The exterior wall adjoining one of our rooms gets a lot of sunlight in summer, and I suspect heats up the room a lot, as the exterior wall continues to radiate heat well after sunset during peak sunlight hours.

What kinds of materials could be used as a cladding (preferably decorative) to dissipate or disperse heat and cool down the adjoining room?

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    Have you actually tried to measure the inside wall temperature? It sounds like from your post you just felt the outside (exterior) surface of the wall. – SteveSh Mar 15 '20 at 15:07
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    You ask about cladding, but would painting it white be an option? – Andrew Morton Mar 15 '20 at 15:39

Since it's a "Heat in summer" problem, a traditional decorative and edible approach would be to train/trellis a plant or plants in front of the wall - grapes, vining tomatoes, espaliered fruit trees, perhaps even a fig depending on your climate - or purely decorative things like climbing roses, wisteria, or ivy - but ivy can be surprisingly aggressive, so research carefully.

This can be especially useful to grow things that might be a bit marginal in your climate and could stand some more warmth.

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    This is the best solution. In addition to shading the wall, plants give off some moisture and moisture will take a lot of heat away with it. I suggest setting up your trellis such that there is a space between the plant and your house. This keeps your exterior in good condition and to maintain the trellis easier with the bonus that you can pick fruit from both sides. – Ack Mar 14 '20 at 19:35
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    also consider clematis and passion fruit vines. – aliential Mar 15 '20 at 3:25
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    big no to Ivy, unless you want your wall to fall down because of it. It will go in any tiny space, and then grow until basically the wall crumbles. And it spreads, too. Do not plant Common Ivy, ever. – njzk2 Mar 15 '20 at 14:35
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    Ivy looks nice, but it destroys your house unless you are always on top of it. It grows into everything. Forces its way behind facia/soffits, latches onto brick, gets into your attic, etc. Unless you have the time to constantly be trimming it back. I would never plant that stuff on a wall on my place after having to get rid of it before. – element11 Mar 15 '20 at 18:18
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    I second all the comments about ivy but would say that about wisteria. The previous owners planted it on my deck and it's a nightmare to maintain. – Kat Mar 15 '20 at 20:15

Put a false wall in front of the existing outside wall and allow air to flow between the two.

That will reduce the conducted heat into the room by a huge amount.

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    This combined with the trellis or espalier idea would be great. The wall (or tall fence) would work immediately to shade your wall. It will look good when the plants grow in. – Willk Mar 15 '20 at 2:43

Trees ( maybe some other sorts of plants as well) near walls of buildings with sub surface basement, near terrasses, near concrete or plastered ways etc. can be a big problem in the long run, since the roots may destroy the sealing of a wall resulting in molded basements and health problems, and can lift and brake ways even made of concrete. The leaves or needles of high trees near buildings can clogg the tiles of roofs in a way that water can flow horizontally into the building. High trees can attract lightning. Plants near buildings can help burglars to be not seen by neighbours - and to get into upper floors.

As a rule of thumb, a distance of 15m should be to the next sub surface construction.

A photovoltaic screen protects the wall against heating up and can amortize in 6 to 20 years depending on sunshine duration, subsidiaries, own consumption, installation costs, feed in vs. feed out tariffs, maintenance costs. A PV system is a safe energy source during daytime in emergency situations or in locations with frequent power blackouts or shut downs.


As other answers noted, plants are good.

The other option is photovoltaic panels. You may reduce your electricity bill. Depending on your local electrical grid and code, you may even be able to get your bill negative (the power company to pay you something).

The cheap option is aluminium foil. It will reflect most of the sun energy back (and make the area near the wall even hotter). The professional solution is expanded or extruded polystyrene (EPS / XPS) insulation.

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