Commercial Building Facades: Critical Factors for Sheet Metal Fabrication

24 March 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


The façade is not a critical structural element in commercial buildings. However, this type of feature can improve the architectural and visual interest of your building. Consequently, your premises will stand out and even attract more customers. A good façade can also improve some performance aspects of the buildings like fire-resistance by providing a shield. There are different materials that you should consider when installing this feature on your building. However, sheet metal offers the most benefits in terms of costs, appearance and general performance. Here are the main factors that you should consider before ordering façade elements for your commercial building.

Types of Materials

Sheet metal can be formed from any material which can be forged into flat and thin configurations. However, the most common metals that are easily accessible and economical for this type of fabrication are aluminium and stainless steel. Stainless steel is a strong material which can be polished for a reflective look, and it is not prone to corrosion and rusting. Therefore, the façade will remain untarnished after installation, regardless of the climatic conditions. Aluminium is the cheaper alternative and it is impervious to corrosion. You can improve the appearance by powder coating or anodising the sheet metal. Other materials that you can consider include copper, brass and nickel.

Installation Considerations

The system can be attached directly to the precast concrete slabs used to build the structural walls of the building. This option is favourable because the sheet metal will be supported by the structural walls and consequently, they will be stable. On the other hand, this metal will increase the amount of weight that must be supported by the building foundation. Therefore, you should ensure that the chosen sheet metal in this design is low gauge for light weight. Alternatively, the panels can be suspended like curtain-walls along the building. These are not attached to structural walls so they will not exert undue weight. The curtain can be thicker in order to shield against heavy winds and blowing rain to the building.

Perforated vs. Solid Panels

The design of the sheet metal is an important factor to consider before ordering a façade for your building from the fabricator. Perforated sheets are ideal because you can customise the layer into a style relevant to the commercial operation in the building. Moreover, the holes will allow air to flow freely around the building, depending on installation style. Solid panels are ideal for a minimalist appearance, and they are ideal when the building is intended for different businesses.