Aluminium has been used as a construction material since the early 1920’s. As construction methods have improved, so has the use of aluminium.
Aluminium Trade Associations report that over 20% of the world’s aluminium production is now consumed by the construction industry. It is unlikely you will see any modern building today constructed without some aluminium components aside from the obvious like windows, doors, cladding and fascias.
In commercial and residential buildings aluminium panels have now become a key construction material. In this article we will examine how aluminium panels benefit construction projects for both new buildings and the refurbishment of old buildings.
Why use aluminium panels in construction?
For an architect, aluminium in construction generally represents, high strength, low weight, design flexibility and, importantly, low cost. These benefits are shared by aluminium panels.
In new buildings, panels can be used to assist with meeting the required U Values as well as helping with sound insulation and even fire resistance if needed.
Aluminium Panels benefit from all the advantages of polyester powder coating.
This means that architects and building owners have unlimited design freedom in matching colours to suit the use of the building and importantly its surrounding environment.
There are not only over 200 different colours available but today these colours are further enhanced by advances in coating technology.
Aluminium panels can now be used to create wood, marble or metallic effects through processes such as sublimation. Powder coating technology has also advanced to give us much more than smooth paint surfaces.Today aluminium panels can be provided in textured and tactile surfaces.
Use Aluminium Panels in refurbishment of older buildings.
Park Hill in Sheffield, is typical of many 1960’s blocks of flats that are now looking tired and no longer serve the need for which they were originally built.
Whilst arguably “state of the art” in their time, their old steel single glazed windows, concrete construction and poor insulation is no longer viable by today’s standards.
We are fortunate today in having the construction materials, skills and technology to refurbish older buildings rather than simply demolish them. With new windows and doors, improved insulation and general refurbishment, those older buildings can be transformed inside and out to once again provide new dwellings.
Park Hill demonstrates how installing new larger powder coated aluminium windows to a different design (now sitting between the concrete frame) and with one pane glazed with coloured panels has completely changed the external appearance of what was an old concrete building.
This is one excellent example of where aluminium panels are a thermally efficient, ultra durable, light and cost effective material that can make a dramatic difference to an old concrete tower block.
So aside from the advantages of using aluminium panels in construction of new buildings, they also present opportunities in refurbishing older properties. As tastes change in years to come, the windows with aluminium panels can once again be changed and improved to once again create a different look to what then may be a 100 year old building.