Aluminum made a grand debut in architecture with the Empire State Building in 1932. It remains a building material favored by architects, engineers and general contractors for its strength and beauty. It is a versatile choice for use in architectural features on any building.
Why is aluminum and ideal material for architectural elements?
- Lightweight and Strong
- Naturally Corrosion Resistant
- 100% recyclable.
Aluminum has a very high strength-to-weight ratio. This means that decorative features built with it are durable without weighing heavily on the structure of the building. Because of its strength, it can also serve a structural function in supports, canopies and awnings. Aluminum can be as strong as steel while weighing 35-65 percent less.
Aluminum doesn’t require a finishing treatment because it is naturally corrosion-resistant. This greatly reduces maintenance and replacement costs for building owners. The life of aluminum architectural details can be increased further with the correct application of a high-quality paint or through the anodization process.
Aluminum is a silvery-white metal with varying degrees of reflectivity based on the surface treatment. The appearance of a brushed grain can be added in straight or swirling effects. It can be hammered to create a distressed appearance or polished to a mirror-like finish. Paint adheres to it well and stands up to years of exposure when properly applied. Aluminum also has a high-level of formability which allows it to be pressed and bent into any shape for any aesthetic or structural application.
It is estimated that of all the aluminum ever produced, 75 percent of it is still in use. It is 100 percent recyclable and recycling aluminum requires 90 percent less energy than producing it from mined ore. The aluminum currently on the market is already composed of 50 to 85 percent recycled material.
A sign shop is the ideal fabrication partner for architectural elements. We’re craftsmen, experienced in cutting, forming, welding and finishing aluminum. Our products are built to withstand the elements and we know how to safely anchor them to any structure at any height. Architects and developers in Charlotte and the surrounding region should call Casco to discuss how to add depth and interest to their buildings with aluminum architectural features.