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Bringing Work Home: The Use Of Coated Metal In Suburbia

By: Jeff Alexander, VP of Sales, Coil and Extrusion Division, Valspar Corporation

Whether we live in a big city or far out in the countryside, most of us spend our professional lives outside of the home. From skyscrapers and industrial complexes to big box stores and suburban strip malls, a large segment of the employed public works in buildings designed specifically to accommodate office space and commercial enterprises. And one of the growing features of these facilities is the use of exterior metal paneling.

Building with coated metal panels is an effective medium for increasing the durability, sustainability and beauty of a building. Metal panels are lightweight, easy to install and maintain, visually impressive and offer advanced thermal and moisture protection. Metal panels also provide advanced protection against the elements and can improve building performance and conserve energy. Combined with an advanced PVDF coating, these benefits continue to grow.

Recent innovations in architectural coatings have also increased demand for building with metal, as they continue to offer enhanced and improved application properties, dependable color consistency and special formulations, such as energy-efficient solar-reflective coatings and color-changing coatings. Due to these features, architects and building owners are more often selecting coated metal panels to adorn their new commercial projects. From state-of-the-art sports arenas to campus buildings at leading universities, coated metal panels are the building product of choice for a growing number of the places we go to work.

But what about our homes? While building with coated metal has made a significant impact in the commercial sector, the effect on the residential market is about to follow suit.

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California’s Metal Home

One of the most striking uses of metal in home architecture can be found in the countryside of California. After years of living all across the country at different addresses, Ilhan and Kamer Eser knew it was time to downsize and build their own home when they became empty nesters.

As the CEO of MORIN, a Kingspan Group Company, Ilhan found his home project to be a great opportunity to use the metal panels his company manufactures in a unique and daring way. After careful planning that centered on maximizing sustainability, the Esers drew up plans for a home featuring an exterior constructed of metal panels to adorn the home’s exterior walls and roof. The metal panels not only give the home a modern appearance, but also provide durability and sustainable benefits to the building’s overall design.

Looking for a unique exterior visual, Ilhan turned to a color-shifting coating: Fluropon® Effects Kameleon™ from Valspar that feature pearlescent paints that appear to shift in color based on the lighting or viewing angle.

This unique coating uses mica flakes to create a consistent, iridescent gradient look. The Esers selected Kameleon’s Dusty Rose shade to complement the home’s countryside setting, which provides a one-of-a-kind look to the exterior. Now complete, the Esers are enjoying a home featuring coated metal panels that not only draw the eyes, but provide functional durability and sustainability features as well.

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Building for the Elements

Far across the country on the Atlantic Coast, metal panels are also gaining in popularity among residential builds, albeit for slightly different reasons. Located a mere three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, an expansive 7,500 square-foot private residence in Ponte Vedra, FL needed superior protection from the sea’s corrosive elements without compromising aesthetics. The homeowner had two requirements for the architect: the building had to be of shingle-style design, and it had to feature a metal roof.

Their architect, William Jaycox, of Jaycox Architects & Associates in Jacksonville, FL, happily complied. The home’s shingle-style design is a sophisticated mix of architectural forms, a generous color scheme and refined details that, collectively, project a casual, welcoming air. The single-story home, with the children’s bedrooms in the attic, is defined by a complex roof design with numerous steeply pitched sections, multiple dormers of different scale, and even a fanciful lookout porch for ocean views. In total, it required approximately 12,000 square-feet of Petersen Aluminum’s Snap-Clad panels in a Cool Slate Gray of Valspar’s Fluropon® coating.

The combination of metal paneling and 70 percent PVDF architectural coating provides elite protection against the many severe elements of living near the ocean, including the corrosive effect of salt in the air. Additionally, the metal coating provides the home with outstanding protection against the elements including ultraviolet rays, dirt and stains, chalk and fade and chemical degradation. Also when applied to a metal roofing system, metal coatings help reflect the sun’s heat rather than being absorbed by the building – leading to increased energy savings and occupant comfort.

From California to Florida and all the states in-between, building with metal panels can have a profound impact on both the look and performance of a home. Demand for sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-efficient home improvement materials continues to grow in North America, as more than 750,000 U.S. homeowners chose a metal roof to protect their families in 2015.[1] But it doesn’t just stop there.

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And Apartments, Too!

Although metal panels are being used for residential homes, many people throughout the country rent the places in which they live. Apartment buildings are a growing market for exterior metal panels, and recently in Pittsburgh, a new residential construction is bridging the old with the new.

Pittsburgh is one of those up-and-coming cities we’re consistently hearing more about. The East End, particularly Shadyside, has been focused on attracting young professionals to its neighborhood with lots of bar and restaurant options, green spaces mixed with urban development and as much shopping as you could want. This push has definitely been working, and more people are flocking to the area – creating a need for upscale apartment living amongst the rest of the neighborhood offerings.

Bakery Living, a 175-unit building owned by Capital Walnut, checks every box – underground parking, indoor pool and gym, dry cleaning and dog walking on-site, large communal balconies and lobbies and free Starbucks coffee in the morning – making it “the cool place to be” for young professionals. On trend with upscale living, the residence features comfortable décor mixed with modern aesthetics both inside and out. The structure was built using metal wall panels from ATAS International that were coated in Valspar’s Fluropon in Silversmith. The vibrant pops of color mixed with the sleek metal and shiny silver coating exudes an unmistakable vibe.

Another important aspect of the build was to select materials with longevity that would withstand weather conditions and showcase their long-lasting performance. The use of metal on a building’s siding and roofing offers advanced durability and often results in fewer repairs over time, which saves time and money on maintenance routines. Furthermore, it is a lighter weight material than alternative roofing options, putting less stress on standing structures.

Residents of Bakery Living feel like they are part of a tight-nit community. They work and play in the neighborhood, routinely visit the same coffee shops and grocery stores, and live in the structure that offers them everything they could want. Just like the many buildings Bakery Living residents work in, their new home also features visually captivating and functionally impressive coated metal panels.

As the industry continues to evolve, it won’t be long before you find yourself living in an apartment constructed with metal, or discover the new house around the corner featuring a shiny, metallic exterior. Building residential homes and apartments with coated metal panels is on the rise across the country, and will continue to climb as more people discover the aesthetic and functional qualities they provide an exterior. Whether it’s a home in the Californian countryside, an ocean-side dwelling, a trendy apartment building or your next place of residence, quality exterior metal featuring a high-performance PVDF coating has something to offer everyone.

[1] Metal Roofing Alliance: http://industry.metalroofing.com/2016/08/03/residential-metal-roofing-market-share-jumps-to-11-in-u-s/

About Valspar

Valspar logoFrom five North American plant locations, Valspar’s Industrial Coatings division produces a broad range of architectural and industrial coatings for coil and spray application to metals used in the manufacture of metal roofing, metal wall panels and components of all types and styles. All of the company’s coatings can be formulated in a wide range of colors with enhanced solar reflectance and emittance properties to help reduce urban heat island effects and the energy bills of individual buildings. To learn more, visit www.valsparinspireme.com or www.valsparcoilextrusion.com.

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