Aluminum, which is often referred to as a “miracle metal,” is the second most widely used metal in building after steel. The used as decorative detailing and then in roofing, flashing and wall panels thereby making aluminum the building material of choice.
The used in residential and commercial construction often as external cladding and building facades, aluminum composite panels (ACP), a flat panel made of two thin aluminum sheets bonded to a non-aluminum core, combines aesthetics, durability and affordability while providing environmental benefits.
Aluminum is available in a variety of lengths and widths and can be easily formed into various shapes as it can be bent, curved and joined together in many different configurations. Some manufacturers produce ACP that snap together and can be installed on wood frame, concrete, or steel studded buildings.
Aluminum composite panels, as strong as steel, are lightweight. Aluminum is durable, resistant to corrosion, and requires minimal maintenance. Aluminum panels are cost effective in that they can typically be installed faster than alternative exteriors such as granite or brick. Maintenance costs are reduced because panels eliminate the concerns over mold and mildew and retain their luster for years.
One of the disadvantages of using aluminum composite panels is that noise is sometimes caused by rain falling on aluminum. Aluminum panels of an inferior quality and that have not been reinforced in the manufacturing process to make them more susceptible to damage can easily be dented, especially when forcefully struck by heavy rain. Likewise, aluminum panels may become scratched, and pre-colored aluminum panels may fade or turn chalky when exposed to the elements after only a few years.
Although aluminum panels are a great barrier to air and water, waterproofing is necessary or moisture will enter the seams around or above the panels. Furthermore, aluminum panels reduce construction time and labor costs as they can be installed all year long, including periods of unpleasant weather. However, they are more expensive compared to traditional materials.
What are your thoughts on aluminum as a building material?