The innovative world of residential cladding

The innovative world of residential cladding


A raft of innovative design trends – coupled with a greater focus on recycling and sustainability – has seen the cladding world go from strength to strength. For residential projects in particular, there are no shortage of options. Here, we explore some of the most interesting and exciting cladding trends.

The sustainable

While not appropriate for more traditional homeowners and builders, there’s something to be said for how far some cladding producers are willing to go in the name of sustainability. There’s moss tile cladding that literally grows life over time, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to help improve internal air flow. One architect has even designed planter bricks, which combine concrete masonry with house plants and vegetation.

Back home, sensibility meets sustainability by way of practical and low-maintenance cladding innovations. There’s repurposed steel that can provide a rustic aesthetic,. Or a mixed-materials combination of shiplap timber and slate tiles, which provides comprehensive weatherproofing against the Melbourne climate, while also being extremely eye-catching.

The reusable

There’s also been greater focus on waste, of which the construction industry is a major contributor. In fact, construction is responsible for a whopping 25% of the solid waste generated globally. So it’s no wonder companies like Ecoloop – Australia’s first Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) recycling solution for cladding waste – have popped up recently.

Many innovative cladding producers are making their own mark on waste reduction by focusing on reclaimed and recycled timber. This has led to something of a timber revival across many parts of the country. Homeowners are now able to enjoy the uniquely striking design and aesthetic applications of timber without also contributing to the destruction of the natural environment.

The alternative

But for all its visual splendour, timber is an increasingly expensive commodity. COVID-19 has played a significant role in the explosion of timber costs, so it’s unsurprising that Australian homeowners are looking for alternatives that both more cost-effective and easier to maintain than traditional timber.

James Hardie are leaders in this space, producing fibre-cement alternatives that deliver striking styles both on the façade and indoors. Better still, they have been designed to withstand Australia’s harsh weather, being resistant to fire, rot, termites, and moisture damage.

Their latest innovation in this space is Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding. “With fibre cement being such a chameleon, you can really do anything with it,” says Christian Hansen, Product Marketing Manager at James Hardie.

“In defining what a modern contemporary house is, we found that people want a cladding solution that delivers a minimalist, pared-back style. And render does that really well. With Hardie Fine Texture Cladding, we now have a render product that delivers the model look that homeowners want.”

While homeowners love the minimalist aesthetic, Hardie Fine Texture Cladding also makes life easier for builders.

“From an installation point of view, it's an absolute game-changer because we've made the process of building a rendered wall easy. Trades no longer have to get someone to set a joint because it has a shiplap joint leaving a subtle V-groove, and the texture is no longer applied to the board. The sheets are gun-nailed on, and the nails hide in the texture so there's no patching. You then just roll on a couple of coats of regular exterior paint because it comes pre sealed.”

And when both trades and homeowners are happy, it’s a cladding match made in heaven.


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