Some of today’s most innovative building designs make use of architectural metal panels not just for their durability and strength, but also for their unique looks, quick installation and reduced weight compared to masonry or concrete cladding. They are extremely versatile, with hundreds of possible shapes, sizes, textures, colors and finishes available from top industry manufacturers such as Centria, VMZINC, Altech, Ceilings Plus and GKD. They can be the perfect way to add a clean, modern appearance to your next project or to add exciting accents or focal points.
Here are just a few of the benefits that architectural metal panels can offer on your next project:
Architectural metal panels can be used almost anywhere in a building project. On the exterior, they can replace heavy wall cladding such as concrete or masonry products, and they are much faster and easier to install. They can cover the entire exterior, or they can be used only on specific portions to add contrast to the surrounding materials and create a focal point. They can also be used to create the roof deck, as well as for smaller details such as trim, soffits, or fascias to highlight certain areas and provide contrast or accents.
On the interior, architectural metal panels can replace conventional materials like wood or drywall to create unique wall and ceiling surfaces that are not only strong and durable, but also aesthetically pleasing. With many different materials and finishes to choose from, you can create anything from a rustic aged metal look, to a sleek and modern stainless steel design.
#2 Wide Range of Styles and Finishes
Architectural metal panels are available in hundreds of different styles and finishes. The panels can be flat or have varying types of ridges, and they can be smooth or have one of many different textures. They are available with natural metal finishes, clear coated, painted in any number of colors or even as composite panels with metal or veneered wood surfaces. They also come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to better accommodate your intended application.
With so many design choices available, architectural metal panels can be a great fit for nearly any type of building; whether it’s commercial, industrial or even residential.
#3 A Choice of Materials
Today’s architectural metal panels offer an abundance of material choices to fit nicely with almost any type of design. They can be made from zinc alloys, steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum or even copper. Many types of finishes can be added to either accentuate the natural metal finish, or add depth with different textures or colors. Materials such as zinc, galvanized steel or aluminum are often used on the exterior, due to their resistance to corrosion, while copper and stainless steel are popular on the interior for their aesthetic qualities.
Many architectural metal panels contain at least some post-consumer recycled content, making them environmentally-friendly and reducing the amount of material in the waste stream. Additionally, because they are made from common metals, at the end of their useful life, they are typically easy to recycle. This reduces the amount of energy required to extract new materials and the carbon footprint associated with mining.
Architectural metal panels are extremely durable when used for exterior purposes, such as wall cladding, trim or roof decks. They provide a strong surface that is not easily damaged by impacts such as hail or flying objects, they are resistant to water damage and, depending on the material and the quality of the installation, corrosion and electrochemical reactions. When used on the interior, architectural metal panels are far more durable than competing materials like wood, drywall or many composites. Overall, they have an extremely long lifespan and require little or no maintenance.
#6 Reduced Weight
When used on the exterior, architectural metal panels are very light compared to other wall cladding materials, such as concrete or masonry products. This reduces the load requirements for the structural components supporting the wall cladding, which can lead to lower construction costs and less complex installation requirements. On the interior, depending on the type of material used, architectural wall panels can be much lighter than drywall or other materials, while offering greater rigidity.
Unlike concrete, masonry products, drywall, or even wood, architectural metal panels can easily be used to create complex shapes, such as curves or three-dimensional objects. Some panels can be easily bent to conform to curves or to create shapes, while others can be specifically engineered for the installation with the desired shape. Because metals are malleable and flexible, they offer many more design possibilities than competing materials
#8 Ease of Installation
Materials such as concrete, brick, block and other masonry products can be difficult and labor-intensive to install, not to mention slow and cumbersome. Because architectural metal panels are available in large, lightweight sections, they can cover a much larger area at a speed that is far faster than competing products. Many architectural metal panel systems offer specialized fastening systems that can speed up the process even further. When you need to get a building sealed quickly, architectural metal panels are the perfect product.
When used for exterior cladding, architectural metal panels may offer significant cost savings over concrete or masonry products, especially when the costs of both material and labor are considered, and with their extended durability, they make a great choice. On the interior, the costs may be comparable to other materials, depending on the type of panel chosen, or perhaps a bit more. But when considering the durability of architectural metal panels and the reduced maintenance requirements compared to drywall or wood, they may prove to be less costly in the long-term. The choice will ultimately depend on your design goals and budget.
These are just a few of the many benefits that architectural metal panels have to offer. They are a great choice for any building due to their durability, versatility and relatively easy installation requirements. They can be the perfect way to create a modern look for your building or to create design features that draw attention to the structure, and the cost savings over other materials can be quite attractive.