Woodform Architectural has prepared a checklist for designers and installers using aluminium battens in building facades.
Aluminium facades unveil a whole new world of exterior aesthetics by providing amazing linear texture to buildings. With aluminium batten facades, designers have the flexibility to create architectural signatures limited only by their imagination. However, there are several challenges to installing and maintaining aluminium facades.
This checklist will help make the integration of architectural lining into building facades trouble-free.
Aluminium cladding and battens require minimal maintenance compared to timber facades. The level of care depends on the nature of the applied coating’s exposure to the elements. Anodised aluminium, for instance, needs to be regularly washed down if the building is situated in a coastal environment.
Wear and tear
Aluminium battens can get scuffed when exposed to heavy human traffic such as in shopping malls. The damage occurs not to the aluminium batten screen but the coating on these screens. Anodised aluminium scratches easily, and is therefore, not recommended for areas vulnerable to human contact. Designers can select from a wide range of powder-coating options for such applications.
When compared to timber, aluminium facades have fewer fixing points, allowing cleaner lines to be created with longer uninterrupted spans. However, aluminium can still move; therefore, it is advisable to ask the manufacturer of the aluminium batten system for certificates and corrosion-test results of the fixings.
Aluminium battens offer a very cost-effective facade option, especially when replicating a timber-fin aesthetic. Savings are achieved through fewer fixing points requiring less labour; reduced structural requirements from using lightweight aluminium; and virtually zero overall maintenance requirement.
While the colour of aluminium linings will eventually fade, the fading can be controlled by the type of finish used. Many manufacturers provide warranties.
Specify a system
Woodform advises that designers should specify a system or specific product instead of drawing and specifying a generic look. When the system is specified, the manufacturer is obliged to carry out all the required testing, ensuring system performance.
To ensure the aluminium-lining look endures for a long time, the designer has to specify the right type of coating on the aluminium battens. Interpon and Dulux are two of Australia’s largest and most innovative metal-coating specialists.