How Much do Various Types of Metal Cladding Systems for Building Cost?

Metal Cladding Systems Cost

The cladding system of the buildings is the primary factor making the city look brilliant and different from other cities. Architects focus on creating aesthetic building facades with varying wall materials to provide eye-catching sight for the facility for pedestrians walking past the area and the occupants. Moreover, manufacturers produce different types of metal cladding systems in a wide array of finishes and styles to help architects and builders provide structural support, attractiveness, and increase energy efficiency for the buildings across the country. Thus, over the past few years, different types of metal cladding systems, in particular, have been gaining popularity in Canada and the USA.

The durability of traditional brick claddings are well-regarded, but they do not offer considerable flexibility and room for customization as metal cladding materials do. Metal panel systems can be fabricated or cut into a variety of modern designs and shapes. Additionally, these contemporary building materials are easy to paint and can add extra beauty to their appearance.

The current advancement in facade paneling systems and application techniques has brought rain-screen wall products into the construction industry. These practical cladding systems are created with extra layers of metal sheathing featuring waterproof characteristics and empty air space pockets between the panels and the interior wall system. The beneficial properties of rainscreen systems made them the perfect solution for keeping the moisture away from the internal structure, allowing the facility to dry quickly and maintain its finish and beauty during heavy downpours.

Types of Metal Cladding Systems and Their Cost

Currently, metal cladding systems for buildings come in a wide range of materials, including Aluminum Composites, Aluminum, Zinc, Copper, Steel, Galvanized Steel, etc. Landlords and homeowners decide the materials depending on the project’s safety, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. However, the cost for different types of metal cladding systems will primarily affect the choice of the building’s facade. Each of the sheet metal panels for the exterior projects features unique characteristics, styles, and costs. Thus, knowing their difference will help anyone to choose the most suitable material for the new or renewal projects for both private and commercial facilities.

Aluminum Composite Panels & Flat Aluminum Sidings

Due to the beneficial physical properties of Aluminum itself, manufacturers use the material for developing various building materials, including cladding systems for the industry. Aluminum cladding products lines the external systems of over 60% of the commercial and industrial construction projects.

The products made from Aluminum are incredibly lightweight, making aluminum sidings easy to fabricate and install for the project. Another beneficial characteristic of aluminum sidings and ACM panels (aluminum composite panels) is that they are corrosion resistant and immune to rusting. These materials form a dense oxide layer when exposed to humidity and air, providing a natural coating against rain and moisture. Aluminum building materials often last about 40 years if maintained properly. Thus, they manage to be more costly than other cladding systems. However, higher-quality ACM panels having fire-resistant cores can be pricier. The price range for flat aluminum sidings is 4$-10$, and ACM panels are 15$-30$ per sq. ft.

Zinc Metal Cladding Systems

Zin metal cladding systems offer a unique look to any building’s facade, and, as such, the exterior products are slowly gaining popularity among architects. Like aluminum cladding materials, zinc generates an oxide layer that protects the facility against external elements, lasting for up to 100 years. These building materials are also entirely recyclable, making them environmentally friendly products. Due to the unique characteristics of zinc, this substance is more expensive than ACM panels and aluminum sidings. However, they are not as high-quality as aluminum composite panels. The price for flat metal panels of zinc is about 8$-16$, and the cladding systems metal panels cost varies from 22$ to 35$ depending on the dimensions.

Copper Building Facade

Copper panel systems for building facades do not require treatment artificially for preserving their surface from corrosion and rust. These metal cladding systems form a beautiful greenish patina on their own over time which designers appreciate in their projects. Copper materials are considered self-maintaining products as the produced oxide layer covers scratches and other forms of occurred damages. However, installing these metal cladding systems has challenges, and finding an experienced installer may be an issue. Due to the aesthetic qualities of these metal claddings, copper exterior panels are the most expensive products for buildings facades. The price for flat sheet copper is between 10 to 15 Canadian dollars, and the panel’s cost range is 25 to 40 dollars.

Steel and Galvanized Steel Metal Cladding Systems

Steel and Galvanized Steel metal cladding systems are generally the most affordable building facade materials. These cladding products offer an admirable life span of around 32-37 years. However, this substance is considered less durable and flexible compared to ACM panels and aluminum cladding systems. The price of steel panels is generally around 12 to 18 dollars.

Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part II)

Rainscreen Construction Principle

Rainscreen Construction Principle basic idea is to have an exterior surface or cladding layer that can break the force of sideways, wind load, water movement, resulting in preventing water penetration into the building’s structure. For most of the buildings, from modern to traditional ones, water is the biggest enemy. However, producing a complete watertight cladding system is challenging. Thus, manufacturers started working on the rainscreen construction principle decades ago to provide better protection for the constructions in the city. Rainscreen comes in different styles and types. One of the most popular types is the ACM panels or ACP materials used widely in the modern era. These particular products offer numerous advantages along with their waterproof characteristics.

In the rainscreen construction principle part 1, we discussed the basics of these practical systems and their structure that engineers designed for better watertight characteristics. This article covers essential information about this principle that anyone in the building industry must know.

Rainscreen Construction Principle Types

The rain screen construction principle is based upon two distinct and separate barriers on the building’s cladding. The outer barrier controls most rainwater while the inner leaf performs multiple functions, including moisture and air barrier, insulation, and the structural wall. The outer section allows the water to penetrate through open joinery, and the volume of the penetration depends on the design principle. This is where two distinct types of products come into the picture: the Drained/Back-ventilated and Pressure-equalized/Compartmented systems.

Both rainscreen systems are available in ACM panels cladding materials and different siding for the facade. They use the principle of controlling water leakage without stopping it from penetrating through the exposed outer surface completely. However, the internal design of both systems functions differently based upon the approach. Moreover, the Rainscreen construction principle has been generalized and consolidated into one unified product in specifications combined with both types’ characteristics. For complicating and confusing matters, the water, and air resistance standards from the traditional building cladding systems are applied to these modern designs and specifications of the exterior material’s exposure. Placing the water and air tightness codes on the outer surface of the barrier contradicts the underlying fundamentals of the Rainscreen Construction Principle. Now let’s get to the fundamental of each system.

Pressure-Equalized/ Compartmented Rainscreen

In this article, we focus on the Pressure-equalized rainscreen principle, which is very design intensive. Please read the third part of this article to learn about Drained/Back-ventilated systems for ACM panels.

Pressure-equalized systems are susceptible to design variations and deviations from their design principle. The openings in this system are created uniquely for both static and dynamic pressure equalization allowance across the rainscreen. The essential factor that separates this system from the D/BV principle is the design and the use of the compartmented method within the cavity. The reason behind the compartment is that the pressure equalization can only happen within limited periods and in the case of controlled volume behind the Rainscreen system. This equalization is essential due to the none-uniformity of wind loads, constantly changing across a single cladding of a building.

The vent numbers and their geometry calculation depend on the cavity volume, allowing sufficient airflow in and out of the internal equalized area quickly enough to respond to the ever-changing wind loads. This promotes the pressure differences between the ACM panels or other types of panels used in the system and the internal compartment pressure resulting in equalizing the air pressure on the external cladding and the inner sides of the building facade. If the conditions exist properly, forces causing water movement will decrease; if not, they will be eliminated.

The effective area of the vent holes in this type of rainscreen construction principle depends on three factors which are:

  • The airtightness of the air barrier on the inner section
  • The stiffness of the cladding material and its inner leaf
  • The volume of the compartments that make up the internal air space

The compartments are the essential elements of a proper pressure-equalized rain screen principle. They come with crucial properties, characteristics, and functionalities. Followings are the reasons why these elements play an indispensable role in the PE systems:

  • They control lateral and vertical airflow.
  • They size the volume of the space that the vent openings must be designed for facilitation.
  • The most crucial role of compartments is limiting water infiltration and controlling the water drainage when air-pressure disequilibrium occurs.

The characteristics above show that rainscreens with non-compartmentalized cavities cannot be pressure equalized. However, many of this system’s construction factors and elements are almost similar to the drained/back-ventilated rain screen construction principle. Still, they have several significant and essential differences, which we have discussed in the third part of this article.