ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone Walling System

Image by Nick Burrows - Property Pix

ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone Walling System

A lightweight, weatherproof, external cladding system that provides moisture management, insulation and impact resistance

A quality rendered finish

First impressions count. That’s why the ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone Walling System has been designed to deliver a high quality, exterior rendered finish that makes a home truly distinctive.

Delve beneath the stunning exterior and there is much more to explore. It has been said that a house is a place where people live, but home is where the heart is. Homes built with the ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone System are homes with heart. They are liveable, comfortable and calm.

With the impressive aesthetics of ROCKCOTE’s seamless render system, this exterior cladding system features a ventilated cavity that separates unwanted outside temperatures from the interior environment, enabling year round comfort.

The ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone System is a lightweight, weatherproof external wall system that provides moisture management, insulation, impact resistance and aesthetic finishing all in one system. It comes with a watertight guarantee from ROCKCOTE against leaking.

Comfort and style: Blackett Homes Thermal Dry Zone video

Design Flexibility

The ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone System can be used for a range of different home types, build styles and blocks. Entire homes, single storeys (upper or lower), duplexes and townhouses can all benefit from the improved design flexibility and beautiful rendered finish of the system.

Designers can maximise the capabilities of the polystyrene system that is easily cut to shapes impossible to achieve with bricks.

This flexible system is ideal for:

  • Architecturally designed homes
  • Building or rebuilding in a character controlled area
  • Achieving a smooth rendered finish without bricks
  • Developments where covenants require homes to utilise more than one finish or substrate
  • Contemporary designs where different substrate and finish styles are sought
  • Challenging blocks or difficult to access locations where brick or concrete can be cumbersome
Finishing Options

The system is designed to be completed with one of ROCKCOTE’s high performance render systems with a textured finish. The two walling and render systems work together to deliver the best possible finish that is highly durable and easy to maintain. The most common finishes used with the Thermal Dry Zone System are a textured painted finish or a natural sand finish. Both finishes are available in a wide range of colours.


Textured painted finish

ROCKCOTE Flexi Tex with ROCKCOTE Armour is a highly durable system using an acrylic texture overcoated with a high performance membrane paint. Contemporary, low sheen, easy to clean and recommended for projects where regular retouching is required.

Natural sand finish

The ROCKCOTE Texprime and ROCKCOTE Sandcote system is our most popular Coloured Render finish, delivering a natural, flat finish. It is overcoated with ROCKCOTE Clearcote or ROCKCOTE Repel for added durability.


Why are homes built with the Thermal Dry Zone System more comfortable?

“This home will be really pleasant to live in...You don’t need to worry about moisture in the walls so there is better air quality which makes for a healthier home.”

- Jacqueline Dwyer, H4 Living -

Homes built with the ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone System offer year round comfort, more consistent indoor temperatures and air freshness not experienced in standard homes.

The science behind the comfort

Comfortable indoor environments have stable temperatures. Insulating a building provides a far more comfortable and healthy living environment than one created by artificial heating or cooling. In poorly designed homes people resort to artificial heating or cooling to adjust indoor temperatures. This is due to the interior surfaces emitting unwanted exterior temperatures.

The battle between the exterior and artifical indoor temperatures creates constant changes in the ambient temperature, confusing the body and creating unease.

The inherent insulation in the Thermal Dry Zone System provides continuous thermal insulation around the entire outside of the building, much like a blanket. It protects the home from both hot and cold temperature extremes helping to moderate the indoor temperature for year round comfort.


Why is a Dry Zone important?

Water damage is one of the most devastating and expensive issues that can occur to a building. Prolonged presence of moisture within a wall can also promote the growth of mould and mildew that permeates through the wall to the interior air space, reducing air quality and negatively impacting the health of the occupants.

The Thermal Dry Zone System keeps the interior frame of the building dry and the air fresh. A ventilated cavity between the building frame and the insulation helps to dissipate any moisture that enters the walls from the inside of the home – humidity from the body, condensation from windows and other cold surfaces, cooking and clothes dryers.

From the outside, the render system forms a raincoat over the entire building, preventing water ingress. Any water that does get in is immediately channelled outside through ground level vents, keeping the interior of the home dry and healthy. Any remnant moisture evaporates as the air naturally circulates through the cavity space within the walling system.

By effectively managing moisture from both inside and outside the home, the Thermal Dry Zone system reduces the build-up of condensation within the walls, and prevents the growth of mould and fungi, resulting in a healthier home that lasts longer.

Save energy, save money

The finish looks amazing and then you couple that with how much more insulation it provides compared with a standard brick veneer. The Thermal Dry Zone System effectively keeps the hot or cold air out. Being lightweight it also cools down quickly resulting in a more consistent indoor temperature.”

– Rick Meir, Blackett Homes –

Efficient insulation

According to the government’s, Your Home website, “insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow and is essential for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A well-insulated and well-designed home provides year-round comfort, cutting cooling and heating bills by up to half. This, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Thermal Dry Zone System provides an efficient insulated exterior that will ultimately reduce energy consumption, saving money and decreasing the environmental footprint of the building. This is because the continuous insulation is placed on the outside of the building where it works best, helping to stop the outside temperatures entering the building fabric. Insulation that is placed inside the building fabric (such as in between the studs) has already left the unwanted temperatures inside and is much less effective.

The most economic time to consider insulation is during construction when insulation can be combined with passive design techniques and other energy saving and comfort enhancing initiatives. 



The standard by which insulating ability is measured is called R-Value, which measures resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the higher the level of insulation and the better the thermal performance of the building. The minimum insulation levels (or total R-Value) recommended in most areas around Australia (excluding the snowy mountains) is 2.8. However the Your Home website states "it is generally advisable to exceed these for greater comfort and energy savings"

ROCKCOTE's Thermal Dry Zone Walling System using 75mm EPS has an R-Value of 3.1. This is enough to provide the required level of insulation to achieve a 5-star energy rating without the need for further insulation products. By contrast, the R-Value of brick without insulation is 0.7.

Comparitive R-Values for brick and the ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone Walling System.



Project Galleries

Quality, comfortable homes, H4 Living, QLD

This H4 Living home in Cannon Hill, QLD uses clever design and a stylish render/cladding combination to suit the streetscape in a character controlled area, yet still look contemporary.

A stylish alternative to brick veneer, Blackett Homes, Canberra

Blackett Homes' customers had been seeking an alternative to brick veneer and the ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone cladding system provides a sophisticated and affordable option.

How does it work?

The ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone componentry is fitted to the exterior walls of a dwelling. Its prime roles are to provide weather resistance (thereby increasing the longevity of the exterior coating system); and thermal properties (to support comfort).

Installing the Dry Zone system

The frame of a building provides the main strength and structure regardless of whether the walls are made of lightweight material or brick. The Thermal Dry Zone System is installed after the frame is constructed.

The cavity system can be fitted over standard timber and steel stud framing and begins with a Vapour Permeable Building Wrap/Underlay and flashing tape to act as a breathable barrier protecting against water/moisture penetration.  

A specified starter strip with in built weep holes (drainage points and ventilation points) is then fitted for drainage and airflow management. 25mm polystyrene battens are fitted over the building wrap/underlay, which creates the cavity between the framing and the polystyrene cladding. It is this feature that provides the moisture management and ventilation benefits of the system.

An innovative drainage system allows any moisture that may get in either by condensation, plumbing leaks or external moisture ingress to drain away immediately and cause no harm to other elements of the building.  

Cladding and the ROCKCOTE render system

EPS cladding panels are then fitted, which not only provide excellent insulation properties to the building but also act as the base of the barrier wall. The walls are then coated with a complete ROCKCOTE render system:

  • a polymer modified cement render and fully embedded reinforcing mesh at a specific thickness to provide a level of impact resistance;
  • a coloured acrylic render/texture for flexibility and aesthetics; and/or
  • a high film build acrylic membrane paint that adds more flexibility and crack bridging capabilities along with ease of maintenance.

A weather tight, ventilated system

During this whole process important elements are put in place to ensure the building is weather tight with the use of specified sealants and flashings around all openings, movement joints and penetrations without impeding the airflow and backup drainage aspects of the ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone Walling System.

The ventilation and airflow factors of the system assist in keeping a controlled temperature on the inside of the building; help to reduce condensation within the walls; and reduce the effects of capillary/vacuum action caused from differing air/wind pressures between the exterior and interior of the building causing extreme temperature differences.

Maintenance and Warranties

Properly maintained, the complete ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone system will last well in excess of its standard warranty period. By following our maintenance guidelines, you will ensure the optimum lifetime and integrity of the coating.

Here are some handy hints that will help to keep your system in first class condition:

  • clear leaves from blocked gutters
  • avoid placing garden beds against the system
  • keep windows clean 
  • carry out regular checks on the coating 
  • do not place barbecues or other heat-generating items directly against the walls. 

The exterior should be cleaned every 12 months which simply involves a low pressure hose down. Cleaning and any repairs should be carried out in accordance with the instructions in ROCKCOTE’s Maintenance Guide.  Damage of any kind including cracking should be immediately referred to your ROCKCOTE applicator as they have the necessary expertise to rectify any damage. 


The ROCKCOTE Thermal Dry Zone Walling System carries a 15 year system warranty provided that it is installed by experienced installers who have the relevant skills and trade qualifications; with proper integration with the other components of construction and strictly in accordance with ROCKCOTE specifications.

System Certifications provide confidence

ROCKCOTE’s Thermal Dry Zone Walling System has passed extensive independent fire testing procedures and is suitable for bushfire prone areas that require BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) 29 Certification.

Please note that for the system to achieve BAL 29 rating, there are very strict requirements in terms of components and coatings that must be followed. See the Schedule of Complete Wall System Components below for full details.

BAL 29 Independent Test Report
Schedule of Complete Wall System Components for BAL 29



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Contact Us

Call 1300 736 668

Sunshine Coast
(Head Office)

18 Machinery Rd
Yandina QLD 4561

Mailing Address

PO Box 230
Yandina QLD 4561

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