Posted November 1st, 2013 by Lenora Hamilton
Zinc panels are a popular choice for designers everywhere. Cost-effective and durable, they’re an attractive alternative to other exterior coverings. Designers who are working on remodeling projects and new buildings alike appreciate the many benefits of zinc panels.
A Cost Effective Solution
Zinc panels carry a very reasonable price. They’ve been in use in Asia, Europe and the United States for some time now. The durability of these panels is what makes them a cost-effective option. When other building envelope materials are failing and need to be replaced, the zinc panels will still look fantastic and have years of life left in them. Zinc is able to outlast most other building materials because it does not oxidize and corrode like other materials. As water, oxygen and carbon dioxide come into contact with the zinc, they form a protective layer. Known as zinc carbonate, this protective layer stops the corrosion process to extend the lifecycle of the zinc panels.
Malleable for Lower Installation Costs
Copper is also known for achieving a beautiful patina rather than rusting away. However, zinc is more malleable than copper. This makes it an attractive option for building panels that need to be decorative as well as functional. It can be bent and formed to wrap around a building and provide the desired level of protection. Combined with other metals like titanium, aluminum or copper, it can also be strong enough to meet commercial roofing requirements. Many companies are choosing zinc wall panels over other options because it will go into place faster, so the labor costs for installation are reduced.
Zinc is considered a highly sustainable choice in architectural metals. It’s available in significant quantities around the globe, and is a naturally occurring element found in the soil, atmosphere and water. It’s mined through extraction processes that are gentle on the environment. Once it’s extracted, it’s sent to zinc processing plants that carefully control emissions to protect the environment. An incredibly durable choice, zinc won’t have to be replaced as quickly as wood or other building materials. In fact, it’s estimated that zinc wall panels can easily last more than 80 years, and that makes them one of the most durable choices available. Incorporating zinc into a building’s design can even help it on the path to becoming LEED certified.
Zinc has a unique color. Just as copper ages and changes in color from orange to green, zinc also changes color as the years go by. It starts out as silver, but it will weather to an attractive, matte gray color. The oxidizing process that leaves a protective layer on the zinc ensures that the zinc can self-repair over the years to correct any flaw, scratches or imperfections. There is no need to paint the surface, apply chemical protectants, patch holes or deal with other repairs. This allows property owners to save money over time as the zinc can maintain itself.
There are many benefits to choosing high quality zinc wall panels. They can be formed into countless shapes to help create the perfect custom look. Durable and attractive, they can last for decades without any additional care or maintenance. When it’s time to invest in new wall cladding for a renovation or choose the building envelope for a new building, zinc should be at the top of the list for most builders and designers.