Over the years, you’ve probably worked with a lot of different materials in your construction projects. As we are sure you know, some of these materials are much more common than others. For example, you may not have seen zinc used as readily in construction in the US compared to its application in the rest of the world until recently.
Today, we will go over several of the benefits of using zinc in construction — from durability and environmental impact to aesthetics. Let’s take a look.
7 Benefits of Using Zinc in Construction
Zinc is a metal that’s found naturally within the Earth. With the ever-increasing push towards construction projects being eco-friendly, it’s finally caught steam in North America as an industry-leading choice for several construction applications. This usage has increased because of zinc’s many benefits.
1. Zinc is Durable
Since zinc doesn’t rust, it’s capable of lasting over 100 years in application. During this time, it’s able to “heal” itself as it develops a thin, protective patina that fills in imperfections, pits, and scratches. This patina not only makes zinc resistant to rust and UV rays, but it also makes zinc a low maintenance choice for any building project, and a highly desirable material for roofing.
2. Zinc Resists Corrosion
Besides resisting UV rays, zinc can also keep away corrosion. Unlike iron and steel, zinc’s patina can protect it from weather elements, so many architects are now using it for coating and galvanizing. Europe learned this early in the 19th century, which is why many of its classic roofs are still in excellent shape today.
3. Zinc is Nontoxic
Zinc is a fungistat (an antifungal agent that prevents fungus from growing), so mold and moss are far less likely to be able to grow on your building’s roof. Any water that runs off of the roof is nontoxic for plants. This fact alone makes zinc a better option than copper, which is fungicidal and can harm plants.
4. Zinc is a “Green” Material
The push for green construction materials and practices is a natural reason to use zinc as a building material in your construction project:
- Zinc requires less energy for production than other metals. It requires about one-fourth of the energy aluminum uses and one-third of the energy copper or stainless steel use. This energy reduction is because zinc has a lower melting point.
- Zinc is entirely recyclable. Therefore it can be produced from other recyclable materials or taken from structures that have been demolished or re-roofed.
5. Zinc is Sustainable
Although zinc isn’t renewable, zinc is both abundant and recyclable. Zinc is also advantageous in that it requires a lot less energy to refine. However, its sustainability doesn’t end there.
Many people don’t realize that zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. There are about 34 million tons of zinc ore reserves. With statistics like this, it should come as no surprise that zinc is a popular eco-friendly option amongst architects and construction firms today.
6. Zinc is Flexible (Literally and Figuratively)
You can cut, curve, and fold zinc into a multitude of exciting shapes. This property has made zinc very popular with architects. Many architects have come to appreciate that while zinc is quite strong, it’s also very malleable, lightweight, and soft. For this reason, zinc is suitable for all roof pitches between 5% – 90%.
7. Zinc is Aesthetically Pleasing
One of the main reasons zinc has become so popular is that it’s naturally beautiful. It has a smooth, shiny, silvery color that develops an attractive dappled patina as it weathers. You can also purchase pre-weathered or colored zinc if you want to be more creative or use two or more colors simultaneously.
Using Zinc for Your Next Construction Project
MetalTech Global is the nation’s premiere distributor and fabricator of coil, sheet and finished architectural metals products. Working with our affiliates, we are promoting the use of sustainable metal products in the building.
We envision that home and commercial construction will be committed to using only durable and reusable products. MetalTech Global can help your commitment be successful as durability, reusability, and sustainability is our area of expertise. We work with companies like elZinc America, VMZinc, Lorin Industries, and Hussey Copper to provide the highest quality architectural products in natural metals.
While zinc has been used extensively in Europe for hundreds of years, it is a relatively new building metal in North America, and its potential for robust, beautiful structures is unmatched. As of 2021, MetalTech Global is the largest stocking center of architectural zinc in North America, with the capability of re-processing sheets and coils for customers on demand.
Contact us today for architectural metals, coils, panels, metal fabrication and cutting, folding, and more!