A lightweight material par excellence, zinc is a non-ferrous metal that provides an effective solution for coating buildings exposed to adverse weather conditions, while simultaneously delivering a creative response to the requirements of a project.
When in contact with humidity during the summer, zinc panels generate a self-protecting layer that isolates heat from indoor spaces. Rain and snow slide easily over its surfaces, and its modular panels can wrap curved shapes or be perforated according to the architectural design, and combined in facades and/or ceilings through different shades, brightness, and colors.
Compared to other metals, its refinement requires less energy
Used for centuries, zinc is one of the most abundant metals on Earth, surpassed by only 23 other chemical elements. For this reason, its extraction is relatively easy (avoiding strip mining, and the deterioration of the earth) and its refinement (smelting and processing) requires less energy than other metals such as aluminum (75% less), copper or steel (50% less).
Zinc responds to the environment and protects itself over time
Due to its composition, zinc is a material that responds to its environment and changes over time. Its outer patina arises naturally when it comes into contact with water and salt, and in addition to giving it a rustic appearance, it has a self-protective effect that isolates it and allows it to resist corrosion.
In the project 'The House on the Cliff', designed by GilBartolome Architects, the roof of the house is made up of zinc tiles manufactured by hand from the raw material. Being directly exposed to the humidity of the ocean, its pieces naturally change their tones.
Zinc panels can adapt to complex shapes and be precisely perforated
Its pieces are flexible enough to adapt to curves and complex geometric shapes, as well as being perforable and customizable according to each architectural design. The perforations are made by CNC machines, delivering exact and millimeter results. In addition, Zinc is known for its malleability, allowing its gradual bending without the need for tools or extra machinery.
In the 'Legacy ER Allen' project, by the architects of 5G Studio Collaborative, the metal roof is carefully designed to work as eaves at specific points in the building. Its perforated panels control the passage of the sun and improve the comfort of its interior spaces.
Striated panels increase rigidity and avoid deformations in the material
In addition to the popular corrugated sheets traditionally used in roofing, there are modular options with shallow striations which provide greater rigidity to the total facade and allow specification of longer and thinner panels (which, consequently, reduce the general costs of the project).
This rigidity prevents the appearance of deformations in the material, better known as oil-canning, which is typical of flat metal sheets. Its slight striations generate different characteristics according to the angle of vision, changing with the passing of the hours and the climatic condition.
Different dimensions of its modular panels allow waste to be avoided
If the envelope is defined once the design of the building structure is finished, the available modular panels can help us cover their exact dimensions, avoiding unnecessary waste and poor quality terminations. It is also possible that the dimensions of the chosen panels are the starting point for the design of the facades or roofs. Panels of different dimensions can be mixed to achieve special effects.
In the project 'The Alchemist', designed by Reid Architects, the roof and the facade join in a single element that covers and protects an iconic bar and restaurant located opposite the famous Lowry Center, in Media City, Salford, UK. This golden mantle consists of almost 2000m2 of ElZinc Rainbow Gold panels.
Zinc can last up to 100 years on ceilings and facades and can be recycled
Although this number may vary according to the specific conditions of each project, zinc usually lasts more than 100 years in roofs and facades, and even more in interior applications. All elements made of zinc can be recycled unlimitedly and in its entirety while maintaining its composition and its specific qualities.
In the project 'Stade De Soccer de Montréal', designed by Saucier + Perrotte architectes + Hughes Condon Marler Architects, the envelope becomes the total image of the building, incorporating itself into its surroundings by recalling the geological nature of the site. The metal mantle folds over the length of the building and extends to the football field, framing it and delivering seating for its spectators.
All these projects were developed using elZinc material, and can be manufactured by MetalTech-USA, authorized representatives of the brand in the United States. Find more details of these systems here.