Best Metal Cladding Systems for Building Facades

best metal cladding systems

The building cladding system is a non-load-bearing layer attached to the exteriors of a home to protect the facility from the external threads of weather while providing an element of aesthetic appeal. Traditional building facades were made from wood and bricks, which were not so efficient and long-lasting. Thus, building material suppliers and manufacturers started offering metal cladding materials that are durable and beautiful. Metal wall claddings come in a range of options, including Aluminum, Zinc, Copper, and Steel. These building facades feature vertical and horizontal panels and overlapping tiles. This article introduces the best metal cladding systems that any architect or homeowner should consider using and adding hardwearing hardware to the facility for their next project.

Aluminum Cladding System

Aluminum is a lightweight yet robust metal that manufacturers utilize for producing various types of metal cladding systems. Since aluminum is a soft metal, it features high formability. Two of the famous metal cladding systems made from this substance are ACM panels and aluminum sidings. ACM or aluminum composite material comprises three thin layers: two aluminum plates and one fire-retardant core. The durability of metal cladding systems depends on their thicknesses, which is why building material suppliers provide different grades of aluminum sidings.

Aluminum composite panels and sidings are among the most waterproof metal cladding systems that protect the building from moisture issues such as corroding and rusting, making them the perfect material for coastal areas. Aluminum cladding is considered low-maintenance material requiring minimal cleaning and can be repainted easily. There are aluminum siding available that have wood pattern finishes with a soft color palette and thin horizontal paneling, perfect for people who want to have classic-looking homes. The ACM panels installation process is relatively straightforward, resulting in lower labor costs. Although this metal is an abundant resource, it is not renewable. However, ACM panels are entirely recyclable, making them environmentally friendly materials. Due to the vast array of benefits of ACM panels and aluminum sidings, architects constantly use these metal cladding systems for their projects.

Zinc Metal Cladding Systems

Zinc is a highly versatile metal cladding system becoming more popular among architects who create contemporary and modern building designs. Like aluminum sidings, zinc is a soft and malleable substance, providing a flexible and more straightforward construction process. These metal cladding systems are highly durable and low maintenance. Zinc cladding is also resistant to oxidization due to its natural behavior of generating a protective layer known as patina. The average service time and life span of zinc are about 60 to 80 years.

Zinc metal cladding systems are sustainable choices that are non-toxic and recyclable. It is necessary to remark that it takes less energy and effort to produce zinc claddings than other metal facades. Some building material suppliers provide pre-weathered zinc, which is treated to mimic and age visually patina. The pre-weathered material is perfect for locations where the patina does not naturally form. Additionally, there are various finishes for zinc cladding systems. Another essential characteristic of this metal cladding is that it is fire-resistant.

Copper Building Facade

Copper is a timeless metal material that generates an attractive patina and character with age, making it perfect for modern and traditional building facades. This metal’s warm bronze tone creates an iridescent brownish color through natural weathering before generating a green color.

This metal cladding system is lightweight and durable, like ACM panels, essential for the significant building construction process. Additionally, copper building facades feature a very long lifecycle and require no maintenance and treatment without having tears and wear.

Copper is naturally a warm and beautiful metal that complements wood, stone, concrete, glass, and other cladding systems. These metal cladding systems are combined with zinc and timber to provide better durability and aesthetics.

CORTEN Steel Metal Cladding Systems

CORTEN steel, which is weather-resistant steel (copper-chromium alloy steel), is more resistant to atmospheric weathering than all-metal cladding systems. The chemical composition of CORTEN steel reacts to pollutants that exist in the air and generates a protective oxide film. The protective film regenerates itself over time, making the cladding system a long-lasting material. Most weathering steel metal claddings have a reddish-brownish layer and gain darker hues over time.

Despite the rustic look of CORTEN, this metal has twice the tensile strength of standard steel, making it perfect for structural and building cladding material.

Corrugated Steel Facade

The corrugated steel facade is a lightweight, durable, and robust building material that weathers perfectly. It features a wave-like pattern appearance that has become a recognizable and timeless element in contemporary and traditional architecture. The noticeable feature of this metal cladding system is that it can add depth and textures to a building facade and is available in various colors.