FAQ - Knight Wall Systems


No. In fact, no cladding attachment system on the market does. Anything that penetrates insulation will create a thermal bridge. Some products do significantly reduce thermal bridging to the point it is generally regarded as negligible, such as the CI® System.

Believe it or not, THEY DO! Our thermally isolated brackets, called ThermaBrackets are specifically designed to maximize thermal performance by the way of all kinds of enhancements. They outperform FRP clips based upon industry-recognized and proven 3D thermal modeling by Morrison Hershfield. Our CI System is 98% effective, meaning it only “degrades” the wall assemblies total R-Value by only 2%! No FRP product is known to perform this well, currently on the market.

Indeed, KWS products are a bunch of components. But they are a system due to the thoughtful packaging and grouping of components together to provide a solution. Washers are sized appropriately to the screws. Rails are sized to fit the brackets. The steel used for all the products is of the same grade, quality and finish. And to top it all off, KWS can engineer the system for the project, and everything is delivered at once. The alternate approach leaves the contractor to source a bracket/clip, then get the rails fabricated to fit the bracket/clip, and also buy the wall anchors (hopefully of the proper size and length). KWS keeps it simple and as straightforward as possible to help ensure a quality product and project is delivered.

Our products are pre-engineered – which means we have examined dimensional compatibility of the pieces, appropriate sizing of holes per the fasteners, tested the strength of various components, thermally evaluated the systems impact on the wall assembly and so forth. Project specific engineering is an evaluation of the exact configuration of the products being used on a specific project with a specific cladding, etc.

The PanelRail and HCI-Girt are very similar in shape; however, their uses are far different. The HCI-Girt has much larger legs (~2x) and is designed to be used over the top of rigid insulation, where the increased bearing area helps distribute the loads. The PanelRail is intended to be used direct on a substrate (such as wood sheathing, concrete, etc) or attached directly to another rail/girt. Thus, these applications do not benefit from increased bearing area.

Not exactly – but you could think of it as a “specialty hat” for façade applications. It is very similar in the fact that it has two attachment legs and is profiled like a hat, but the similarities end there. It features perforations for air flow and drainage, it’s available in multiple sizes, factory-coated black for open joint façades, structural grade steel, exterior grade anti-corrosion coating (Zn-Al-Mg) for a long service life, and pre-punched wall anchor slots, which are helpful for wood and CMU/concrete substrates. There is nothing else like it on the market, readily available.

Any brand or type of insulation can be used with each of KWS products, however there are some insulation material properties for each of the systems that should be followed for proper installation. Code compliance of each insulation type must always be followed. CI and HCI Systems can be used with rigid foam insulation or Rockwool COMFORTBOARD 110.

No, not at all. Our PanelRail product is intended for use directly on substrate (wood sheathing, concrete, etc) and offers many benefits, such a perforations for air flow and drainage, multiple sizes, factory black coated, etc. We have also provided systems for a number of projects where the design intent was to simply “bump out” the cladding a number of inches.

Virtually any cladding can be used with our systems. None of Knight Wall Systems (and in fact any similar or comparable product on the market) can support the full dead load of full-bed brick veneer, full-bed stone (2”+ thick generally) or anything similar in weight. Thin stone (<1.5” thick generally), adhered masonry, terra cotta, stucco, GFRC, UHPC, fiber cement, phenolic, wood, metal panels and composites are all accommodated with any of our systems. See our compatible claddings page for more information.

Any of the KWS systems can be used with wood studs, steel studs, hollow or grouted CMU and concrete with the appropriate wall anchor.

Of course! We are more than happy to help any project team during design and, frankly, we highly recommend it. The earlier, the better – especially during the DD phase of design. Wall thicknesses, substrate and how the cladding is to look will all affect the attachment system. During CDs we can help assess spacings, details, etc. We’re approaching more than 1,000 projects completed, so the breadth of our experience can surely benefit your project. Take a look at a few projects we’ve completed.

Yes, KWS can provide project specific engineering of our systems. Every quote includes the price for this service. The engineering is performed as part of the submittal package and is a structural analysis of the system specific to the project where dead loads and live loads (wind, seismic, etc.) are determined based upon the projects location, design criteria set by the E.O.R. and the cladding being installed over the KWS system. The engineering is stamped by a registered professional engineer in the jurisdiction where the project is located. Analysis typically includes wall anchor connection to substrate (stress, shear, pullout), stress in the rails/girts as well as the brackets (when applicable) and deflection.

KWS does not require engineering to be done through KWS as part of our systems unless an extended limited warranty is required; however, an engineering analysis is always recommended by a qualified professional engineer.

KWS offers a 10-year limited warranty when KWS performs the engineering and supplies the wall anchors. The extended 10-year limited warranty covers components of the attachment system, including structural failure of components when all the materials and components are supplied and installed per manufacturer’s requirements. It includes labor and material for removal and replacement of defective material and labor to remove and reinstall façade finish panels, finish closures and façade finish accessories necessary to access defective material.

When engineering and wall anchors are not supplied, KWS does offer an industry standard one-year limited warranty for defective material only.

Yes, SPF can be used with the MFI System. Proper application of the SPF must be done in accordance with the SPF manufacturer’s instructions (such as depth/amount applied per pass, proper prepping of substrate, etc). Code compliance for the application and use of SPF on the exterior wall should be researched for restrictions.

Yes, we have provided custom profiles for many projects. However, we strongly advise you to try to work within our standard product offerings as they have shorter lead times and less cost. Give us a call to discuss what the goal is, and we will do our best to guide you.

KWS sells direct with no set distribution model or dealers. We have sales representatives across North America to assist in your local market. Please contact us directly and we will be more than happy to get the order process in motion.

YES! We do sell everything “a la carte.” For example, if you would just like to purchase ThermaBrackets for use with your own rails, we can provide that.

No, we only sell the cladding support framing system for the cladding.

Yes. All quotes, when quantities are known, will have a price for freight and crate included, unlike some manufacturers.

We package all of our rails/girts in a full six-sided wood crate – not just banded on pallets. This is for protection of the material to help reduce the risk of freight damage, so the installers can get to work immediately instead of waiting for replacement material.

No. The sales estimate KWS prepares are not “lump sum” or guaranteed “hard bid” quotes. However, they are generally accurate based upon a defined square footage area and an assumed spacing of the components. It is impossible to guarantee a quantity of components for various reasons, such as on-site scrap and scrap usage, material damaged on site, issued change orders and ASIs without KWS’s knowledge, dropped material such as screws, etc.

Estimated quantities of components are determined based upon calculated and empirical averages. Basically, we have a good idea how many brackets, girts, rails, etc. are typically needed to cover a certain area at a given spacing (on average).

No. We have no such program(s). We are more than happy to help out whenever help or guidance is needed, however.

No. All that is required for proper installation is basic building/construction skills (drill gun, saw, etc), layout skills (tape measure, laser, stud locations, etc) and follow the maximum spacing of the rails/girts and brackets (if applicable). Having cladding and façade experience is certainly recommended. Anyone who has installed Z-furring or hat channels for cladding support can install a KWS product.

Many trades possess the skills and experience needed for a proper install; however, KWS does recommend (but doesn’t require) the cladding/panel installer also install the KWS system, generally speaking. Coordination between the attachment system and cladding/panels are generally required.