In construction, cladding involves covering building materials with another ‘layer’ to provide a number of practical and aesthetic advantages. A variety of materials can be used for cladding including wood, plastic, stone and imitation stone – however the most popular and advantageous is metal. Most metal cladding panels are formed from aluminium or steel and its benefits are becoming more and more recognised.
Protection and Strength – One of the most crucial advantages to metal cladding panels is the added protection to the building. Metal cladding panels shields the internal building materials from the harsh elements and increases the mechanical stability of the structure. The cladding protects from changes in temperature, wind, water absorption, sunlight and pollution –all of which can damage the structural integrity of a building and its aesthetics.
Non Combustible – The International Building Code recognises metal building materials as non-combustible. This does not mean metal cladding buildings are exempt from fire regulations but it does recognise the significant advantages of using non-combustible metal panels compared to wood and other materials.
Low Maintenance – In comparison to wood, stone and painted surfaces metal cladding panels required very little maintenance or repair work. Metal cladding is very resistant to harsh weather conditions so can simply be cleaned to retain its good aesthetics.
Lightweight Solution – Metal cladding panels can be the lightest of cladding options especially with lightweight aluminium honeycomb cores. This does not increase the dead load of the building and makes them easy to transport and install.
Aesthetics – Even though the primary reasons for using metal cladding in a construction are practical, there is also the aesthetic benefits to consider. Metal cladding can dramatically change the overall look of a building, making it more appealing and add value. Metal cladding can come in a wide range of styles and finishes and can create varying styles including a wide range of colour options, sleek stainless steel and rustic metal looks.
Environmentally Friendly – Metal cladding panels can be made of recycled materials, making them environmentally-friendly and reducing the amount of material that goes to landfill. And because they are made from common metals, at the end of their useful life as cladding, they can easily be recycled. As a results this heavily reduces the carbon footprint associated with metal cladding panels.