Metal Façades: How to Unite Aesthetics, Performance and Safety?

Metal façades give buildings an air of sophistication and modernity. They also bring a cleanness to the façade, due to their precise fabrication and well-resolved connections between other materials and building elements. There are currently multiple product options available for coatings, offering extensive colour options, including metallics, with different levels of durability (natural aging and corrosion). One of the main issues when approaching metal façades is the risk of corrosion, which can create points of weakness in the material and interfere with the aesthetics of the building. So, with this in mind, what do architects need to focus on to ensure that building envelopes age gracefully, while maintaining aesthetics and performance over time?

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ArtMe design on Qbiss One facade elements. Image Cortesia de Trimo

This can be done in two main ways: through a good detailing of the project and by choosing the most suitable materials and products for each project's specific conditions. In the case of metal façades, most products available on the market use a “cut and fold” design that is usual manually sealed and then retouched with paint. The disadvantage of this system is eventual corrosion and rust that spreads and brings an unwanted effect to the façade. To counter these types of issues, Trimo has developed the Qbiss One product, a metal modular wall system which is distinguished by its unique rounded corners on elements to avoid cuts and folds. This design is the result of state-of-the-art engineering and the latest automated technology. The unique rounded corners provide a superior aesthetic appearance that can be creatively explored by the designer, while avoiding any potential threat of corrosion, which often start at the corners of more traditional metal façade parts.

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Qbiss One element with rounded corner. Image Cortesia de Trimo

In addition, Qbiss One brings greater practicality to the construction, making it quicker for installation compared to built-up systems. That results in up to 30% faster installation of the facade envelope.

This product consists of two prepainted galvanized steel sheets bonded to a non-combustible A1 mineral wool core. All three layers form a solid prefabricated façade element, a composite element with thermal insulating and fire resistant core. Most commonly used are flat rectangular shaped elements with various dimensions. In addition L-formed elements used for building corners are available and also other forms for special applications. The elements are easily attached to the primary or secondary steel supports and can span up to 6,5m (subject to structural calculations) without intermediate supports. The system is designed to prevent water entering into the system, so each element has pre-installed gaskets on the corners to assure long lasting performance.

The three-layer steel sheet coating guarantees robust and durable performance, which through testing and experience has a projected lifespan of up to 50 years. To contribute to the thermal insulation of the envelope, mineral rock wool is used - an insulating material made from stone of volcanic origin - a recyclable component  and thus making the product with highest environmental ratings suitable for "green buildings". The system is designed with continuous thermal insulation to eliminate the thermal bridges and at same time the fire resistance function  of non-combustible mineral wool core prevents fire from spreading. Finally, the product's excellent thermal insulation ensures low energy consumption for heating and/or cooling the building.

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St. Fagans National Museum of History / FCB Studios / Image © Craig Auckland / Fotohaus. Image Cortesia de Trimo
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Gasteig HP8 Isarphilharmonie Munich / gmp International GmbH / Image © HGEsch

It is essential to consider the destination of construction materials after the end of the building's useful life. Steel construction products have a recycling rate of over 90%, using significantly less energy than was needed to create the original product. According to Trimo, the Qbiss One metal wall system is recyclable up to 99%.

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Party Rent Group, Munich / Jarosch Architektur / Image © Marcus Buck

Of course, being able to mix and match aesthetic possibilities is also essential. Galvanized steel sheets can look like stainless steel, as well as imitate corten, copper and even wood or stone. To maximize the individual artistic design, Trimo also created ArtMe, a unique façade design that allows a wide range of shapes, patterns and visual effects to be expressed on the façade for dramatic, individual and creative results. From photos to inscriptions, logos, branding and bespoke creations utilizing 3D technology, with embossed design, the possibilities are endless.

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Waste Transfer Centre, Greenwich Peninsula / Northpoint Architects, Flea Folly Architects / Image © Craig Auckland / Fotohaus

In the case of the Golden Hall project, by A4 Studio, externally coated in golden metal, which refers to the past and current successes of the winning sports club. On the façade, past and present champions are illustrated through inscriptions on the metal plates. In the projects Brunner Innovation by Henn, HOME by Mecanoo and Ice Hockey Stadium Of Ondrej Nepela by Fischer Architects the matte gray metallic façades contrast with the predominant glazed surfaces, which use the Qbiss One product.

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Golden Hall / A4 Studio. Image Cortesia de A4 Studio

Find out more project applications and other product information in our catalog.

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About this author
Cite: Souza, Eduardo. "Metal Façades: How to Unite Aesthetics, Performance and Safety?" [Fachadas metálicas: como unir estética, desempenho e segurança?] 22 Apr 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Brunner Innovation Factory / HENN. Image © HGEsch

安装速度 x 3,金属幕墙模块化系统 Qbiss One

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