Water leakage through the exterior wall was reported at a 30-year-old, one-story commercial building in the Midwest. The building had been constructed with concrete masonry unit (CMU) bearing walls clad with brick masonry veneer, and steel open-web joists supporting a steel roof deck. The portion of the building experiencing leakage had been extensively renovated approximately 15 years ago, including modifications to the exterior façades, to create new storefronts for multiple commercial tenants.
Building exteriors are becoming increasingly complex today. They take never-before-seen shapes and soar to new heights, pushing the aesthetic and technical limits of building materials. Interestingly enough, little to none of this rising architectural complexity could be attributed to lavish construction budgets or unbridled spending. So, who or what is to be credited with today’s increasingly challenging and innovative exterior architecture?
Developments in technology and production continue to push the envelope and advance the speed at which buildings are constructed. When properly designed, specified, and executed, details and materials can assist the construction team by significantly reducing the installation time. Even if it is well-intentioned, the use of incompatible materials to increase productivity when installing cladding elements can result in disastrous situations.
Used in Europe since the 1800s, zinc exterior wall cladding has gained popularity in the united states during the last few decades. As a proven and dependable material, architectural rolled zinc products complement both contemporary and traditional designs. As buildings weather and age, their zinc façades develop a recognizable patina that are unique to the projects’ sites.