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KWS™ HCI System Cladding Attachment

Horizontal-Girt Continuous Insulation Attachment Should Be Simple to Design + Easy to Install

Now approved for use with up to 4″ of high-density stone wool, such as ROCKWOOL Comfortboard 110.

The KWS™ award-winning HCI system provides outstanding thermal performance by way of true ci (continuous insulation). As a compliment to the original CI® system, the HCI system enables vertical cladding (and secondary rails) to be installed directly to the HCI-GIRT. This offers easy installation, broad design flexibility, and cost savings, all while still easily meeting North American energy code requirements.

HCI system uses unique ¾” deep horizontal girts – called HCI-GIRT – designed to properly disburse the façade loads over exterior rigid insulation – with only unique thermally isolated fasteners penetrating the thermal barrier thus minimizing thermal bridging. It can be installed over most substrates including steel studs, wood studs, CMU and concrete.

For basic, cost-effective vertical claddings, only a single layer of HCI-GIRT may be needed. For more complex cladding designs or types, choose from a wide variety of KWS™ secondary rails for those panels requiring specific attachment points.

HCI system’s components are produced in standard and custom lengths, in either 16- or 18-gauge Zn-Al-Mg coated steel (standard silver or black PVDF coated) and also available in stainless steel.

HCI system attachment completes the rainscreen envelope design, whether choosing metal panels, aluminum composite material (ACM) panels, fiber cement, GFRC, or many more. And choose any brand of insulation that meets minimum compressive strength and code requirements, simplifying design specifications.

View our frequently asked questions for more information.

Advantages to the KWS™ HCI System Rainscreen

  • Horizontal HCI-GIRT can be spaced up to 48 inches O.C.*
  • Support cladding weighing up to 20 PSF*, covering many popular cladding types
  • Real labor savings – no notching or cutting of exterior rigid board insulation like with Z-furring, brackets or clips
  • Thermally isolated wall anchors with specially designed ThermaStop™ washers come preassembled
  • Non-combustible steel girt.
  • Highly corrosive-resistant Zn-Al-Mg ZM40 (ASTM A1046) coated steel provides a long service life vs. typical G90 Galvanized steel
  • Black PVDF finish or stainless steel options available, competitively priced
  • Easily installed over any type of substrate – steel studs, wood studs, CMU, concrete, even brick
  • Engineering calculations provide design load compliance for each specific project
  • Attach nearly any type of cladding – supplied by any manufacturer – with easy and efficient detailing and installation
  • Use any manufacturers insulation meeting minimum compressive strength and other code requirements
  • Cladding can be attached directly to the horizontal HCI-GIRT or used with optional vertical rails (such as PanelRail®)
  • Excellent ventilation with a 3/4-inch minimum continuous rainscreen cavity
  • Pre-engineered and 3rd party tested for proven performance and durability
  • Competitive, budget conscious assembly that meets ASHRAE 90.1 standard
  • Complete, drop-in rainscreen attachment system – girts, thermally isolated fasteners, rails and engineering – one source liability for the whole system
  • Limited labor and material warranty


  • DEPTH: 0.75″ or custom depths available
  • FINISH: Mill or Black
  • GAUGE: 18-GA or 16-GA – both 50 ksi
  • LENGTH: 120″ Standard or custom lengths available

*Spacing of components varies by project based on project specific conditions. Maximum allowable spacing and dead load (weight of cladding) is based on the total load (dead + live) acting on the assembly and connections. Depending on the system, insulation thickness will influence the systems capacities.

Wall anchors must be specified and supplied by KWS for an extended written limited warranty. KWS will specify the exact anchor type, embedment depth and spacing for anchors in project specific engineering packages. ThermaStop thermal isolation washers must be used on all types of wall anchors with the HCI or CI System, regardless of the substrate.

NOTICE: No freedom from any patent owned by Knight Wall Systems or others is to be inferred. Because use conditions and applicable laws may differ from one location to another and may change with time, Customer is responsible for determining whether products and the information in this document are appropriate for Customer’s use. NO EXPRESS WARRANTIES ARE GIVEN EXCEPT FOR ANY APPLICABLE WRITTEN WARRANTIES SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY KNIGHT WALL SYSTEMS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES INCLUDING THOSE OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.

CI, CI-Girt, MFI, ThermaZee, ThermaBracket, TermGirt and PanelRail are registered trademarks controlled by Knight Wall Systems, Inc. ThermaStop is a trademark of Knight Wall Systems, Inc. Patents US 11,299,891; 11,286,676; 9,856,655; 9,732,518; 9,677,268; 8,429,866 and others pending. This list is not exhaustive and Knight Wall Systems does not waive its rights in regard to other patents or trademarks that are not listed.