Architectural Metal Panels: Balancing Aesthetics with Functionality

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Siemens Wind Turbine Nacelle Assembly Facility | CENTRIA Formawall Dimension Series®, CENTRIA Versawall®, CENTRIA Profile Series IW-10A

Architectural Metal Panels: Balancing Aesthetics with Functionality

When it comes to building materials, consumers can now choose from a far wider range of options than ever before. In the past, they were limited to traditional exterior materials like stone, brick or wood. Exterior metals have been growing in popularity over the past few decades for many reasons, including cost, performance, durability and a wide array of surface aspects. The following are just a few of the benefits associated with architectural metal panels.

Greater Versatility

Architectural metal panels can be solid or perforated. The firm construction and stability allows them to be used as a protective cladding over wood or gypsum substrates. Some types of systems, like insulated metal panels, can be mounted directly to studs without additional sheathing, insulating, or waterproofing components. When used for parking garages, metal panels with perforated slots can be used to protect the structure from rain while still allowing for air ventilation. They can be installed around patio areas for protection with style, and the solid panels can also be used as wall cladding that can last for decades and add style to the structure. With the ability to bend the metal into countless shapes, architects can plan more interesting buildings with waved walls, sculpted edges and other modern designs.

Energy Efficiency and Insulation

Newly released building codes and standards are calling for more stringent requirements for exterior insulation. The majority of metal panels, including single-skin and metal composite, add no insulating value to the assembly. Insulated metal panels (IMPs) include a factory foamed-in-place core, minimizing insulation gaps, along with a thermal break between the face and the metal liner. With CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series image of Rush University Medical Center Orthopedic Ambulatory Building (OAB) insulated metal panel system, the panels offer superior weather resistance by utilizing pressure equalization along the length of the horizontal joinery. CENTRIA’s ATMP® technology allows Formawall Dimension Series to provide superior thermal and moisture protection. CENTRIA products helped Rush University Medical Center Orthopedic Ambulatory Building (OAB) become Chicago’s first LEED® Gold certified healthcare facility. Read this and other case studies to learn more.

Using insulated metal roofing and wall panels can reduce the heat island effect. Although the metal itself is a conductor of heat, its solar reflective value can offset heat gain. A thermally broken, insulated system offers increased R value to the exterior wall assembly.

Minimize Seams for Greater Protection

Many commercial metal panel systems have been tested to exceed the latestimage of CENTRIA Formawall Dimension Series 2 ½” (64mm) Horizontal Flat standards for wind load performance. Reducing the number of seams can lead to less uplift potential and also minimizes the risk or water intrusion when heavy rains and high winds are moving through the area.

Less Maintenance and Long-Term Savings

Metal panels require very little maintenance. Unlike other wall claddings, most metal panels can be power washed when they need cleaning. They’re available in painted and unpainted options. While the painted versions may need maintenance over the years, the unpainted options will never have to be treated. Metal panels made of materials like zinc will naturally undergo color changes as the metal is exposed to the elements, developing a natural protective patina. The best part is that options like zinc and copper never need painting to keep them looking great. Business owners appreciate this for the impressive savings it offers them in paint, repairs and replacements.

There are many benefits to choosing architectural metal panels. At Wade Architectural Systems, we offer a host of exterior metal panel solutions to architects, contractors and owners. We can provide budgetary pricing to the design and construction team for an array of options that can suit any budget, exceed performance requirements and suit aesthetic tastes. Contact us today to review options for your commercial building project.