weathering steel

The versatility, durability, and ability to avoid corrosion make weathering steel a popular building, design, and architectural metal. You probably see it every day without knowing it in the bridges, buildings, and fences around your city or hometown. But did you know that weathering steel is also used for parks, gardens, and design elements in landscaping? So much so that in 2019, The Wall Street Journal called weathering steel a “top trend” for garden design. 

This article will discuss how weathering steel is used in landscaping, particularly hardscapes, as well as review the benefits of this adaptable metal and how to use it in every day, and not so every day, applications.

Weathering Steel and Its Benefits

What is Weathering Steel?

Weathering steel, also referred to as Corten or Cor-Ten steel, is a group of low carbon steel alloys that were created to make a metal that was corrosion resistant, didn’t need to be painted, and was stronger than other steel grades. Weathering steel, after exposure to the elements, forms a rust-like patina on the outside which protects the metal against corrosion and extends the life and use of the metal.

Benefits of Weathering Steel

Maintaining its own protective patina is impressive on its own, but there is more that weathering steel can provide, such as:

  • Durability
  • Low Maintenance
  • No Paint Needed
  • Long Lasting
  • Great Aesthetic
  • Many Ways to Use

What sets weathering steel apart from other steel is that it becomes harder and stronger when exposed to the weather. The patina that forms over time protects the material from the weather. It shows up as an orangish color that many find pleasurable to look at and useful for outdoor or indoor projects.                                                      

What is a Hardscape?

A hardscape is any solid construction in an outdoor area that isn’t plant life. Driveways, patios, water features, decks, firepits, and walkways are all examples of hardscapes. These structures and features are incorporated into the space, combining nature with man-made materials that merge into one well-defined space. 

Uses for Weathering Steel 

Instead of using typical standard materials like wrought iron or cedar, architects today opt for clean lines and easy maintenance of weathering steel. On top of all the other positive benefits, the functionality of this metal cannot be understated. Here are some of the uses and applications for weathering steel.

Landscape Edging: A simple and effective way to define space around plants and along driveways and sidewalks. 

Retaining Walls: These are not only practical but also look clean and polished in outdoor spaces. While a boulder or concrete block retaining wall works fine, it doesn’t have the same contemporary aesthetic as weathering steel.

Planter Boxes: These boxes are used for house plants, of course,  but they also function as a barrier and a decorative divider as well.

Raised Beds: These work like planter boxes and retaining walls and are used to construct raised beds or gardens. Weathering steel creates thin edges that are helpful because they don’t take up any more room than you need. 

Fencing, Gates, and Privacy Screens: These help complete any outdoor landscaping area, and the weathering steel can help put the finishing touches on the fencing or screens.

Bollards: These short posts help to create a barrier in outdoor spaces and can also help guide traffic and protect any pedestrians in the area.

Roofing and Awnings: Shade is often a necessity to beat the heat outside, and roofing and awnings are a big help to offer up additional shade.

Water and Fire Features: Fire pits and fountains add charm and function to outdoor areas.

Quality Metal for Your Next Landscaping Project

MetalTech Global is the nation’s premier distributor and fabricator of coil, sheet, and finished architectural metals products. We promote the use of sustainable metal products in the buildings and can create custom perforated patterns and shapes as well. With high-tech tools and over 25 years of experience, our architectural support staff can realize an unlimited variety of folded and perforated panel designs.

Contact us today for all of your weathering steel, perforated metal, coil, panel, and fabrication needs! We look forward to working with you to realize your next architectural dream.

architectural landscape designs

When designing a landscape, one should keep a few key aesthetical elements in mind, such as line, form, color, texture, and scale. There’s a delicate balance when incorporating metal in a landscape, such as lush and stark, light and dark, weak and strong. The striking symbiosis of metal and foliage can highlight and enhance your space, and each kind of metal has its own benefits, function, and form to give.

Depending on the metal you choose, you can bring new life into an older landscape or invigorate an already modern area when paired with the outdoors. Let’s look at the most popular metals used in architectural designs for landscape and see how they help accentuate and show off the space with stark contrast visuals that can show off in a utilitarian and industrial way as well as blend in seamlessly throughout the space. 


Lightweight and strong, zinc is a quality metal that can be used for several landscaping projects and designs. Its ability to blend with or highlight other materials such as wood and glass make zinc advantageous for use.

Zinc is great for all budgets, and it is very low maintenance. This is due to it going through natural oxidation and forming its own protective patina, which acts like a sort of armor for the metal. This also helps it be less corrosive as well.


Since the 19th century, zinc has been used as a roofing and facade cladding material due to its natural surface and changing reflections making it an extraordinarily versatile material. It can also be used for planters, gutter systems, and building ornamentation.


Copper is wildly popular in architectural design due to its aesthetic properties. The patina of copper starts out as a beautiful metallic russet color and then slowly evolves into its green patina stage. This patina serves as a protective coating, giving the material excellent corrosion resistance and durability.

Copper also has anti-microbial properties, allowing for interior designs as well as exterior. Its natural patina makes it quite favorable where design is concerned. Natural yet modern copper offers not only style but function as it is 100% recyclable while maintaining its value.


Architectural copper can be seen in facades, roofing systems, flashings and copings, rain gutters and downspouts, building expansion joints, wall cladding, domes, spires, vaults, and various other design elements.

Stainless Steel

Another popular metal for architectural purposes is stainless steel. It is lightweight, versatile, and does not corrode or rust.

Stainless steel will not form a patina, and the alloy does not succumb to heat, water, or most chemicals when exposed. It is strong, durable, and ductile. After copper, steel is one of the most recycled materials in the construction industry, making it very sustainable and eco-friendly. 


There are many uses for stainless steel in landscape design. Other than polishing, it doesn’t need much maintenance, so the uses for the material in landscaping can be quite vast. Some of its uses include water features, framing for pergolas, awnings, light fixtures, patio furniture, facades, murals, feature walls, walkways, roofs and much more. 

Weathering (Corten) Steel

Corten steel is a popular structural steel due to its unique burnt orange patina that happens over time or can otherwise be chemically hastened. This rust layer keeps the core safe from corrosion and is basically maintenance-free. 

Another name for Corten steel is weathered steel due to its look and is very popular in architectural landscaping. It is also heat resistant and quite sustainable/eco-friendly. 


Weathering steel can be used in various ways due to its longevity and look, such as retaining walls, landscape edging, fencing, gates, bollards, roofing, siding, and planter boxes, to name a few. 


Aluminum has many stellar features. Some of which include its strength, corrosion resistance, ability to be 100% recycled, resistance as it combines flexibility with strength as well as the ability to be finished with many different techniques. 


Because of its ability to be shaped along with being lightweight, aluminum has many uses in landscaping and design, such as edging for walkways, furniture (tables, benches, chairs, or swings), fencing, and paneling, facades, roofing, ceiling, fixtures, and more.

Quality Metals to Help Build the Design of Your Dreams

MetalTech Global is the nation’s premier 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 building. 

We envision that home and commercial construction will be committed to using only durable and reusable products. MetalTech Global can help your commitment to sustainability be successful as durability, reusability, and sustainability are our areas 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. 

Contact us today for information on architectural metals, coils, panels, metal fabrication and cutting, folding, and more. We look forward to being a part of your next successful project!


In architecture and construction, facades can play an important role in the design and function of a building’s structure. Facades are not only an architect’s way of playing with the form and flow of the building’s composition, but they also can be the main barrier to heat, cold, and damage from outside elements. 

The catalog of facades can vary quite significantly depending on aesthetic, price, material, and design. This article will help break down these different types of facades and the materials used to make them. While facades elevate the layout, their function extends beyond just aesthetics and can improve much more than just a plain look, as you will learn below.

What is a Facade?

In architecture, a facade is the face or front of a building, an exterior that protects the interior behind it. They are an important part of the outside of a building as they help to keep whoever is inside cool during the summer and warm during the winter, as well as helping to shield the shell of the building from other weather elements.

Facades can be made of many different materials (from clay to steel), and used in many different ways. Architecturally, they can convey whatever the designer aspires to showcase, and they run the gamut from modern and minimalist to conceptual and experimental. 

When utilized, facades can offer an eco-friendly way to protect its interior from heat and cold, which effectively saves money due to energy efficiency. It can also protect the structure from water and sun damage as well. Aesthetics are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the versatility of facades.

What is a Facade System?

A facade system is a cladding system that provides vertical and lateral protection from wind and other elements. It leaves a ventilated chamber between cladding and insulation that eliminates water build-up (condensation) from humidity, rain, and more, as well as to help stop thermal bridging.

The weather resistance of these facade systems provides necessary heat, wind, sun, cold, sound, and fire resistance. Materials such as zinc, copper, corten steel, and aluminum make the look cohesive with the added environmental benefits.

Types of Facade Systems

Scale, architectural design, type of building, and budget are some of the factors that can determine the type of facade system you will need. Here are just some of the facade systems you can utilize in your next build:

Trapezoidal Corrugated System

​The trapezoidal corrugated systems are screen wall profiles more commonly known as the “box” corrugated. Like Sinusoidal Corrugated, these systems are used for their unique design capabilities; however, Trapezoidal Corrugated offers a more robust exchange of light and shadow than Sinusoidal profiles. This system can be arranged horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.


  • It can be installed horizontally, vertically, and diagonally
  • Easy to maintain
  • Unlimited perforation capabilities
  • Cost-effective
  • Clean lines and edges
  • Wide range of available materials and colors
  • Exposed fastening system

Reveal Panel System

The reveal panel has endless possibilities in regard to design. These systems have a variable reveal width ranging from 0-1”, thus providing flexibility for the designer with vertical and horizontal installation.

Installation of the Reveal Panel is done from top to bottom and can be executed quickly. Combining horizontal and vertical reveal panels makes for an exquisite design and facade.


  • Installed horizontally and vertically
  • Reveal Panels create striking shadows
  • Unlimited design capabilities
  • Enhanced and accentuated facade design
  • Variable face heights and widths lengths for optimal design capabilities.
  • Wide range of available materials and colors

Shiplap Panel System

The Shiplap Panel System solutions are designed for high-level facade projects. Commercial and public buildings requiring intricate design or a staggered-like appearance often choose this system because of its layered characteristics and shadowless joints. When exposed to light and shade, sharp contours appear because of the profile geometry of the Shiplap Panel System.


  • Installed horizontally
  • Creates sharp and eye-catching contours
  • Layered panel design
  • Enhanced scalloped design
  • Wide range of available materials and colors
  • Unique cladding, reminiscent of a wooden facade

HV90 System

​HV90 is an integrated wall panel system that has now become one of the most popular profiles selected for use on buildings of all types. With its concealed clip and fastener design, this panel system is sure to create a stunning facade.

HV90 offers a wide variety of custom designs. These panels can be installed vertically, horizontally, or in combination.


  • Unlimited perforation capabilities
  • Design support
  • Fully engineered systems

Get the Function and Style Your Design Calls For with MetalTech Global

MetalTech Global is the nation’s premier distributor and fabricator of coil, sheet, and finished architectural metals products. We promote the use of sustainable metal products in the buildings and are able to create custom perforated patterns and shapes as well. With high-tech tools and over 15 years of experience, our architectural support staff can realize an unlimited variety of folded and perforated panel designs, as well as a range of facade systems and 3D wall systems. 

Contact us today, and we will help you make your design dreams into reality. From facade systems to any of your perforated metal, coil, panel, and fabrication needs, we hope to work with you today to realize your next architectural dream.