IMPORTANT: Failure to follow the guidelines herein will void the AL13™ warranty.
Please read and understand the entirety of this guide. Guidelines may vary depending on project particulars and conditions. Contact AL13™ with questions regarding variance from this guide. Standard carpentry skills are required for optimum results. Good health and safety practices must be followed when installing AL13™ ACM System.
- 1 Key Steps for a Successful Installation
- 2 Planning and Preparation
- 3 Pre-Installation: Receiving Materials
- 4 Material Handling
- 5 Product Legend
- 6 Inventory
- 7 Tools
- 8 Panel Layout
- 9 Material Usage
- 10 Soffits & Other Areas
- 11 Fixtures and Signage
- 12 Radiused Walls
- 13 Planning & Preparing Substrate
- 14 Quick Install Guide/Tips
- 15 Fit & Finish
- 16 Removing Panels
- 17 Substrate/Engineering Recommendations
Key Steps for a Successful Installation
1. Understand the various elements of the system.
2. Plan the installation, work schedule, layout, and material usage.
3. Ensure everyone working has read the installation guidelines.
4. Execute work in the sequence set forth in the installation guidelines.
5. Protection should be worn at all times; gloves, ear protection, safety glasses and hard hat.
6. Protect the product by storing the material in a dry and clean environment.
7. Ensure proper fit of the system.
8. Upon completion of installation remove protective film and clean any debris on wall.
Planning and Preparation
Installation is extremely simple and enables the configuration to be tailored on site. Panels are fixed in place by the snap-lock fastener. Panels are not welded or formed during the construction.
AL13™ prices start around $15 per square foot depending on the design, layout and colour chosen.
When doing takeoffs from a set of architectural plans, AL13™ recommends colour coding the different Frame components to determine order quantity. When designing the layout for the AL13™ system avoid using ‘L’ or ‘U’ shaped notches in 8’(2440 mm) individual panels.
All extrusions components come in 8'(2440mm) lengths. Extruded components may be calculated by lineal feet. It is recommended to order 10-15% in overages to accommodate miscuts or damage that may occur on site.
AL13™ panels are sold in a 4' x 8' (1220mm x 2440mm) sheet. When calculating the required quantity it is important to calculate quantity by the square footage as well as panel layout . Any installation varying from the original plan may affect quantities and cause material shortages. Make sure to check the cut plan to determine if this will result in any further shortages. It is recommended to order 10-15% extra panels for overages.
Pre-Installation: Receiving Materials
When materials arrive on site, ensure that all panels, extrusions and other component packaging are in good condition and free of any defects.
- Shipping or packaging issues should be noted on the waybill and then reported to the distributor.
- Should any products be damaged, the receiving party is responsible for filing a freight claim to the shipping company within 24 hours of receiving product.
- Defective materials should be reported to the distributor from which the product was dispatched from.
System panels are shipped on pallets of 60 sheets (or less) per unit, with the other components boxed and strapped on top. The sheets are secured in place with metal strapping and wood sheeting. Each panel is also covered with protective wrap. Panels should be kept in their original packaging or similar and moved by a forklift or pallet jack. Once a pallet is unwrapped and metal straps are cut, panels may be moved individually. Ensure to use clean work gloves to protect from sharp edges and keep panels clean. Panels must be first lifted vertically away from panel, then away - DO NOT DRAG OR SLIDE panels across. Store all materials in a clean and dry environment, both before and after materials are unpacked
When materials arrive on site, ensure that all panels, extrusions and other component packaging are in good condition and free of any defects. Shipping or packaging issues should be noted on the waybill and then reported to the distributor.
Panels should be kept in their original packaging or similar, and moved by a forklift or pallet jack.
Once a pallet is unwrapped and metal straps are cut, panels may be moved individually. Ensure to use clean work gloves to keep panels clean and protect from sharp edges. Panels must be first lifted vertically away from panel, then away - DO NOT DRAG OR SLIDE panels across.
Store all materials in a clean and dry environment, both before and after materials are unpacked.
The installation guide will discuss various components of the system and use component reference blocks. Please refer to the following to verify the correct component.
End Frame: Generally installed in a vertical or horizontal orientation and is used to terminate the wall system or butt/transition to another wall surface. May be used to butt up to the frames of windows, doors or any other protrusions and recesses in the wall surface. To accommodate corners greater or less than 90°, two end frames should be used butting edge to edge.
Inside Corner Frame: Generally installed in a vertical orientation and is used to transition the wall system across a 90° inside corner. May be installed in the same sequence and manner as the Vertical End Frame.
Outside Corner Frame: Generally installed in a vertical orientation and is used to transition the wall system across a 90° outside corner. May be installed in the same sequence and manner as the Vertical End Frame.
Panel Frame Assembly: Installed both horizontally & vertically and is generally installed between adjacent panels.
Perimeter Frame Assembly: Installed both horizontally & vertically to terminate the system, used as an alternate to the End Frame as desired. May be used to butt up to the horizontal or vertical frames of windows, doors or any other protrusions and recesses in the wall surface.
Panel Spacer: Installed behind the panel attached directly to the substrate. Spaced at 12-18” inches (305 - 457 mm) apart while the centermost panel spacers are placed 6-8” (152 - 203 mm) apart.
ACM Panel : Installed ensuring the direction indicator found on the protective coating are all facing the same direction. Panels are to be cut so there is approximately 1/8” space on all sides when being placed inside the frames.
Double sided adhesive tape: installed the full length on only the centermost panel spacers.
AL13™ Fasteners: To be exclusively used on all AL13™ products. See fastener specification guide found in AL13™ binder to be used as a guide.
AL13™ ACM System panels are shipped on pallets in 60 sheets (or less) per unit. The sheets are secured in place with metal strapping and covered with protective wrap. Panels should be kept in their original packaging or similar and moved by a forklift or pallet jack.
Once a pallet is unwrapped and metal straps are cut, panels may be moved individually. Ensure to use clean work gloves keep panels clean and protect from sharp edges. Panels must be first lifted vertically away from panel, then away - DO NOT DRAG OR SLIDE panels across.
Store all materials in a clean and dry environment, both before and after materials are unpacked.
Wear gloves when handling materials, and use suction cups when mounting panels to wall. Ensure to wear eye and ear protection when cutting materials. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
AL13™ always recommend the use of all PPE including but not limited– Eye protection, Ear protection, Hi-vis vest, hard hat and gloves. AL13™ is made to be installed with general tools, a recommended tool list is as follows:
- Sawhorses/work surface
- Circular saw, handheld with non ferrous blade
- Compound mitre saw with non ferrous blade
- Table saw
- Cordless electric impact with 5/16” magnetic hex bit
- Cordless electric drill
- Drill bit set
- File (for de-burring cut sheets)
- Tape Measure
- Pencils or fine tip marker
- Level/plumb line
- Chalk line
- Utility knife
- Suction cups
- AL13™ SLED tool
- Rubber mallet
- Aviation snips
- Thin glaziers pry bar
It is important to commence work with good construction practice and schedule work with other trades to avoid delays. Once installation begins it must not be delayed for any length of time as damage may occur to the system, substrate or both due to exposure to the elements. Before any installation begins, it is imperative to plan the layout of the system. The architectural plans/elevations should be reviewed to determine the appropriate ‘grid’ for the system. Should no such plans be available, measure areas to develop a pattern that will maximize panel size, aesthetics and minimize fabrication.
Standard panel size is 4’ x 8’ (1220mm x 2440mm). Do not use these dimensions for determining layout lines, adequate space must be left between panels for extrusions. Note that between horizontal panels the upper panel may sit on the edge of the frame extrusion and decrease the gap from approximately 1” to approximately 3/4”.
Once the layout has been determined, double check that there is an adequate amount of materials present for the application at hand. Since estimation takeoffs and quantities are based on panel layout, any installation varying from the original plan may affect quantities and cause material shortages. Make sure to check the cut plan to determine if this will result in any further shortages. When calculating material usage, note that vertical extrusions - in most cases - will carry through continuously, while the horizontals tuck and terminate under the tabs of the verticals.
Soffits & Other Areas
AL13™ may be used in soffit locations, color matched soffit ventilation material is available by special request.
AL13™ may also be installed on areas that aren't soffit or wall cladding. Please ensure that clients understand that AL13™ is a flow through rainscreen system that does allow moisture to enter, and exit - and isn't watertight.
Fixtures and Signage
AL13™ may be cut to allow for electrical boxes, hose bibs, lighting, or other fixtures, (same as every other cladding system).
Signage and other large/heavy items will always have to mount directly to the substrate and use spacers /dowels to offset the mechanical fasteners.
The AL13™ system can install directly on a substrate that is curved, to a minimum of (approx) a 16' (4877 mm) radius. For substrates with a radius of less than 16'(4877 mm) AL13™ recommends that the appropriate panels and extrusions be rolled before installation. The extrusions will have to be rolled by AL13™ before they are coated (to the installers specific dimensional requirements), this service is available by special request. Rolling the system components will allow AL13™ to do a curve with a smaller radius than 16'(4877 mm) to a lower limit of a 20" (508 mm) radius.
note: when components are rolled there is a small amount of waste (6" to 8") at each end of every piece that is rolled.
Planning & Preparing Substrate
Before any installation is to commence, the building wrap/envelope must be complete to spec before anything goes on the wall. Once installation begins it must not be delayed for any length of time as damage may occur to the system, substrate or both due to exposure to the elements.
The panel frame assembly utilizes the snap lock technology and requires an impact to engage the two components. Ensure that the substrate is solid enough to sustain this impact.
- If on sheeting, a minimum of 1/2” (13mm) ply or osb is required.
- When attaching AL13™ to metal girt or hat, sections are required to be made of minimum 18 gauge galvanized steel with a minimum of a 3" (76 mm) fastening tab.
- If attaching over rigid insulation girt or hat, section may be spaced maximum every 24 inches (61 mm) on center.
- If attaching onto open girt where there is no rigid insulation behind or the insulation is not flush with the face of the fastening tabs, girt or hat sections must be spaced every 16” (406 mm) on center.
Quick Install Guide/Tips
- The vertical perimeter extrusions are normally the first extrusions to be fixed to the wall.
- If one length of the End Frame extrusion is not long enough to span the distance required, it is necessary to use a second piece and butt the two together. Take care in aligning butt joints so that they are flush, shim as needed.
- Top and bottom horizontal extrusions will be added next. Horizontal compo will be added next ensuring that there are 1/4” (6.4 mm)weep hole drilled every 16” (406 mm) on center on the bottom perimeter frame to allow water to pass through the system.
- Horizontal extrusions are to have their tabs tucked behind vertical extrusions as this promotes the best water draining and aesthetically fewer shadows.
- Both sides of All frame components should be tucked behind the tab on both sides so cut lines should not be visible. The only exceptions will be to vertical perimeter frame components.
- Back plates are to be added according to layout. Verticals may be added in solid sections whereas horizontals must be segmented to allow water to flow through the system.
- Segmented back plates must be perfectly aligned to ensure the appearance of a straight and plumb top cap.
- All back frame components are to be cut approx 3” (76 mm) short of intersections to allow for appropriate distance required to tuck top caps behind to tuck tabs.
- At the intersection of vertical and horizontal End Frames, the horizontal End Frame shall sit under the tab of the vertical End Frame.
- Back Frames as well as inside and outside corners have two fastening tabs. Minimum fastener specifications are required to be met on both tabs.
- The Panel Spacers should be cut to fit so that they sit a couple inches away from the nearest frame component. The ends of the outermost Panel Spacers may also be bent slightly away from the wall to increase the pressure acting on the panel towards the underside of the extrusion tabs. This helps to ensure that the panel seats tightly in the corners where the extrusions tuck under one another.
- Panel spacers are to be placed as near as possible to the left and right of the frame component without overlapping. Panel Spacers are to be placed 12-18” (305 - 457 mm) apart with the center most spacers 6-8” (152 - 203 mm) apart.
- A minimum of two panel spacers must be used per panel.
- A minimum of two fasteners per component must be used.
- Panel spacers are to be fastened on both ends with a maximum spacing of 24” (610 mm).
- The outermost panels spacers may be slightly bent away from the wall to ensure a snug fit to the frame components.
- Once a panel is ready to be fit, it may be taken off the stack. Make sure not to drag sheets across, rather lift the sheet up off the stack then away. Although the panels have a protective film applied from the factory, reckless panel handling may cause damage to panel through the wrap. It is recommended that at least two persons carry one sheet.
- The ACM Panel may need to be cut down if a smaller size from the standard 4’ x 8’ (1220 x 2440 mm) is required. This may be done using a standard circular saw, or table saw with non- ferrous metal blade ensuring cuts are straight and clean.
- Before fitting the panel ensure that all the required Panel Spacers, adhesive and back plates are installed.
- An appropriate cut panel will have approximate a 1/8” gap on all sides between the frame components to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.
- After cutting the panel, the edges of the panel may be deburred using a file. The protective film should be peeled back approximately 1” (25 mm) from the edges, but should remain on the panel otherwise. Gloves should be worn to keep panel clean and to protect hands from sharp edges.
- Suction cups are the recommended method for transporting panels. It greatly increase the ease and speed of the install and helps prevents cut and pinch hazards that may occur when installing panels.
- The horizontal top caps are to be cut to the appropriate length. They are to be hammered into place with a rubber mallet and AL13™ SLED. Similar to the panels top caps are to be sized with at least a 1/8” gap on either side to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.
- Vertical top caps will be the last to be installed ensuring the top and bottom are tucked behind frame assemblies.
- If the vertical top cap section is greater then the 8' length, It will be required to butt to another top cap section. It is imperative that the top caps butt joint occurs in the same back frame assembly to ensure a tight, straight and plumb joint.
- Once all extrusions are fully engaged, the protective coating may be removed and panels may be wiped down with a clean wet cloth to remove any marks that result from handling.
Fit & Finish
- All panels are to be completely surrounded by frame components by at least half the distance of the tab.
- Panels are to be tight to the frame components.
- A properly installed panel will not move or chatter in the wind
- Gaps, with exception of where the a component tucks behind another, is a sign of an improperly cut panel or an uneven substrate. Manipulate panel spacers or shim as need to keep these to a minimum.
- There should be no visible fasteners.
- All components are designed to tuck behind each other. Visible cut lines should not be visible with exception of butted joints.
Removing panels may be accomplished by removing top cap by cutting through the center with a circular saw or an angle grinder with aluminum cutting disc. Be very careful to not scratch or damage existing installed components.
Remove top cap carefully with your hand by collapsing it in on itself and pulling away from the back plate.
Pull panels off the wall using suction cups.
When replacing a panel, the centermost panel spacers with the double sided adhesive must be replaced at the same time.
AL13™ doesn't get involved with specifying/reviewing building envelope, the responsibility of this lies with the project envelope engineer and/or architect. The reason being that each country, province, city, and region will all do things vastly different - even different inspectors will interpret the code differently. Envelope specifications vary even from architect-to-architect and engineer-to-engineer within the same region, it would be impossible for AL13™ to state a one-solution-fits-all approach, or get involved with this to any measure.