The use of Opaque Ventilated Façades (OVF) has considerably increased in recently years as an envelope solution in a variety of building types, climates, and design configurations. It is considered an appropriate solution not only for renovation of existing buildings but also for new buildings.
The influence of ventilated façades in buildings is a constantly current issue in research always concluding the importance of the envelope in the reduction of energy needs in the whole building, and the importance of an accuracy model for the deep knowledge of the façade performance.
Currently, the main interest in OVFs is their ability to reduce cooling thermal loads in Southern European locations. Although reference literature recognizes energy savings associated to the use of OVFs in comparison with traditional solutions, previous energy studies consider a limited number of locations and standard solutions.
Trying to fill in an existing gap, this article includes information from different studies carried out in recent years which address the thermal and energy performance of OVFs.
It also explains the implications of both external ambient conditions and design decision (external layer material, joints, air cavity width¿) in terms of the energy and thermal performance of OVFs. This paper also provides some key strategies for customizing the façade design according to specific climate conditions.