According to recent research, the facade construction industry is set to reach a worth of USD270.9 billion in 2028, up from USD195.4 billion in 2021. This is not a wonder given the popularity of this construction technology, backed by significant functionality and superior design qualities.

We all know that choosing the best material is one of the hallmarks of successful facade construction. There are many material options in the market, each with pros and cons based on different construction requirements.

At our company, we are fond of the quality and reliability that aluminum brings to the construction industry. It is an irreplaceable material in the growth of this industry, and we will tell you why.

What is facade construction?

If there is one element in a building that communicates character and personality, it is the facade. Being the outside wall of a building, mainly the one that has the main door, the facade is decorative and functional at the same time.

While it protects the building’s interior from wind and elements, its focal point nature cannot be ignored. In the architecture world, it plays the role of creating a lasting first impression, among others. These include insulation, control of sunlight exposure, preventing water ingress, and air permeability management.

So, you can see why the choice of material for the facade is critical.

Categories of Facade Construction

Facade construction can be either heavyweight or lightweight, based generally on the weight of the resulting design.

Lightweight Facade Construction

The lightweight version is designed to adhere to the building structure. It doesn’t add to the building’s stability, so it must be designed to be self-supporting.

Glass and metal are the most popular materials for this kind of facade construction. When it comes to further categorization of this type, we have a panel facade and curtain wall.

The two differ in the way they interact with the structure framework. The framework interrupts the façade in the paneled facade but that doesn’t happen in the curtain wall construction.

The lightweight facade is easy to install, but the maintenance costs may be relatively high. It also doesn’t perform very well on sound and heat insulation. You will mostly find this type of facade construction in high-rise buildings.

Aluminum is perfect for this type of facade, where it contributes to significant weight and space savings. It also enhances and sustains the curb appeal of the property for many years. For the architect or designer, this is a big factor because it guarantees that the property will remain noble for many years to come.

Heavyweight Facade Construction

Compared to the lightweight facade, this type tends to be heavier, with at least 100kg weight per square meter. There are several options in this category such as prefabricated facade, rain-screen cladding, ETI (External Thermal Insulation) systems, and traditional facade construction.

Which of the two categories do you prefer for your construction project?

The Benefits of Aluminum in Facade Construction

Aluminum for facade construction has several advantages as compared to alternative materials.

Appearance: The aesthetic appeal of aluminum is something that many people can’t resist. Anodized aluminum is one of the most appealing facade products you will ever come across. You can do so much with anodized aluminum to achieve visual effects – 3D textures, perforations, etc. Building designers are wowed by the surface homogeneity and color quality of anodized aluminum facade.

Customization: Aluminum can be adjusted to suit specific design requirements in facade construction. It could be some color, pattern, or surface finish – the material offers numerous choices for customization. That’s how it is possible to have all manner of designs when you use aluminum.

Modern designs: The appeal of a facade goes hand in hand with the modernity of the material used. The sleek appearance of aluminum is such an asset when executing a design with a contemporary appearance in mind. Architects like to optimize the dynamism of aluminum to come up with different designs. The material is ever relevant regardless of the direction taken by modern designs.

Blending with the environment: The versatility of the material means that the resulting designs can always be adjusted to suit the requirements of the surroundings. If the building is in a coastal city, its design should reflect the designs there, the same case if it were in the countryside.

Durable material: Aluminum is renowned for remaining steadfast even in tough environmental conditions. Not even corrosive conditions can damage the material. For that, you can be assured that the facade will stay in excellent condition for a long time. This durability translates into other cost savings for the project, including maintenance.

Safety: Depending on where the building is located, the safety and security of the occupants can be a top priority. Facades with aluminum material can be built to provide optimum safety. Being a strong material, aluminum is a great cover against damage, break-ins, and so on.

Choosing Aluminum for Facade Construction – The Key Points

When it comes to the determining factors for choosing aluminum over other materials for facade construction, climate and environmental considerations come into play.

First, the existing climate conditions have little or no effect on the functionality of the aluminum facade. Forming and processing aluminum is not a problem, even when the temperatures are as low as 0 degrees. For this feature alone, architects have an easy time experimenting with facade designs.

Even after the facade installation, no weather condition is too extreme for aluminum. The material will retain its reliability at 2,000 meters above sea level, where the temperature can vary by 40 degrees and more.

In these days of intensified environmental awareness, the environmental friendliness and sustainability of facade construction materials is a big consideration. Aluminum is a strong candidate for these factors too.

As you may know, there are not many materials that are as resilient in recycling as aluminum. The material can be reused many times and it will not lose its properties. Indeed, 90% of the metal that is used in building construction is recycled eventually. The recycling process is estimated to use a mere 5% of the energy that was used to manufacture the original aluminum. Therefore, it is a highly sustainable and environmentally friendly material.

With aluminum for facade construction, the design choices are limitless. Take the case of operable fenestration systems, which allow for the free movement of fresh air into indoor spaces. Aluminum is unique in the way it supports such designs because it can be easily formed into various shapes.  Steel and other alternative materials cannot support such designs unless they are combined with aluminum.

Environmental friendliness also touches on the maximization of natural light. Aluminum alloys in facade construction support heavy glass easily, thus not only enhancing broad views but also maximizing natural light.

Aluminum facade-fonnovaluminium.com

Consider also the low maintenance feature of aluminum for facade construction. Routine cleaning which is common for all materials is the only requirement to worry you. Beyond that, the aluminum facade doesn’t need any maintenance. The low-maintenance element means that the lifetime costs of this material can be significant. The ecological impact in this case is immeasurable. Remember that the routine cleaning of the material doesn’t have to involve the use of toxic materials and chemicals.

Some Alternative Materials in Facade Construction

Steel: It is a popular facade construction material that stands out for its mechanical yield strength. Owing to this feature, designers can comfortably apply larger glazing areas. This is especially applicable at entrances and where a lot of light is needed. The material is also durable, standing strong against elements for decades.

Plastic: If you are looking for affordable and lightweight material for simple façade construction, this is one of the options. It does increase the appeal of the building too.

Timber: Timber is unique and antique, thus a popular facade construction material for many. It is typically strong and versatile, offering design flexibility. Modern treatment technologies have made the material even more applicable to modern buildings.

Brick: The vintage appearance aside, the brick facade offers extreme durability, helping protect the building against the elements and fires. It is also easy to maintain and offers admirable insulation.

Ceramic: The Egyptians were fond of this cladding material in the olden days. The sustainability of this material has made it remain relevant to date. Another benefit is the fire and thermal protection capabilities of this material. Moreover, ceramic has excellent ventilation features because it is porous.

Parting Words

Aluminum is important in facade construction, especially for a project that seeks to accrue the benefits of modern construction at an attractive price point.

The material presents all the allure of modern designs, yet it costs only a fraction of the more expensive alternatives. Its corrosion resistance is unmatched and supports usage for many years, and the intuitiveness of the handling of the material is remarkable.

If you are considering aluminum as the material of choice for the facade in your next construction project, we would be excited to be part of the project. FONNOV Aluminum is an industry trailblazer in the production of extruded aluminum profiles, machined aluminum components, and fabricated aluminum products. Don’t forget our valued added services such as machining and perforations.

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