When it comes to preparing for architectural and construction projects, choosing the right metal fabrication company to supply your raw materials is a choice that’s both vitally important and potentially very tricky. Many companies seem very similar to one another on the surface, and it can be hard to decide who is ultimately trustworthy and reliable enough to commit to. 

For many designers and architects, the answer to this conundrum is as simple as “who offers the lowest rates?” However, there are many other vitally important factors at play when it comes to deciding on a metal fabrication company, and this article will walk you through all the most important ones.


Anyone deciding between competing companies should consider how long each of those companies has been in business. Any well-established firm will have a “portfolio” of past projects demonstrating not only the quality of their work, but also the type and scale of projects they have experience with.

Experience gives a company a wider range of proven solutions on prior projects to draw on. Experience allows a company to have seen the larger picture.


Another vital factor that you must consider is the size of the workforce available at different companies. Ultimately you need to choose a business with a staff that’s sufficiently big to complete your project on your schedule, and major projects will require a major staffing pool. You need to be sure that the employees at the manufacturer are highly skilled, experienced, and capable of delivering top results on your project. 


While an architectural metal company located in your own city will definitely save on shipping costs, it may be that the only firms with the expertise or equipment that your project requires are located further afield. While a local metal fabricator is an attractive choice, you shouldn’t limit your search to your immediate area – better a more expensive manufacturer a few cities over than a local company that won’t meet your needs. 

Equipment & Capabilities

Most metal fabrication companies will have a particular arena of expertise or specialization that will determine both the kinds of projects they take on and the kind of equipment and facilities available to them. A firm that specializes in manufacturing car parts is probably not the right choice if you need metal cladding for the exterior of a building. 

The best companies have invested enough in themselves to have access to cutting edge technology and fabrication processes, and are fully prepared to provide high quality metal of the right type, grade, and gauge for your project. 

Quality of Work

Naturally, anyone looking for a metal fabricator wants a company that can produce high quality materials. Apart from looking at past work and reviews from old customers, you can identify a reliable company by ensuring that they’re familiar with quality standards and by asking about their QA process and how the company ensures their work complies with it. 


We mentioned that pricing is the only consideration on many designer’s minds when deciding between metal fabrication companies. While it’s a bad idea for cost to be the only factor in your decision, it’s undeniably an important part of the equation. 

Be informed of what average market prices are by looking into different options, and be cautious of anyone charging much more or much less than average rates. Lastly, when considering a price quote, be careful that every area of your project is outlined and accurately represented in your estimate to avoid surprise costs. 


It must be remembered that the actual, physical construction of your project is only part of the process – the construction materials must be blasted, painted, and finished as well. Choosing a company that doesn’t have the capability to fully process architectural metal will end up costing your project extra time and money as they have to subcontract another firm to actually finish the materials. To optimize cost and efficiency you should choose a metal manufacturer who can do it all. 

Stability & Dependability 

For those who like to be very thorough and don’t mind a bit of extra research, you can also look into the overall dependability of a metal fabricator. This can be done by asking a company for references, looking them up on the BBB, or by asking them about their financial practices. A company that can direct you to multiple happy customers or one with a reputation for always paying their suppliers on time is generally a company you can trust. 

Choosing the Best

Although it isn’t necessarily easy, making a smart choice about a metal manufacturer is a necessity for any successful architectural project. Fortunately, MetalTech Global meets all the requirements for a reliable, high quality, fabricator you can trust. 

MetalTech Global are the most experienced in the country with manufacturing, designing, and engineering of zinc building enveloping systems. With years of experience in the field, we are the top fabricator and distributor of coil, sheet, and finished architectural metal in the country, and the largest stocking center of architectural zinc in North America. With our state of the art facilities we are capable of processing, reprocessing, and custom manufacturing zinc, copper, steel, and more to fit any need for our clients. Contact us today for a consultation on what we can do to help your next project succeed. 

Although it has a history of usage in Europe dating back several hundred of years, it’s only been recently that zinc has begun to gain popularity as an architectural metal in the United States. 

This rise in popularity of the metal is a good thing for American architects and contractors since zinc has a wide range of uses and offers a variety of benefits as a construction material. This article will specifically focus on the virtues that zinc offers when used for cladding, and all the reasons why this metal is fast becoming a popular and widespread phenomena in architecture. 

Aesthetic Appeal

One of the first reasons to consider zinc for cladding is the simple fact that it’s an attractive, aesthetically pleasing material, and will retain this quality throughout its lifetime, rather than fading and degrading as it ages. 

When first installed, zinc cladding will have a shiny metallic sheen, but as time goes on the metal will develop into a more muted, matte color. This color change occurs because, as zinc is exposed to the moisture and carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, it generates a protective layer of zinc carbonate on its surface, producing its trademark blueish patina. Because the aesthetic qualities of zinc patina are broadly admired, zinc cladding can also be bought pre-patinated,

Ultimately, this distinctive patina means that zinc looks just as appropriate when used on an ultra-modern new construction project as it does in the historic roofs and decorative elements of European buildings hundreds of years old. 


One of the major draws of zinc is its naturally long service life as a construction material – zinc roofs and cladding can last for a century in a low-pollution urban environment, and can withstand highly saline conditions in marine environments for 60 to 80 years. This resilience is due to zinc’s patina, which protects the metal from moisture, rendering zinc weather proof, corrosion resistant, and naturally antimicrobial. The patina will even “heal” itself over time, naturally eliminating minor scratches and surface damage. 

This durability and resistance to natural wear makes zinc a highly cost effective option as well – not only will zinc save money by not requiring regular repairs or maintenance over its long life, but the base cost of zinc rolls or sheets is lower than other popular architectural metals such as copper or stainless steel. 


Zinc is a highly malleable metal, which means that it can be produced into a vast range of shapes to suit many different architectural needs – it can be cast and rolled into simple sheets for basic cladding, or shaped into elaborate and detailed decorative elements. 

As a thin metal, with sheets generally measuring 0.7mm, zinc can be arranged into a huge range of angles and curves, making it ideal for structures with unusual exteriors. In fact, zinc can easily be used to cover the entire envelope of a building

Increasingly popular is the use of perforated zinc cladding for decorative elements, as seen in our PixArt pieces, a technique that allows for anything from abstract designs to creating detailed images. In addition to its aesthetic virtues, perforated cladding naturally requires less raw material than a solid sheet, which can make it an attractive option when working on a budget. 

Environmentally Friendly

In addition to being both extremely durable and flexible, zinc offers distinct environmental advantages over other metals commonly used in cladding. Firstly, it has a very high rate of reuse, being nearly 100% recyclable (around 30% of the world’s zinc currently in use is recycled). This allows for a more cyclical life for architectural zinc, a significant change from the current global systems which prefer to create, use, and then discard materials. 

In addition to being hugely reusable, zinc has a lower melting point than common construction metals like aluminum or copper. This means that zinc production requires less energy on a broad industrial level, thus producing fewer emissions and saving on resources. 

Lastly, zinc doesn’t produce any harmful pollutants that can runoff into the earth when rain water comes in contact with it. This is in contrast to metals like lead which can leech oxides into the soil, or copper whose antifungal qualities make it inappropriate to use as roofing near areas with vegetation. 

Consider Zinc for Your Next project

Durable, environmentally sustainable, flexible, and cost effective – it’s hardly surprising why zinc is on the rise as a popular architectural metal. As the single largest stocking center in North America, MetalTech Global can meet any and all of your architectural metal needs. 

We are equipped with our own processing facilities, are capable of custom fabrication, as well as processing and reprocessing zinc sheets and coils for our customers. From simple paneling and cladding to elaborate decorative elements, contact us for a consultation on what zinc can do for your next project. 

It could hardly be considered surprising that metal cladding is becoming increasingly popular in modern architecture. It has a place in a wide range of projects from agricultural buildings, to individual homes, to large scale commercial construction. This versatility of use is due to the wide variety of materials, colors, shapes, and designs that can be achieved with metal cladding. 

For a modern architect planning their next project, this range of choice begs the question: of all the options available, which is best for me and my goals? 

When it comes to metal cladding, nearly every project will use one of four options: stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, or copper. While there are other choices available (including an alloy of two of those metals), most projects will opt for one of the four. This article will examine each of these architectural metals and present the advantages, drawbacks, and key qualities of each material. 


In a certain sense, stainless steel is the most low-end option compared to aluminum, zinc, or copper – it is the heaviest of the four metals, which puts practical limits on the amount of steel cladding a structure can support. Steel is also the least durable, needing to be replaced whole decades before copper or zinc cladding would need the same. 

Despite having several drawbacks, steel is still a highly viable and flexible choice. Steel is almost always the cheapest metal in terms of upfront material costs, and although it is less durable, it will still last 35 to 40 years (depending on the coating of the steel) before needing replacement. Although steel is the only of the four metals naturally vulnerable to rust and corrosion, it achieves a multi-decade lifespan with a protective outer layer, typically either hot-dip galvanization with zinc or zinc-aluminum alloy or a polymer lacquer. This outer treatment has the added benefit of providing a range of color choices. 


Aluminum is the main competitor to steel since it’s also an inexpensive material relative to high-end metals like copper or zinc. In addition to being cost effective, aluminum is the most lightweight of the four materials, offering obvious benefits in terms of minimizing the total load on structures and potentially limiting the outlay on foundations. This relative lightness also makes aluminum very easy to bend and work on site, making it especially well suited to unusual, innovative, and futuristic cladding schemes. 

Aluminum is comparable to steel in terms of its durability, lasting for around 40 years based on the coating used, and can be produced in a variety of colors and textures based on the artificial coating it’s treated with, allowing for highly defined and lasting patterns not achievable with other metals. 

Lastly aluminum has a high expansion coefficient, meaning that it will contract and expand noticeably based on the surrounding temperature, which must be considered before committing to using aluminum in construction. 


Copper has a well-earned reputation as one of the most high-end premium architectural metals on the market. It’s aesthetically pleasing and is incredibly durable while still being comparatively light weight. Unlike aluminum and stainless steel, copper will naturally form a protective patina that protects it from corrosion and minor scratches. Newly installed copper will be the traditional reddish gold color, and, as it’s exposed to air, will transition over time through shades of brown before reaching the famous pale greenish-blue. 

All of these attractive qualities do come with downsides however as copper is the most expensive of the four metals by a noticeable margin, making it difficult if not sometimes impossible to cover large surfaces on a budget. Copper’s value can also make it a target for potential theft by people looking to resell the metal as scrap. 


While none of the metals on this list could strictly be called the “best” of the four options, there is a lot to like about zinc. Zinc shares many of copper’s most desirable traits – it naturally forms a protective patina that protects the metal from corrosion and light physical damage, allowing zinc cladding to endure a century with little or no maintenance. Zinc is also aesthetically pleasing, its stately grays and dark blues equally appropriate for ultra-modernism and the “historic” look associated with 18th century decorative architecture. 

Like the other metals, aluminum, steel, and copper, zinc is highly workable, capable of being manufactured in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and textures, and can be used to cover the entire outer envelope of a building, even those with complex or avant-garde designs. Although zinc is more expensive than steel or aluminum, it is still a common enough material (the 24th most common on Earth) that it’s noticeably cheaper than copper, and is less at risk of being stolen than the more valuable material. 

In light of all this, zinc’s current rise in popularity makes sense – it bridges the gap between high and low-end materials, offering the key benefits of a high-end metal like copper while still being more affordable. 

Consult with Metal Experts Before Your Next Project 

If you are considering metal cladding for your next architectural project, set up a consultation with the experts in the field – MetalTech Global. We are the largest stocking center of architectural zinc in North America, with facilities that allow us to process and reprocess zinc to order for our clients. Capable of producing custom sheets and coils of architectural metals for our clients, we’re known for high quality, expertise and quick shipping. Contact us today for a consultation on your next project.