The Smart Use of Steel in Building Facades

The first time steel was used in a building facade was in 1929 for the apex of the New York Chrysler building. There are still 4 500 stainless steel tiles at its apex.

Today’s architects and designers can fashion extraordinarily creative building facades. Precision laser cutting facilitates patterns in the steel makes the exterior very much a part of the interior experience via enhanced ambience.

Skyscrapers such as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa or the Petrona Towers in Kuala Lumpur have showcased steel in building facades for all the world to see. But the little guys can take a leaf out of the big brothers' book. There are smart ways to use steel in smaller constructions, remodelling projects and extensions.

Why Using Steel in Building Facades is Smart

Stainless steel makes a good choice for building facades due to its added functionality. Designs incorporate ingenious lighting redirection, provide excellent shading and vital electromagnetic shielding. Stainless steel also has a fair measure of self-healing properties. That provides a further smart reason to use it where corrosion might be an issue. It also means no need to apply any coatings.

As is the case with aluminium, steel also comes in various finishes, from a brushed finish, a satin posh look or a high-end mirror polish for prestigious projects. For decorative mullion and transom sections of panes, casements and the like, a standard what they call, ‘grit shot’ blasting, makes the most sense.

Compared to other metals similarly used in building facades, such as aluminium for example. Nothing beats the strength of steel. Yes, steel is heavier and yes sometimes aluminium is used in parts of the design. There is nothing wrong with the best of both worlds. Combinations using steel’s stellar properties in tandem with the lightness aluminium provides is probably as near to a perfect solution as you’d ever find.

The beauty of using steel facades in new structures supplies many benefits. But that doesn’t mean already completed buildings can’t get in on the perks. Extensions and refurbishing provide ample opportunity for incorporating stylish steel facades.

Steel facades in buildings have lent themselves to a new kind of transparency and interaction in design concepts. Lighting changes further extend the creative and ambient qualities in construction and design.

Steelmor is the leading supplier and manufacturer of stainless steel in South Africa. Give us a call on 011 747 5700 anytime for reliable advice on all things stainless steel.

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