Rainscreens in Metal Construction

What is a Rainscreen?

According to RAiNA (The Rainscreen Association in North America), “A rainscreen is defined as an assembly applied to an exterior wall which consists of, at minimum, an outer layer, an inner layer, and a cavity between them sufficient for the passive removal of liquid water and water vapor.” Rainscreens are effective at managing moisture and provide exceptional opportunities for energy-efficient performance via continuous insulation and reducing thermal bridging. Assemblies that fall into this definition range from masonry, to clip and rail, and pressure-equalized systems.

Rainscreens are a critical step in the building assembly. During a recent METALCONLive!, Andrew Ashton, business development manager at CENTRIA, a Nucor Company, and RAiNA’s secretary and co-chair of the Definitions Committee, explained how the committee took great care to formulate the rainscreen definition. To get there, they surveyed companies and asked what the most problematic terminology they struggled with while facing customers/stakeholders and at what frequency. After identifying 189 terms problematic, the Definitions Committee came to the conclusion that a comprehensive definition of rainscreen was necessary to bridge the communication gap within the construction industry.

Formation of RAiNA

Over the last two decades, the building science community has pushed exterior wall assembly performance to the front of the conversation regarding overall building performance. RAiNA has attracted many of the leading voices in the building science community. This type of coordination displays one of the organization’s goals of delivering science-based guidance to improve both commercial and residential buildings. Today, high-performance building envelopes are required to provide a durable, energy-efficient, safe, and comfortable environment for the occupants. As manufacturers continue to innovate with material performance, and building designs continue to evolve, applicable building knowledge is more important than it has ever been.

As a result, RAiNA was formed in 2020 as a multi-disciplinary, member-led organization to help meet today’s building design and construction challenges. They lead by their mission statement: “To work together with our membership, industry, and trade to be the recognized authority on rainscreen assemblies in North America.”

Benefits of Attending METALCON for Rainscreen Enthusiasts

Look no further than METALCON ’23 to learn more about rainscreens. Leaders with RAiNA and companies specializing in the rainscreen assembly will be on-hand at exhibit booths and presenting at the following workshops and education sessions:

IMMERSIVE WORKSHOP: RAiNA Installer Training for Rainscreen Assemblies

WHEN: Thursday, October 19 – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
WHERE: Convention Center Meeting Room TBD
PRESENTER: Steven Gaynor, Managing Director, Pivoth Corp. and RAiNA’s Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: In this full-day, hands-on course, you’ll receive instructions on installing the various components of rainscreen assemblies and understand the science as to why they provide superior moisture management. Hear from industry experts on the proper sequencing, installation requirements, and how the entire system comes together. As a result of attending, you will be able to:

  • Describe the science of moisture management and how rainscreen walls can mitigate liquid water ingress and maximize wall performance.
  • Identify key concepts in Rainscreen assemblies and describe the various components that make up the wall.
  • Determine key installation requirements for each of the rainscreen components.
  • Through the use of a mock-up wall, define the sequence of construction and how building trades integrate their respective scope.
  • Using a mock-up wall, construct a rainscreen assembly including the water-resistive barrier/air barrier, insulation materials, cladding attachments, and exterior facade.
  • Earn Continuing Education Credit: Approved for 1.0 AIA Learning Education Credits

This workshop requires pre-registration, an additional fee but includes your 3-day exhibit hall pass. Learn more about our NEW Value Pass options for the BEST DEAL for adding workshops to your agenda!

What Makes Rainscreen Walls Work

WHEN: Thursday, October 19 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
WHERE: The Architect’s Pavilion, Exhibit Hall (FREE education session)
PRESENTER: Todd Kimmel, CPD, CDHT, US Senior Manager of Sustainable Solutions, ROCKWOOL and the current RAiNA Chair of the Board of Directors


  • Describe the components of a rainscreen wall and their functions
  • Integrate the science and practical aspects of rainscreen wall performance
  • Discuss specific considerations for heat, air, and moisture control as well as structure and fire
  • Design and detail higher-performance rainscreen walls
  • Discover long term benefits of integrating rainscreens in exterior walls
  • Earn Continuing Education Credit: Approved for 1.0 AIA Learning Education Credit

Integrating Cladding in Rainscreens and the Differences Between the Two

WHEN: Wednesday, October 18, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
WHERE: The Architect’s Pavilion, Exhibit Hall (FREE education session)
PRESENTER: Steven Gaynor, Managing Director, Pivoth Corp. and RAiNA’s Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors


  • Discover the components of a rainscreen assembly and the key functions that they provide
  • Learn the typical cladding types
  • Find out the key material properties for cladding assemblies
  • Identify how to accommodate cladding types into a rainscreen assembly
  • Learn how cladding and rainscreens affect the durability of a building
  • Earn Continuing Education Credit: Approved for 1.0 AIA Learning Education Credit

Buying MCM: What the Industry Has in Store For You

WHEN: Thursday, October 19 – 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
WHERE: Best Practices Learning Center, Exhibit Hall (FREE education session)
PRESENTERS: Tom Seitz, Director, MCM Alliance, Metal Construction Association (MCA), John Trifonoff, Vice President, East Coast Metal Systems, Jeff Henry, CEO and co-founder of CEI Materials, and Kevin “Dutch” Juedeman, SE Regional Sales Manager, Arconic Architectural Products


  • Find out which building codes affect metal composite materials
  • How metal composite materials react in fire testing and how mcm materials can affect the combustibility of a building
  • Learn how various high-tech finishes affect a metal composite material wall system
  • Discover various MCM wall systems and how they integrate into a building
  • MCM materials being integrated into rainscreen systems
  • Earn Continuing Education Credit: Approved for 1.0 AIA Learning Education Credit




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