels are formed by forming the front face of the member of insulating material to a shape that in transverse cross section is substantially sinusoidal.

7. A cladding member as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the cladding member further includes channels formed in the rear face, the channels extending between the top and bottom ends.

8. A cladding member as claimed in claim 7 wherein the further channels are substantially 20 mm to 50 mm wide and substantially 5 mm to 30 mm deep.

9. A cladding member as claimed in claim 7 or claim 8 wherein the channels are formed by forming the rear face of the member of insulating material to a shape that in transverse cross section is substantially sinusoidal.

10. A cladding system comprising a plurality of cladding members according to any one of the preceding claims and a plurality of base blocks, the base blocks having a moisture receiving means to receive moisture from the channels of the cladding members, and discharge means to allow such moisture to be discharged from the receiving means.

11. A cladding system as claimed in claims 10 wherein the base blocks have front, rear, top and bottom faces, the receiving means comprising a rebate at the intersection of the rear face and the top face of the base block.

12. A cladding system as claimed in claim 11 wherein the rebate has higher and lower parts in use.

13. A cladding system as claimed in either one of claims 11 and 12 wherein the base of the rebate drains to the discharge means.

14. A cladding system as claimed in any one of claims 10 to 13 wherein the discharge means comprises a plurality of passageways from the rebate to the front face of the base block.

15. A cladding system as claimed in claim 14 wherein the passageways extend from lower parts of the receiving rebate of the base block.

16. A cladding method comprising attaching a plurality of cladding members according to any one of the preceding claims to a structure with the channels in the front face of the cladding member facing away from the structure.

17. A cladding method as claimed in claim 16 wherein a plurality of base blocks are provided below the cladding members so positioned that moisture can move from the channels in the cladding members to the moisture receiving means in the base block.

18. A cladding system including a member of insulating material having front and rear faces and top and bottom ends, the rear face abutting a structure in use, the rear face having a plurality of substantially parallel channels formed therein, the channels extending between the top and bottom ends, and a framework which is in connection with the member of insulating material and provides passageways through which the channels are in communication with the exterior of the cladding system.

19. A cladding system as claimed in claims 18 wherein the framework comprises a horizontal platform and a slanting floor.

20. A cladding system as claimed in claim 19 wherein the framework also comprises a vertical face at the outer face of the insulating material joining the horizontal platform and the slanting floor.

21. A cladding system as claimed in either one of claims 19 and 20 wherein a plurality of openings are provided in the horizontal platform.

22. A cladding system as claimed in claims 21 wherein the openings are aligned with the channels respectively.

23. A cladding system as claimed in any one of the claims 19 to 22 wherein an elongate cavity which runs along the length of the cladding system is provided within the framework.

24. A cladding system as claimed in claim 23 wherein the elongate cavity is in communication with the channels through the openings.

25. A cladding system as claimed in either one of claim 23 and 24 wherein the elongate cavity is in communication with the outer face through apertures through the substantially vertical face of the elongate cavity and the exterior plaster system.

26. Using the cladding members according to any one of claims 1 to 9 and/or using the cladding system of any one of claims 10 to 15 and/or using a cladding method according to either one of claims 16 and 17 and/or using a cladding system according to any one of claims 18 to 25

27. A sealing washer having front and rear faces the rear face having at least one rib running thereacross.

28. A sealing washer as claimed in claims 27 wherein more than one rib is provided, the ribs being substantially parallel.

29. A sealing washer as clai9med in either one of claims 27 and 28 wherein the washer has a central aperture comprising a key-hole aperture.

30. Flashing, the flashing being adapted to be associated in use with a cladding member according to any one of claims 1 to 9 and having drainage means for moisture.

31. Flashing as claimed in claim 30 wherein the drainage means comprises one or more apertures in the flashing.

32. Flashing as claimed in claim 31 wherein the drainage means comprises one or more channels formed in the flashing.

33. A fixing element having a head and a shaft, one or more circumferential ribs being formed about the shaft.

34. A fixing element as claimed in claim 33 wherein the shaft has one or more circumferential grooves therein.

35. A cladding member as claimed in claim 1 and substantially as herein described with references to the accompanying drawings.

36. A cladding system as claimed in claim 10 and substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

37. A cladding method as claimed in claim 16 and substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

38. A cladding system as claimed in claim 18 and substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

39. A sealing washer as claimed in claim 27 and substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

40. Flashing as claimed in claim 30 and substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

41. A fixing element as claimed in claim 33 and substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Description:

BACKGROUND ART

[0001] With cladding systems of the type frequently known as exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) difficulties can arise. Such systems have an insulating layer of, for example, expanded polystyrene (EPS) and generally rely on an exterior coating such as a paint finish over an EIFS finishing plaster to provide a barrier intended to prevent the penetration of moisture from the outside. It is not uncommon for this barrier to be easily breached in a variety of ways, allowing moisture to enter the EPS layer. Thereafter moisture can accumulate due to the inability of the moisture to exit the EPS. Equally, although at a relatively low rate, moisture vapour migrating from the inside of a building through a breather type building paper/vapour barrier permits moisture to become trapped between the insulation layer and the supporting structure. This accumulated moisture when adjacent to drier materials will naturally migrate to the drier materials due to moisture equalisation. This will even occur when a building paper/vapour barrier is present due to such barriers generally being attached to the structure beyond, by fixing systems that penetrate the barrier. In particular where the supporting structure is timber, such as an exiting timber cladding or a stud and nog wall, such trapped moisture can lead to rotting of the supporting structure. This is clearly disadvantageous. Equally, for masonry structures, compounding moisture infiltration internally may cause undesirable internal dampness, and the physical and visual degradation of adjacent materials, which is equally disadvantageous. To date no satisfactory method has been provided which will enable the problem to be overcome.

[0002] The known cladding systems also have another weakness in that a layer of plaster, which is usually coated onto the front face of the insulating material, is relatively thin. When an impact or force is exerted on this plaster, the plaster layer may crack allowing external moisture to penetrate into the insulating material. This is undesirable.

[0003] Equally the impact or force may also permanently deform the insulating material and the plaster layer. This is physically and aesthetically undesirable.

OBJECT

[0004] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a cladding member and/or a cladding system and/or a cladding method which will obviate or minimise the foregoing disadvantages in a simple yet effective manner or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.

STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Accordingly in one aspect the invention consists in a cladding member comprising a member of insulating material having front and rear faces and top, bottom faces and side faces, the front face having a plurality of substantially parallel channels formed therein.

[0006] Preferably the channels extend between the top and bottom faces.

[0007] Preferably the channels are provided to increase impact resistance of the front face when used in conjunction with an EIFS reinforced plaster-finishing system.

[0008] Preferably the insulating material comprises expanded polystyrene.

[0009] Preferably the channels are substantially 20 mm to 50 mm wide and substantially 5 mm to 30 mm in depth.

[0010] Preferably the channels are formed by forming the front face of the member of insulating material to a shape that in transverse cross section is substantially-sinusoidal.

[0011] Preferably the cladding member further includes channels formed in the rear face, the channels extending between the top and bottom ends.

[0012] Preferably the channels are substantially 20 mm to 50 mm wide and substantially 5 mm to 30 mm deep.

[0013] Preferably the channels are formed by forming the rear face of the member of insulating material to a shape that in transverse cross section is substantially sinusoidal.

[0014] In a further aspect the invention consists in a cladding system comprising a plurality of cladding members according to any one of the preceding paragraphs and a plurality of base blocks, the base blocks having a moisture receiving means to receive moisture from the channels of the cladding members, and discharge means to allow such moisture to be discharged from the receiving means.

[0015] Preferably the base blocks have front, rear, top and bottom faces, the receiving means comprising a rebate at the intersection of the rear face and the top face of the base block.

[0016] Preferably the rebate has higher and lower parts in use.

[0017] Preferably the base of the rebate drains to the discharge means.

[0018] Preferably the discharge means comprises a plurality of passageways from the rebate to the front face of the base block.

[0019] Preferably the passageways extend from lower parts of the receiving rebate of the base block.

[0020] In a still further aspect the invention consists in a cladding method comprising attaching a plurality of cladding members according to any one of the preceding paragraphs to a structure with the channels in the front face of the cladding member facing away from the structure.

[0021] Preferably a plurality of base blocks are provided below the cladding members so positioned that moisture can move from the channels in the cladding members to the moisture receiving means in the base block.

[0022] Accordingly in a still further aspect the invention consists in a cladding system including a member of insulating material having front and rear faces and top and bottom ends, the rear face abutting a structure in use, the rear face having a plurality of substantially parallel channels formed therein, the channels extending between the top and bottom ends, and a framework which is in connection with the member of insulating material and provides passageways through which the channels are in communication with the exterior of the cladding system.

[0023] Preferably the framework comprises a horizontal platform and a slanting floor.

[0024] Preferably the framework also comprises a substantially vertical face at the outer face of the insulating material joining the horizontal platform and the slanting floor.

[0025] Preferably a plurality of openings is provided in the horizontal platform.

[0026] Preferably the openings are aligned with the channels respectively.

[0027] Preferably an elongate cavity which runs along the length of the cladding system is provided within the framework.

[0028] Preferably the elongate cavity is in communication with the channels through the openings.

[0029] Preferably the elongate cavity is in communication with the outer face through apertures through the substantially vertical face of the elongate cavity and the exterior plaster system.

[0030] In a still further aspect the invention consists in a structure constructed according to any one of the preceding paragraphs.

[0031] In a still further aspect the invention consists in a sealing washer having front and rear faces the rear face having at least one rib running thereacross.

[0032] Preferably more than one rib is provided, the ribs being substantially parallel.

[0033] Preferably the washer has a central aperture comprising a key-hole aperture.

[0034] In a still further aspect the invention consists in flashing, the flashing being adapted to be associated in use with a cladding member according to any one of the preceding paragraphs and having drainage means for moisture.

[0035] Preferably the drainage means comprises one or more apertures in the flashing.

[0036] Alternatively the drainage means comprises one or more channels formed in the flashing.

[0037] In a still further aspect the invention consists in a fixing element having a head and a shaft, one or more circumferential ribs being formed about the shaft.

[0038] Preferably the shaft has one or more circumferential grooves therein.

[0039] To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the description herein purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0040] One preferred form of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which,

[0041] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view of a cladding member, a cladding system and a cladding method according to a preferred form of the invention,

[0042] FIGS. 2a and 2b are diagrammatic plan views of a cladding members according to two preferred forms of the invention,

[0043] FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation of one form of fixing member usuable in the invention,

[0044] FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic representation of an alternative fixing member,

[0045] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional plan view of a jamb flashing usable with the cladding member of the invention,

[0046] FIG. 6a is a diagrammatic magnified cross-sectional view of the cladding system of the invention, showing the construction of one preferred base block,

[0047] FIG. 6b is a diagrammatic magnified cross-sectional view of the cladding system of the invention, showing an alternative embodiment of the base block.

[0048] FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional side elevation of the cladding member and cladding system of FIG. 1,

[0049] FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic magnified cross-sectional side elevation of another embodiment of the cladding system of FIG. 1, and

[0050] FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic plan view of another embodiment of the cladding member of FIG. 1,

[0051] FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 are front, rear and cross-sectioned views of a fixing washer useable in the invention,

[0052] FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic plan view of a sloping floor element forming part of FIG. 8,

[0053] FIG. 14 shows a head flashing usable with the invention,

[0054] FIGS. 15 and 16 show a parapet junction flashing,

[0055] FIG. 17 shows a sill flashing, and

[0056] FIGS. 18 and 19 show brackets useable in conjunction with base blocks in the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0057] Referring to the drawings a cladding member 1 is provided which is formed of an insulating material. The insulating material may be expanded polystyrene although other suitable materials could also be used. The cladding may be of any size, usually to meet local building custom or requirements.

[0058] The block or sheet forming cladding member 1 has a front face 2 which is desirably either substantially planar with shallow location grooves 46, or substantially contoured with vertical channels 74. Cladding member 1 has a rear face 3.

[0059] The block of material also has an upper face, and a lower face 4 when in use. The blocks of material may be between 60 mm to 200 mm thick but this will vary depending on usage parameters. The thickness must be such as to retain structural integrity and thus depends to at least some extent on the size of channels 74 in the front face 2, and channels 6 in the rear face 3. The channels 74 and 6 can either be in or out of phase with each other and can vary in profile.

[0060] A plurality of channels 6 extends on the rear face 3 preferably from the upper face to the lower face 4 although other variations are possible. However, channels 6 are expected to be most useful when vertical in use. The channels in effect create a series of negative pressure zones, permitting the egress of undesirable moisture infiltration.

[0061] Whilst the channels may be any of a wide range of shapes and sizes a particularly suitable channel is a channel wherein the depth of the channels is between substantially 5 mm and substantially 30 mm and the width between 20 mm and 50 mm. This may vary depending on the usage parameters.

[0062] It is desirable that any moisture travelling from the front face 2 towards the rear face 3, when nearing the rear face 3, is attracted to a suitable point. For the most part the moisture will tend to be attracted to the closest negative pressure zone which corresponds to the “troughs” in face 3. It is believed that a substantially sinusoidal pattern of channels on the rear face provides a particularly suitable arrangement of channels. Such a construction also allows a relatively broad area 8 at the peaks or the crests to which adhesive can be applied if desired. For structures requiring greater contact areas for adhesive fixing to the structure, the channel shape may desirably be other than sinusoidal. Masonry structures may be of this type.

[0063] Equally, combinations of curved and rectangular shapes of channels may be used to achieve desired drainage whilst retaining the face-loading integrity of the block through arching principles.

[0064] A base block 10 can also be provided which again may be formed of an insulating material such as expanded polystyrene. This permits easy on-site cutting. The blocks 10 can be mitre cut at the corners.

[0065] The base block 10 has a front face 11 and rear face 12, an upper end 13 and a lower end 14.

[0066] The base block 10 is in particular designed to be attached to a building so as to extend above and below a ground level 15. The thickness of the base blocks 10 may be similar to the thickness of members 1 or thicker as shown in FIG. 1.

[0067] The base block has a moisture receiving means and this preferably takes the form of a rebate 20 at the junction between the top end 13 and the rear face 12. Moisture discharge means are provided which preferably take the form of a plurality of passageways or vents 21 extending from the rebate 20 to the front face 11 of the block 10. The bottom surface 22 of the rebate 20 is preferably formed so as to have upper 23 and lower 22 points that also preferably slope downwardly toward the front face 11. The passageways 21 preferably extend from the lower points of the rebate.

[0068] An insert 25 with a drainage aperture through the centre may be provided on the face 11. This insert being of a compatible material may have a stem 26 and a surrounding flange 27 so as to maintain drainage and provide a satisfactory finish to the passageway 21. The stem 26 extends through the layer of plastics material and outwardly beyond flange 27 but preferably does not extend beyond the plaster outer surface. The flange 27, when plastered over, assists prevention of undesirable migration of the insert from its preferred position. The insert may have ‘barbs’ to its outer surface to further prevent undesirable migration or movement—‘Snap off’ sections for easy shortening for varied base block widths may be provided.

[0069] In use a base block 10 may be positioned substantially as shown in FIG. 1 and the plurality of cladding members 1 arranged in the required number of rows thereabove. The channels 6 of the cladding members 1 abut a supporting structure such as stud 30. Between the stud 30 and the cladding member 1 a membrane such as a layer of building paper 31 will usually be provided. An equivalent type of building membrane could be used as an alternative. The membrane should extend at 32 below the cladding member 1. The invention can be used in conjunction with any building structure or cladding including but not limited to wooden, masonry, veneer, and steel frame constructions.

[0070] Turning now to FIG. 6a, a variation of the construction of the base block 10 is shown. Preferably the face of the base block 10 comprises a layer of pre-cast, aerated or lightweight concrete 86, abutting the bulk 88 of the block. Alternatively, the face 86 comprises fibrous cement or other stable and dense building materials or combination thereof for improved robustness.

[0071] Referring to FIG. 6b, the layer of pre-cast concrete 86 (or other stable and dense building material) may be constructed and arranged such that it is flush with the front face 2 of the cladding member 1.

[0072] A sealant such as silicone may be provided to the rebate 33 between the front faces 2 and 11 of the cladding member and base block 10 as desired to create a control joint.

[0073] A moisture barrier can be supplied between the lower end of cladding member 1 and the upper end 13 of the base block 10 to prevent capillary migration of moisture from base block 10 up into cladding member 1.

[0074] Between the base block 10 and the structure 34 to which it is attached, it is desirable to provide a waterproof membrane or other suitable sealant such as the coating sold by reference to the trade mark FLINTCOTE™. Alternatively the sub-floor membrane required under a concrete slab can be lapped around under the footing 34, up the footings outer face between 34 and block 10 and terminate under the frame 30 to complete waterproof the foundation.

[0075] The cladding members 1 may be further affixed by means of fixing members in the form of nails or screws at 40 and 41. The nail 40 is shown passing through a peak 8 of the channelled rear face 3 and the nail 41 is shown passing through a trough 6. As location 41 (through the trough) is preferred, shallow locating grooves 46, to outer face 2, run vertically from top to bottom with channels corresponding to the peaks on face 3. These grooves are not required where the front face 2 has vertical channels 74 in series with channels to the rear face.

[0076] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4 nails 47 or screws 48 of non-corrosive material are shown along with compatible washers 49 to prevent tearing of the EPS by spreading fixing loads over a wider area. These screws 48 and nails 47 have two to five continuous thickened ribs 50 around the said shaft 51, located (when fixed) in the cavity region 6 to substantially prevent moisture migration along shaft of screw/nail, through building membrane 31 to supporting structure 30. The ribs are preferably disk like and round (perpendicular to shaft), preferably substantially 5 mm to 12 mm in diameter with spaces of 2 mm to 8 mm between. The ribs formed integrally as part of the fixing or alternatively are formed as a secondary element (from any type of appropriate material, metal, plastic or otherwise having ribs), inserted over the shaft of the fixing element. The first rib to meet with the support structure 30 acts as a “seal” against building paper/membrane, substantially preventing moisture running down building paper from entering the structure through the penetration in the paper made by the fixing element. In addition, there are minor grooves around the portion of the nails shaft that is driven into the timber structure. These grooves substantially prevent withdrawal of the fixing keeping the fixing elements first rib against the building paper and the frame thus substantially preventing the area of penetration of the building paper by the fixing element from becoming exposed and vulnerable to leaking. A portion of the fixing element is connected to or within the structure. The fixing element may also be threaded to provide screws for fixing onto timber or steel framing. Masonry anchors or variations for masonry applications may also utilise this principle.

[0077] A particularly useful washer 49 is shown in FIGS. 10 to 12. The washers 49 are formed from profiled or injection moulded sheet with ripples 52 on the outer face of the cladding. The washers are formed from an appropriate material (possibly plastic but other materials can be used). In one form the washers are substantially 30 mm to 60 mm in diameter and are substantially planar on the outer face 53 with the central fixing aperture 54 countersunk to conceal the head of fixing within the outer washer surface in use. The outer face 53 may be textured to allow “keying” of plaster to the plastic washer. The inner face 55 of the washer 49 is profiled with ribs 56 to match the profile of the outer face of the cladding sheet. This substantially ensures optimal contact between the washers 49 and the cladding sheet, optimising holding of sheet to support structure without tearing or dramatically deforming the cladding sheets. The ribs 56 on the washer ensure the correct location of fixing elements and washers ensuring optimal performance.

[0078] A “key-hole” aperture 57 may be provided adjacent the central fixing aperture 54, whereby a larger diameter aperture (marginally larger than the diameter of the fixing head or anti-moisture migration ribs or both) is connected to central fixing aperture 54 by a slot the width of the associated fixings shaft. This “key-hole” permits the insertion of the fixing element through the “key-hole” then allows the fixing shaft to be correctly located in the central fixing aperture 54. The slot of this “key-hole” is restricted so that the fixing “snaps” into the correct location within the central aperture 54 and is held in its correct location. The “key-hole” and connecting slot is located along/within the thickening rib at the back of the washer so that the washer does not distort/divide along “key-hole” or fail when fixed. A washer can also be provided for flat sheets with location channels 46. Such a washer omits the profiled (contoured) back to match the sheet surface.

[0079] Once secured the cladding is finished with a coating 43 substantially as for known EIFS systems. The coating 43 is applied in a manner so as not to block the aperture in the insert 25.

[0080] For snow locations an alternative base block 10 can be provided where the drainage holes drain vertically through block from rebate lower point 22 to bottom face 14 of block 10.

[0081] This requires the base block to be set directly over a “drainage coil” to a depth preventing the freezing of the surrounding ground, and ground water, connected to a satisfactory storm water disposal system permitting the continuous evacuation of moisture. Base blocks with these vertical drainage holes can also be used where the ground level 15 is above the aperture level 25.

[0082] For stone veneer applications the invention can be provided as an insulating form work or shuttering between the stone veneer and a water-proofed support structure. This allows the back filling of grout behind the stonework on the outside face—allowing a self draining cavity to be maintained at the juncture of the back face 3 of the EPS block 1 and the support structure 30.

[0083] The block 1 is installed by impaling the block 1 onto pre-installed masonry ties fixed to a support structure—whether timber, masonry or any other material. Drainage at the base 4 of block 1 is achieved by installing a modified base block along length of a plurality of blocks 1 located above exterior finished ground level, then through weep holes between stone veneer blocks.

[0084] Referring to FIG. 7, for stone veneer application, the moisture discharge means is preferred to take the form of a plurality of weep holes or slots 70, which are located between the surrounding stones 72. Preferably the dimension of the slots 70 is, but not restricted to, 10 mm wide and 50 mm high. The passageway 21 in the base block for this application can be a substantially vertical slot rather than a hole.

[0085] A fill range of complementary flashings can be provided. Jamb flashings may be an elongated member 60 formed, for example, from an EIFS compatible material often a plastic material. An arm 61 sits against the adjacent face of block 1 and the window's jamb extrusion. A further arm 62, through which fixing to the structure can be achieved, is positioned between framing 63 and face 3 of block 1. A hooked or curved arm 64 is positioned in the space 65 behind the window's jamb extrusion 66. The plaster or other coating 43 laps over the arm 61 and up to window extrusion 66. A negative pressure profile 67 is formed continuously along the length of arm 62 to catch and evacuate moisture, allowing the flashing to be installed over building paper.

[0086] Regarding rising ground water migrating upward through base block 10, this water will be evacuated when the water reaches the rebate 20 either to the outer face 11 via apertures 21 or to a subterranean drainage coil via vertical drainage holes through base block. Alternatively cladding block 1 can be used as a base block draining to a drainage coil yet it would be recommended to install frame work 90 between adjacent sheets above ground level.

[0087] Turning now to FIG. 8, a cladding block 1 is fixed to the support structure above with framework 90 being provided at the bottom edge 4 of the cladding block 1 and sits on the base block 10 or another cladding block 11. Framework 90 can be made in one or more than one piece of polymer material or plastic material by any moulding or extrusion process, or of metal by hot or cold forming and welding or die-casting. Other materials and methods of production can also be used. The framework 90 includes an elongate nodal joint 96 from which extends the stem of a T-shaped usually substantially horizontal platform 92 and a slanting floor member 94. The member 92 receives and holds the upper cladding member 1. The member 92 may be down turned at its end 93 to encourage moisture egress. The slanting floor member 94 together with front and rear face element 106 and 108 cap the top portion of the lower cladding sheet or base block 10. Openings 98 are provided at regular spacings between substantially 10 mm to 50 mm spacings in the platform 92. Alternatively the openings 98 could be one or more long continuous slots whereby the horizontal platform 92 is supported from the vertical face element 107. Through openings 98, the channels 6 are in communication with an elongate triangular negative pressure cavity 100 which runs along the length of the cladding system, permitting continuous evacuation of moisture or water through a plurality of drainage apertures 102. Geometrically, the vertical cross section of the elongate cavity 100 is preferably triangular in shape but may be other shapes. The vertical cross section of the elongate cavity 100 may be other than triangular, for example trapezoidal. Gussets 104 or brackets or the like may be provided to strengthen the floor 94. In use, water or moisture will tend to collect in the channels 6, run through the openings 98 and down the slanting floor 94 to be discharged through drainage apertures 102. A front face element 107 is provided between the platform 92 and slanting floor 94 at the outer face of the insulating material for the purpose of supporting plaster. This manufactures a “monolithie” of the finished plaster.

[0088] Apertures 109 may be provided spaced along floor 94 to allow escape of any water rising upwardly from the ground about the footing. Alternatively the apertures 109 are spaced between openings 98 so that moisture draining from apertures 98, does not drain directly into apertures 109 below, as shown in FIG. 13.

[0089] Referring now to FIG. 9, another embodiment of the insulating material is shown. Cavities or channels 74 are provided intermittently along the front surface of the cladding member 1. The cavities or channels 74 extend between the top and bottom ends of the cladding member 1. The insulating material preferably comprises expanded polystyrene and are substantially 20 mm to 50 mm wide and substantially 5 mm to 30 mm in depth. It should however be contemplated that the shape and dimension of the channels may vary to optimise the impact resistance of the plaster applied over the surface of the channels when used in conjunction with an EIFS reinforced plaster finishing system. It is anticipated that a substantially sinusoidal pattern of the channels or cavities 74, when filled with plaster 76, will provide increased robustness to the front face 2 of the cladding member 1, whilst minimising the increase in the amount of plaster required to achieve this increased robustness. The channels or cavities 74, when filled with plaster, act as a plurality of small longitudinal beams, effectively increasing the overall depth of the finishing plaster (typically between 10 mm and 20 mm, represented by A-A in FIG. 7), and correspondingly increasing the cladding system's strength and impact resistance. The finishing plaster can be installed over the filled channels, reinforced and finished as per an existing EIFS system. Preferably, a reinforcing mesh 80 is provided within the plaster 76. The provision of channels 74 assure correct location of fixings as the relationship between the front channels 74 and rear channel 6 is known. Thus the fixing (when used in conjunction with complimentary washer), penetrates the rear face at the correct location through a rear face crest so as to eliminate total obstruction to any rear drainage channels from EPS “spoil” at this rear face, as a result of the fixing elements ribs displacing EPS material into rear channels. The ribs on the front face also allow quick and accurate alignment for on-site cutting.

[0090] The underlying principle as to why and how the impact resistance is increased is as follows:

[0091] When the outer face of the finished plaster is “struck” or “impacted”, the sinusoidal shape of the channels or cavities 74 allow such forces to be transferred from the thinner parts of the plaster (at the channel crests 82) to the thicker and stronger parts (at the troughs 84) in the channels through arching principles. It is also anticipated that the impact forces more effectively transfer and dissipate into the cladding member 1, due to the interface area 2 between the plaster and the cladding member 1 being greatly increased from that of plaster on a substantially planar front face of a cladding member. It is believed that impact resistance may be increased by as much as 300% to 400% with plaster use increasingly by only about 80%.

[0092] The ribs 74 also allow easier on-site levelling by sanding or “shaving” the EPS cladding members after installation and before plastering.

[0093] Additionally, due to the sinusoidal shape of the front face 2 of the cladding member 1, the plaster will adhere more effectively to the cladding member 1 thus reducing the possibility of “spalling” or separation of the plaster from the cladding member 1.

[0094] The head flashing 130 of FIG. 14 can be formed in one or more pieces in plastic, metal or otherwise. It consists of a head flashing with a vertical section fixed to structure 30 with sloping floor 131 out over window extrusion and vertical drip edge 132 extending down past the joinery face. A second drip edge 133 is formed vertically parallel to first drip edge 132 with a gap substantially 5 mm to 15 mm between. The second drip edge 133 extends vertically upwards at 134 to support bottom edge of cladding block above during installation. The second vertical drip edge 133 extends downward to match the height of the first drip edge 132. The second drip edge 133 acts as permanent shuttering to which plaster 136 can be finished up to, leaving this first drip edge exposed below the plaster wrapped around head of finished window aperture. This ensures that the drainage gap remains clear of plaster. A further “L” shaped portion 137 of the flashing projects outward and upward from second drip edge 133 as capping for EPS cladding sheet above the window aperture. A gusset 135 has apertures to permit moisture from behind the cladding sheets to escape down between the two adjacent drip edges 133 and 134.

[0095] A parapet junction flashing 140 is formed in one or more pieces in plastic metal or otherwise. Flashing 140 is installed over a sloping packing member 141 abutting an adjacent and perpendicular wall structure 142. The flashing 140 has a flat horizontal section 143 with two or more anti-moisture migration ribs 144 running on top of and across face 143, having a channel 146 at one end and then continuing vertical upward at 147 substantially perpendicular to the original flat horizontal face. The channel is formed to take any infiltrating moisture away from the adjacent wall structure that could normally enter the top of the parapets structure. This is installed over building paper and over the sloping packing member 141 on top of the parapet. The sloping packer 141 is rebated at 149 to accommodate the flashing channel 146, before the vertical portion 147 laps up the adjacent structure, behind the building paper 148 or similar membrane. The flashing is installed to match with width of the frame plus both faces lined with the cladding sheets 1. The anti-moisture migration ribs 144 run with the fall of the flashing. A proprietary “cap flashing” 145 is installed over the parapet flashing 140 and up to the edge of the parapet flashing channel below, leaving a 5 mm to 15 mm gap to the vertical face 147 of the parapet flashing 140.

[0096] The cladding sheet 1 to the adjacent wall is installed over the proprietary parapet “cap flashing” and caulked at the joint of these two elements then plastered. Moisture penetrating this sealed joint may migrate toward the adjacent wall structure. When reaching the “cap flashing” 145 end it will drop into the flashing channel 146 and be discharged through the existing moisture egress channels. Alternatively, moisture may run along the underside of the “cap flashing” but will be stopped at the anti-moisture migration ribs 144 on the horizontal portion 143 of the flashing and evacuated outside under the proprietary “cap flashing”.

[0097] The sill flashing 150 is constructed in a manner similar to known sill flashing except it has vertical step-up 151 behind the joinery section to resist wind driven moisture. It also has a series of apertures 152 in its intermediate (sloping) section 153 permitting safe evacuation of any wind-driven moisture driven up vertical step-up, out through drainage channels in back of cladding sheets.

[0098] The base block brackets 160 and 161 are formed from stable, robust, non-corrosive material. Bracket 160 is a long L-shaped bracket and is hung off the bottom plate 30 of support structure. It acts as a screeding guide for compacted hard-fill under the base block 10. It also acts as an anchor/locator so the base block will not “slump” over time should the hard-fill settle.

[0099] Bracket 161 is a J-shaped bracket with additional hook section 162 to hook over the top of the base block 10. The bracket 161 correctly locates and secures the base block 10 during and after installation. Bracket 161 hangs down into the drainage rebate 20 to ensure moisture from cladding sheet above drains into rebate.

[0100] Thus it can be seen at least in the preferred form of the invention a cladding member, and/or a cladding system and/or a cladding method are provided which has the advantage that any moisture migrating from the front face 2 towards the rear or entering the gap between the rear face and the supporting structure, for example, from leaking window frames or eaves will tend to collect in the substantially vertical channels and run down to either be discharged or collected in the receiving means of the base block and discharged to the front of the structure or as otherwise stated.

[0101] The preferred form of the present invention also has the advantage that the robustness of the front face of the cladding member is increased thereby improving the impact resistance of the cladding system.