First impressions and lasting impact are important. From the towering skyscrapers that grace our urban skylines to the humble structures that house thriving businesses, the exterior aesthetics of commercial buildings leave a mark on our urban landscapes. This holds true for commercial architecture, especially for iconic companies or institutions or those wishing to use their headquarters or locations as hallmarks of their brand.

One design element that’s revolutionized the way we perceive and interact with these structures is custom metal siding, roofing, and cladding. Far more than just a functional barrier, custom metal materials are a blank canvas upon which architects, designers, and builders can paint their vision. Besides eye-catching aesthetics, metal combines the best of form and function, offering unmatched durability, versatility, and energy efficiency. Read on to learn why.

Durable & long-lasting

Metal siding and roofing offer exceptional durability and longevity for commercial structures. These materials are known for their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, high winds, and extreme temperatures. Their resistance to corrosion, rust, humidity, and moisture ensures that they remain in excellent condition for decades, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

Design versatility

Since metal siding, roofing, and cladding materials come in a wide array of profiles, colors, and finishes, architects, designers, and builders can enjoy unparalleled versatility in design when using them. The variety of materials allows for creative freedom and customization in commercial and architectural projects.

Whether it’s the sleek, modern aesthetic of standing seam roofing, the textured appeal of corrugated metal siding, or the undulating shape of precision-curved metal, these options cater to a spectrum of design preferences. Further, metal can be easily manipulated and formed into unique shapes and angles, enabling the realization of innovative and eye-catching architectural concepts, like this recent CMI project. This versatility enhances the aesthetic appeal of structures and contributes to their functionality and sustainability, making metal an ideal choice for design professionals seeking both form and function from their materials.

Energy efficiency

Metal cladding on a building contributes significantly to its energy efficiency by providing several key benefits – ideal for commercial structures where consumption can be high. First, metal cladding acts as a highly effective thermal barrier. It helps to insulate the building by reducing heat transfer, both in and out, thus stabilizing indoor temperatures. This insulation minimizes the need for excessive heating or cooling, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced utility costs.

Metal siding and roofing are also renowned for their energy efficiency due to their reflective properties and insulation capabilities. These materials often have reflective coatings or finishes that bounce back a significant portion of the sun’s heat, reducing heat absorption and keeping the building cooler in hot weather. As with metal cladding, this reflective quality helps decrease air conditioning use, resulting in lower energy consumption and cooling costs.

Additionally, these systems can be designed with insulation layers that improve thermal performance, preventing heat loss during colder months. This insulation helps maintain a more stable indoor temperature, reducing the need for heating, and thus saving on heating expenses. Further, metal siding and roofing are weather-resistant, preventing air leaks and moisture infiltration, which can lead to energy loss and damage.

The combination of reflective surfaces, insulation capabilities, and durability, results in reduced energy consumption and long-term cost savings for building owners.

Minimal maintenance

Metal siding, roofing, and cladding are favored for their low maintenance requirements. These materials are known for their durability and resistance to many environmental factors, which reduces the need for regular upkeep. Here are some key reasons for their low maintenance:

  • Minimal Cleaning: Metal surfaces are relatively smooth and easy to clean. They typically require only occasional washing or power washing to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Resistance to Pests: Unlike wood or other materials, metal is not susceptible to damage from pests like termites, which can be a common source of maintenance for other types of siding and roofing.
  • Color Retention: Many metal finishes have excellent color retention properties, so they don’t require frequent repainting or touch-ups to maintain their appearance.
  • Weather Resistance: Metal can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy storms and high winds, without significant damage, reducing the need for repairs after severe weather events.
  • Stability: Metal maintains its structural integrity over time, so there is no sagging, warping, or cracking that might necessitate repairs.

The low maintenance requirements of metal building materials make them an attractive and cost-effective choice for building owners, since the need for ongoing maintenance and repairs is minimal, saving time and money in the long run. Little need for repairs also means less environmental toll since cleaning, painting, and repairs can generate waste and consume additional resources.

Environmental impact

Sustainability in metal materials begins with their long lifespan (50 years or more!) and durability, reducing the frequency of replacements and the associated environmental impact. Besides their energy-efficient characteristics previously discussed, here’s how they contribute to sustainability:

  • Recyclability: Metal is one of the most recyclable construction materials available. At the end of its life cycle, metal can be easily and efficiently recycled without losing its quality or strength. Recycled metal is widely used in the production of new metal products, conserving resources and reducing energy consumption.
  • Energy Efficiency: Metal roofing and cladding materials often have reflective coatings that can reduce the cooling load in buildings. This results in lower energy consumption for air conditioning and contributes to energy efficiency.
  • Reduced Waste: During the manufacturing process, metal materials generate less waste compared to some other construction materials. This reduces the environmental impact associated with waste disposal.
  • Lightweight: Metal materials are relatively lightweight compared to some alternatives, reducing the transportation energy and emissions associated with their delivery to construction sites.
  • LEED Certification: Using metal building materials can offer several potential benefits when pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for sustainable building projects. Metal’s recyclability, durability, and energy-efficient properties can contribute to LEED credits in categories like Materials and Resources, Energy and Atmosphere, and Innovation in Design.

By incorporating metal materials, such as steel or aluminum, into a construction project, builders can reduce environmental impact, conserve resources, and enhance energy efficiency. This ultimately increases their chances of achieving LEED certification and demonstrates a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly building practices. Whether you’re pursuing LEED certification for your structure or not, the reduced overall environmental impact of metal roofing and siding is far less than that of other materials.

Cost considerations

When choosing to use metal building materials, cost considerations are an important part of the decision-making process. Here’s a brief look at key cost factors to keep in mind:

  • Initial Installation Costs: Metal siding and roofing can have a higher upfront cost compared to some other materials like asphalt shingles or vinyl siding. However, the initial investment is generally offset over time by the products’ longer lifespans and lower maintenance costs.
  • Long-Term Savings: Metal roofing, in particular, can yield substantial long-term savings due to its durability and energy-efficient properties. Not only can it reduce cooling costs but can last for decades, whereas other roofing materials may require replacement sooner.
  • Maintenance Costs: Metal siding and roofing are known for their low maintenance requirements. While this reduces ongoing expenses, remember to factor in the cost of occasional inspections and cleaning to ensure they remain in optimal condition.
  • Resale Value: Investing in metal siding and roofing can enhance the resale value of a property, potentially recouping the initial costs when selling the building.
  • Local Climate: Consider the local climate when evaluating cost-effectiveness. Metal roofing may be more cost-effective in areas with extreme weather conditions, as it can better withstand such challenges.

While metal siding and roofing may involve higher upfront costs, their long-term benefits can make them a cost-effective choice over the life of a building. Careful consideration of these factors and a cost-benefit analysis tailored to your specific project and location will help you make an informed decision regarding metal building materials.

Final thoughts

It’s apparent the use of metal siding, roofing, and cladding offers numerous advantages for commercial structure, from durability and energy efficiency to design flexibility and sustainability.

To benefit fully when using these materials, be sure to select an experienced and reputable manufacturer like Corrugated Metals, Inc. Their expertise ensures that you not only get high-quality products but also benefit from tailored solutions, expert guidance, and a seamless installation process. By choosing wisely, you’re not just investing in metal materials; you’re investing in the longevity, efficiency, and value of your building project.

Interested in incorporating metal products into your next project? We’d be happy to lend our expertise to your planning; get in touch with us today.