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rainscreen cladding

Our Sotech Optima FC Secret Fix Rainscreen is one of our most versatile products, and is a popular choice for architects who want a clean finish without the aesthetic disturbance of visible fixings.

  • To ensure the highest quality of product and performance for your project, our Optima FC Rainscreen is a fully independently tested and accredited system to CWCT standards and fully compliant to NHBC requirements. We continue to test our systems year in, year out to maintain this standard and keep up with the latest industry developments.


  • The Optima FC Secret Fix system sets itself apart from others and was originally named Optima Flexi, in order to reflect its versatility; this is due to the fact that the support system is identical each time but the finish is hugely variable, providing the maximum visual impact and allowing architects to really bring the design to life.  Installers also then become familiar with the system as the work behind the rainscreen is always the same.


  • The panels themselves can be chosen from an array of available materials including aluminium, ACM, copper, zinc, or stainless steel.


  • The Optima FC Rainscreen is ideal when a project requires large module panels, helping to cut costs and ensure durability.  The system also caters for structural requirements as intermediate hooking positions are possible.


  • However, we also know when not to recommend the Optima FC system; when your design requires long, narrow, portrait oriented panels.  The Secret Fix option requires a much more complex substructure with narrow panels, which is often impractical and over budget.


  • The architect’s concept including material, module size and finish would be scrutinised before we recommend a system.  The rainscreen cladding system offered needs to be in accordance CWCT guidelines and be capable of withstanding project design loads; this will ensure material chosen, module size and substructure will be fit for purpose. Our FC Secret Fix system is extremely robust, and a static calculation would be used to determine bracket centres once rail positions have been decided.  This also allows the value engineering of the project, which cuts down cost.


  • In addition, hands free brackets are provided in box quantities with the carrier rail fully assembled, including hooks and gaskets, in the factory prior to delivery; this saves valuable site assembly time.


Case Study:

One of our most remarkable case studies and a perfect example of the FC Secret Fix system in use is that of Rathbone Market, now named ‘Vermillion’, in Canning Town in London. Designed by CZWG Architects and installed by Lindner Facades and Astins Limited, this project included a total of 8,000 sqm of FC rainscreen panels. 2,000 sqm in aluminium polyester powder in 5 varying shades of red and orange to create a gradient effect on this huge, curved, residential building plus 6,000 sqm natural anodised finished.

Project design loading indicated three areas from 1.4 to 2.32KN/m2.  The required substructure was checked by static calculation and on this occasion the main contractor completed a full scale through-wall independent test at Vinci Technology Centre. Sotech took the initiative with the consent of all parties to extend this testing by cutting holes into the primary wall and completing full testing of the rainscreen element, including hosepipe test, dynamic test for water ingress, positive and negative wind load test, as well as soft body impact test; these were all witnessed and certified by a CWCT official. The rig was tested to 2.4KN/m2 serviceability and 3.6KN/m2 safety and passed with flying colours.

If you would like to know more about the Sotech Optima FC Secret Fix rainscreen, or discuss the possible solutions for your project, contact us on 0191 587 9213 or email

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