James Blair Middle School

Project Details

Location:

Williamsburg, VA

Material:

Vitrabond 6mm FR Aluminum Composite Material

Finish:

Bone White FV9902

Panel System:

Arrowhead Flex

Quantity:

54,500 SF


What is Engineered Metal Plate?

Metal Wall Panels (MWP) take many forms, and is not always recognized at first glance to the untrained eye. However, it is one of the most common façade cladding products in use.

One of the materials used for Metal Wall Panels is Aluminum Plate.  Many elementary materials in construction now have an “Engineered Version” to improve on the benefits of that material. Examples include Engineered Hardwood Floors, Engineered Floor Joist, and Engineered Metal Plate.

VitrabondG2 is a Non-Combustible Metal Composite Material, a perfect example of an engineered metal plate product.

What is Engineered Metal Plate?

Metal Plate wall panels have been used for years on building facades, however some of the challenges faced in working with this products include oil canning (rippling of panels after installation due to thermal expansion and contraction), difficulty in handling due to the weight, multiple processes like welding, grinding, painting, etc…, and design limitations due to limited finish options.

Engineered Metal Plate, on the other hand, has all the benefits of Metal Plate, but is lighter weight, more rigid, has a higher strength to weight ratio, less tendency for oil canning, easier to handle, and comes in nearly unlimited finish options like what can be had with Metal Composite Material.

What Finishes are Available?

Practically any design or pattern can be used for the visible portion of this cladding. Modern buildings often use solid or metallic finishes, but the material can also be made to look like bricks, stones, or other unique finishes and textures, allowing a wide scope in design options for the architects.

What Materials is Engineered Metal Plate made of?

In any engineered product, the materials used are far more advanced than its traditional predecessor. Engineered Metal Plate is still comprised of metal, but uses modern manufacturing means and methods in order to yield more benefits.

Top 10 reasons Engineered Metal Plate is an ideal cladding product for the building façade industry:

VitrabondG2 is a Non-Combustible Metal Composite Material, a perfect example of an engineered metal plate product. Here are some benefits that are unique to VitrabondG2:

  1. All the benefits of MCM, but in a non-combustible product.
  2. Variety of finishes that can’t be achieved in the traditional spray-applied plate products.
  3. Most durable finishes known in the industry.
  4. Higher strength to weight ratio than metal plate façade materials.
  5. Coated prior to fabricating to eliminate additional handling and outsourcing to painters.
  6. 50% lighter weight means for less structural support needed within the wall assembly and attachment systems.
  7. Fully recyclable without needing grinding equipment to separate components.
  8. Much less tendency for oil canning from thermal expansion and contraction.
  9. Easier to machine and work with than solid aluminum plate
  10. Works with standard MCM systems, such as the Arrowhead Installation System.

Learn more at www.fairview-na.com!


All MCM Is Not Created Equal

ALL MCM IS NOT CREATED EQUAL

The building façade industry has seen a continuous increase in the use of Metal Composite Materials (MCM). This light weight and rigid material provides and attractive appearance and is well suited to many building styles.

 

Like any product growing in demand, more and more brands start hitting the market, and finally some companies, struggling for market share, begin to drop prices and engage in the losing battle of a Price War.

 

Low Cost Providers:

When it comes to MCM (also known as Aluminum Composite Material, or ACM) many low-cost providers are trying to push their way into the market. This began with some low cost imported products suited to the signage industry being used for building facades, because it looked about the same. Following this, some domestic MCM  manufacturers begin competing in this price-driven boxing ring and as a result must sacrifice quality to maintain their slim margins.

 

Pricing

As with all products in any industry, ‎a drastic price difference either means there are product variables being exploited, or margins are being cut leaving the vendor no room for servicing the client. Either way, the validity of any warranties is called into question. Will they use a loophole in their warranty to get out of product failure? Will they be in business for long, if they are selling at little to no margins?

 

Warranty

Warranty is one of the most important aspects in choosing your MCM product. If a company has great confidence in their product they will offer you a great warranty. If they don’t, you might want to ask some more questions.

 

Cost

Cost and price are two different things. Price is what you see up front. Cost is how your purchase affected your bottom line profits. Risk is a major factor in a purchasing decision. If a MCM product manufacturer can reduce your risk by offering better warranties, and better service, and goes the extra mile to help see your project through to success, you can be sure that they will stand behind you when you need them. Their price might look higher, but the cost of doing business with them might be much less than the headache of dealing with a “low-cost provider”.

 

An example of how price driven manufacturers might try to cut costs is to increase the production speed of the ACM manufacturing line to get more output, with effects which may not appear until years later. Or they might use lower grade raw materials, or cut their customer service.

 

Conclusion:

Quality is sustainable and with that creates a long lasting look on your building that you worked hard to create. You deserve to have the best products representing that building and your vision. And you don’t deserve to be replacing the “cheap” product when it fails, which is much costlier than the small percentage saved at the initial product selection!


451 Marlborough Street

Project Details

Location:

Boston, MA

Product:

Vitrabond 4mm FR Aluminum Composite Material

Material:

Faux Zinc Dark VB5220

Quantity:

11,600sf


Homewood Suites

Project Details

Location:

Brookline, MA

Product:

Vitrabond 4mm FR Aluminum Composite Material

Material:

Faux Zinc Light VB5790
Dark Grey Metallic VB9137

Quantity:

13,700sf


UConn Ambulatory Care Center

Project Details

Location:

Farmington, CT

Product:

Vitrabond 4mm FR Aluminum Composite Material

Material:

Vitrabond Custom Briarwood Tan

Quantity:

88,000sf


Hartford Hospital CESI

Project Details

Location:

Hartford, CT

Product:

Vitrabond 4mm FR Aluminum Composite Material

Vitraedge 0.040” Flashing

Material:

White VB9902

Quantity:

42,200sf