SATE is a façade construction system that can be used for both new construction and renovations. In recent years there has been a boom in SATE in rehabilitation works. The rehabilitation with SATE meets two construction requirements:

  1. It solves the lack of continuity, aging and other deficiencies of the surface coating of the facade, making it more impervious to the action of rain and protecting it from the sun.
  2. It also greatly improves your energy behavior.

If you have carried out the ITE and deficiencies have been detected in the façade, rehabilitating the façade of your building with the SATE system is one of the best options in the field of construction.

“It has a very good finish and in a few years you will begin to recover the money invested by saving energy costs”


Scheme of the SATE system. Source IDAE.

Constructively, what is SATE?

SATE, as its name indicates, is the Exterior Thermal Insulation System. Its acronym in English is ETICS, Exterior Thermal Insulation System. The acronyms refer to the position of the insulation within the facade system which, as we will see, can be very important in the advantages of the system itself.

There are different types of SATE depending on its main component, the insulation, which can be: rock wool, EPS expanded polystyrene, XPS extruded polystyrene and other non-conventional insulation such as cork.

Installation method

The SATE can be placed with mechanical anchors, dowels, or bonded, or with both fixing solutions.

SATE coteterm

SATE components.

The cutting of the plates must be staggered or joint (see diagram 1), the anchors must be placed as in the attached graphic (see diagram 2). The corners must also be made by breaking the joint, that is, always avoiding that the joint has vertical continuity in the corner (see diagram 3). In windows and other openings in general, it must be taken into account that the horizontal or vertical joints of the insulating panels do not coincide with the edges that delimit the opening (see diagram 4). The corners must be reinforced with fiberglass mesh, to avoid breakage (see diagram 5).

esquema montaje - despiece general - ea etics

Scheme 1. Exploded view of insulation panels.

esquema montaje - anclaje patron - ea etics

Scheme 2. Correct placement of anchors.

esquema montaje - despiece esquina - ea etics

Scheme 3. Exploded corner.

esquema montaje - despiece ventana - ea etics

Scheme 4. Correct opening situation.

esquema montaje - refuerzo diagonal - ea etics

Scheme 5. Placement of opening corner reinforcements.

In the figure you can see the fixing pin and the elements of the system.

elementos sistema 00 - Espiga-Wall-Termelementos sistema 01 - fuente IDAE

System details

Like any self-respecting system, the unique details are defined by the technicians of each commercial house that operates the system. The designer and the installer have to take special care with these since it is at these points that we could find ourselves with problems in the future. Of all the typical details, it is necessary to highlight the importance of the following details in delivery resolutions of different construction faces:

  1. Detail of the vertical section of the facade with the ground (detail 1)
  2. Detail of vertical section of facade with floor and continuity with basement insulation (detail 2)
  3. Detail of vertical section in plane changes on the facades (detail 3)
  4. Detail of the vertical section of the facade with the roof sill and the crowning gutter (detail 4)
  5. Detail of horizontal section of delivery in jambs in windows, in recessed windows with respect to the exterior plane of the facade (detail 5)
  6. Detail of horizontal section of delivery in jambs in windows, in recessed windows with respect to the exterior plane of the facade (detail 5)
  7. Detail in axonometry of the delivery of the flashing with the jambs, with resolutions to avoid dripping both in the lateral and frontal drainage (detail 6)

NOTE: The manufacturer’s details are not exhaustive, many times the technician has to adapt them to each specific situation. Keep in mind that SATE is a simple system, you only have to know the points where a good resolution of detail is important.

Detalle encuentro fachada suelo 02 - ea etics

Detail 1. Facade with vertical floor.

Detalle encuentro fachada suelo 01 - ea etics

Detail 2. Facade with the floor and vertical basement.

Detalle encuentro fachada dif grosores - ea etics

Detail 3. Facade change vertical plane.

Detalle encuentro fachada antepecho cubierta - ea etics

Detail 4. Facade with vertical roof.

Detalle encuentro fachada ventana reundida - ea etics

Detail 5. Facade in horizontal recessed opening.

Detalle encuentro fachada ventana exterior - ea etics

Detail 6. Facade in horizontal aligned opening.

Detalle formacion fachada vierteaguas ventana - ea etics

Detail 6. Facade in axonometric opening.

Protection against humidity SATE

The SATE façade complies with the highest requirement of the CTE (Technical Building Code), the mandatory and reference regulation in Spain. Associated with a main sheet of masonry (perforated brick) forming a B3 + C1 façade, this system has a degree of impermeability 5 , this is the highest level contemplated by the regulations.

CTE DB HS - tabla 2 7

Table 2.7 CTE DB HS1

Economic and comparative valuation of SATE

We compare an SATE facade against a double-leaf facade with a conventional non-ventilated air chamber with the prices of the ITEC database (rehabilitation works type PEM 600000 in Barcelona) in a supposed rehabilitation action, in which we want to solve dampness condensation and reduce energy consumption. It must be taken into account that these comparative numbers are theoretical since many variables are not included (for example, disassembling furniture, preparing the support from the outside, waste management, etc …)

The performances being compared are:

  • Backed on the inside, it would be equivalent to a conventional façade, which consists of a heavy sheet on the outside of a pre-existing half-foot brick (perforated brick, gero in Catalonia) and the 120 mm EPS insulation in the air chamber ( interrupted on each floor by the floors) created with a double hollow brick partition.
  • The SATE façade is made up of a heavy main sheet of pre-existing half-foot perforated brick (as in the previous case) and a veneer of 120 mm thick EPS panels, fixed with special plugs

According to the price banks, the cost of making a cladding on the inside to have the conventional insulated facade are: the interior brick sheet of € 34.63 / m2 + the EPS insulation € 17.33 / m2 + exterior facade plaster 16 , € 71 / m2 = € 68.67 / m2. On the other hand, the price of the SATE facade € 55.44 / m2 + possible impact of the scaffolding € 15 / m2 = € 70.44 / m2 (suppose 20 neighbors, a facade of 20 mx 20 m that would be 400 m2 and a final cost of the 6000 euros scaffold, this would mean an additional impact of € 15 / m2).

In summary: the price in this hypothesis would be € 68.67 / m2 for the interior cladding system with insulation on the conventional façade, against the € 70.44 / m2 for the SATE system for the exterior.

For what reason should we choose the SATE? That depends on many factors: if there is an impossibility of gaining space from the facade on the outside (due to urban regulations) the system would have to be discarded, for example . But if we do not want to lose space inside our homes, if we want to cancel the thermal bridges and extend the useful life of the structure and there is no constructive impediment, the ideal solution is the SATE valuing the price.

Are there better systems in terms of energy efficiency? It always depends on each case; for example the ventilated façade in cases of very sunny areas would be more adequate but the cost of the system could be doubled.

Energetic behavior of SATE and its amortization

The energy rehabilitation of a multi-family building with SATE thicknesses in the most benign climatic zones in winter in Spain A, B, C (Barcelona for example) with the optimal thicknesses for a passive house (15-20 cm) or in the case of the zones D, E (Soria or Viella for example) with the optimal thicknesses for a passive house (25 – 30 cm) can suppose considerable savings per house.

Using proper insulation thicknesses for a passive house could lead to savings in heating consumption of up to 60 – 70%.

To calculate the amortization of the investment we will take into account the savings in heating consumption can be 60%, the interest percentage 2.5% (to assess the opportunity cost) and the increase in the price of energy expected is of the environment 2.9%.

As you can see in graph 1, the amortization of the investment occurs after 5 years. So from then on we would be “saving” 7,200 euros per year.

The previous calculations that are considered are the following for the study neighborhood community (multi-family with 20 homes, 400 m2 facade located in Barcelona) the cost of installing the SATE can be € 34,176 (€ 28,176 of material execution cost + € 6,000 for construction and technical licenses) and we take into account that the annual energy expenditure for heating in Barcelona can be € 600 per neighbor, with an overall expenditure of € 12,000.

amortizacion rehab sate - itearquitectes

Gráfico 1. Estudio amortización.


Acabados del SATE

Los acabados de SATE son muy variados. Dado que el acabado es continuo de revoco podemos encontrar todas las variantes que le son propias al revoco. Existe revoco de cemento, de cal y otros morteros. Con todos estas acabados de textura podemos hacer la combinación que se quiera con colores de una carta de colores del fabricante.

acabado textura - estuco coteterm parez

Stucco finish. Coteterm brand.

acabado textura - fratasado coteterm parez

Float finish. Coteterm brand.

acabado textura - rayado coteterm parez

Scratched finish. Coteterm brand.

acabado textura - gota 2 coteterm parez

Finished with various textures. Coteterm brand.

acabado textura - gota coteterm parez

Finished with various textures 2. Coteterm brand.

acabado textura - arido coteterm parez

Finished with projected aggregates. Coteterm brand.

Advantages and disadvantages compared to other systems

The main advantage of this system is the minimization of thermal bridges and the reduction of a facade sheet (with what this simplification entails at an economic level, control of work, waste, etc.)

The main drawbacks are: weakness to vandalism or strong mechanical actions, especially, could affect baseboards and ground floors. This can be solved with ceramic or stone cladding to give it more resistance to impacts.

Warranty and manufacturers

System guarantees

Sate can be seen simply as an insulation panel attached to a sheet of brick plastered externally with mortar. However, as we have seen previously, not everything is as simple as it seems, and the simplicity of the finish hides the difficulty and virtuosity in the application. For this reason, the most important SATE manufacturers (which are also insulation manufacturers) have the DIT (Document of Technical Suitability) or some other quality certificate of the system, granted by a body of recognized prestige within the field of construction, the Eduardo Torroja Institute of Construction Sciences IETCC or the Construction Technology Institute ITEC for example.



Extract the Suitability Document for SATE Coteterm

Here we attach the guide of the IDAE (Institute for Diversification and Energy Saving) where They explain in a generic way the characteristics of the system and the advantages of its application in cases of building renovation.

Examples of built works

With the SATE you can obtain any type of geometric shape, in this way you can both make smooth and homogeneous-looking facades as well as make moldings and padding on facades with a more classic appearance.

Ejemplos acabados - Fran Silvestre arquitectos - casa calpe sate

New construction by Fran Silvestre arquitectos. Weber brand.

Ejemplos acabados - plaza lealtad madrid - detalle

Rehabilitation of loyalty square madrid, detail. Weber brand.

Ejemplos acabados - plaza lealtad madrid

Rehabilitation of loyalty square madrid. Weber brand.


House in Girona by A Room Arquitectes. Weber brand.

Some of the most important SATE manufacturers






NOTE: The graphics published in this post on details and assembly diagrams are extracted from the EAE European guide for the application of SATE , you can consult the complete dossier here