Architectural Wall Cladding

What Architectural Solutions Exist for Exterior Walls, and Which One is the Best?

If you aren’t familiar with the term cladding, you’re not alone. A few apart from architects, designers and engineers have a working knowledge of these exterior applications.  Yet, you’re very likely to have encountered an example of cladding, while walking around in your neighborhood or commuting to work.

Simply put, cladding refers to any system of materials applied to the exterior walls of a structure. These materials are often used to create a certain visual effect in structure, but they also add durability, support and insulation to residential and commercial buildings. Think wall paneling, metal siding, rustic wooden boards, and stonework, even exterior window and door trimmings can be considered as cladding.

Because cladding is the first line of defense against harsh weather, and sunlight; and because it’s often the first thing you’ll see when approaching a building. Choosing the right material and style is an important part of planning any new construction or renovation. Here are some choices available on the market.

Stone Cladding

Usually consisting of a thin layer of stone or stone-like material; this style of exterior cladding is used to create a natural, rustic exterior appearance. This application is usually used for residential purposes, providing a cost-effective alternative to building the entire structure out of stone blocks. When choosing stone cladding, homeowners tend to opt for a more roughly hewn style of stone, although smoother brick and marble cladding is also available.

If you’re opting for this material in your own home exterior, be warned that low quality stonework is prone to cracking and breakage.

Timber Cladding

Sustainability is a common theme in contemporary architecture, and wooden boards and panels fit this idea to a tee. This traditional cladding material first found its way on to home exteriors in the rural areas of Indonesia and Malaysia, where it was traditionally used to reinforce structures during heavy winds and rainfall.

In the modern day, wooden cladding still offers much the same function; along with an environmentally friendly, natural visual appeal.  Natural wood is durable and easily installed; it also provides good sound and heat insulation.

However, without regular maintenance timber can be prone to cracking and splitting.  Unless wood is painted and finished, it can also fall victim to termites and other forms of pest infestation.  Over time, water damage can also cause wooden cladding to rot and erode. Regular oiling, painting and finishing is necessary to ensure long life.

Metal Cladding

From steel and aluminum to zinc and copper; metal cladding offers a variety of options and appearances for both residential and commercial architecture. One of the greatest advantages offered by metal cladding is the fact that it can be applied to any surface; in fact it’s often used to shield previously used exterior systems.

As might be expected metal offers great durability, and the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. Aluminum, zinc and copper are also water resistant, and impervious to corrosion; these exterior applications can last building owners’ decades with minimal maintenance. A versatility of colors, patterns and shapes also make metal systems attractive to designers looking to add a unique, streamlined look to their buildings.

In recent years aluminum composite panels (ACM) in particular have gained a huge following in building renovations, and new projects. Combining aluminum surfaces with a fire retardant polyutherane core; these panels are factory engineered for strength and flexibility, they’re also extremely cost-effective.

 When most people think about finishing walls, both interior and exterior, they inevitably think of brick, stone, stucco. It’s been a great option for untold years, especially for interiors. These days, there’s an option that is vastly superior in every way. Aluminumarchitectural wall cladding has been growing in popularity in the last ten years or so. Exterior wall paneling systems have been reasonable options, but the growing use of the finest systems indoors are allowing people to create stunning, smooth, modern finishes regardless of location or application. The most sought after ACM panels come backed with a warranty of up to forty years, which only adds to their desirability.

 ACM Panels
  Aluminum composite material, or ACM panels are sometimes compared to vinyl siding on a house. While there are certain aspects that are similar, ACM panels offer a little more in terms of design and longevity. Like ACM panels, vinyl siding is easily installed, but unlike ACM panels, it’s prone to delamination and cracking. ACM panels are made from painted aluminum coils, which makes them highly resistant to corrosion, chipping, peeling, and cracking. They’re available in dozens of colours, sizes, and shapes, and they’ll continue looking as great as the day they were installed for decades to come.
  If it’s time to renovate your space or you’re looking for options to decorate a new building, architectural wall cladding is an option that should be investigated further. It’s a fantastic choice for anyone looking for incredibly modern and smooth looking walls and will last for decades. To learn more about this innovative and exciting design option, contact only the most dependable and experienced ACM panel fabricator. They’ll be happy to provide valuable information as it pertains to the vast array of options available, regardless of the unique needs of your project. It could be the difference between a good looking finish and a truly breathtaking finish.

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