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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do Knight Wall Systems products eliminate thermal bridging in exterior walls?

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.

Do Knight Wall Systems steel products outperform FRP clips and girts thermally?

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.

What is a “system” and how is it better? It just looks like a bunch of components.

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.

I thought these systems were pre-engineered, what is project-specific engineering? Why do I need it?

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.

What is a PanelRail® and why is it different than an HCI-Girt?

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.

Isn’t the PanelRail® just a hat channel?

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.

What insulation or brands can be used with Knight Wall Systems?

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.

Does the project have to use exterior insulation for a KWS product to be used?

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.

What claddings can be used with Knight Wall Systems?

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.

Can Knight Wall Systems be used with other substrates or only steel studs?

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

Can Knight Wall Systems assist us during the design of the project?

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.

Does Knight Wall Systems provide project specific engineering? What does that mean?

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.

What is the limited warranty offered by Knight Wall Systems?

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. Please contact Knight Wall Systems or your local product representative for applicable warranty terms and conditions.

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

Can spray foam (SPF) be used with Knight Wall Systems products?

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.

Does Knight Wall Systems have the ability to create custom profiles?

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.

Where do I purchase Knight Wall Systems products?

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.

Can I purchase just components, parts and pieces from Knight Wall Systems or do I have to buy the whole system?

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.

Does Knight Wall Systems sell claddings, insulation or AVBs?

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

Does Knight Wall Systems include the cost of freight on their quotes?

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

What is the crate charge?

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.

Are the estimates given by Knight Wall Systems lump sum quotes?

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.

How are the estimated quantities of components determined?

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). Please contact Knight Wall Systems or your local product representative if you have further questions.

Do you have to be a certified or registered installer to install a Knight Wall Systems product?

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

Do KWS products require special training or special knowledge to install?

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.

Who is best to install KWS systems?

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. Please contact Knight Wall Systems or your local product representative if you have further questions.