EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS Aluminum: A Top Business Choice for Roofi ng and Exterior Applications
For general contractors and metal installers, expanding and developing aluminum capacity in your fi rm can help grow your business by providing customers with durable, lightweight and cost-effective products while decreasing shipping costs, installation and handling time. Aluminum’s high strength-to-weight ratio, cor-
rosion resistance, durability, lightweight and easy handling make it an advantageous material choice for building and construction applications. The metal’s nature and ease of handling and cutting provide for decreased installation time allowing for increased installation speed. Aluminum is one-half to one-third the weight
of steel at the same strength point; this intrinsic property means less handling and installation time and decreased transport costs. Over the roof's lifetime, aluminum will out-
perform other materials. “An aluminum roof will perform longer than
other painted material,” says Dick Bus, president of ATAS International, Allentown, Pa. ATAS was formed in 1963 and is a leading manufacturer of metal roofi ng, wall, ceiling panels, accessories and systems for buildings in both the commercial and residential sectors. “While it is generally fi ve percent more expensive than a white painted steel roof, you will recover that cost in maintenance and
decreased labor costs,” he says. Bus also notes that aluminum must be anodized or painted to achieve proper performance. In addition to decreased installation time and
costs, aluminum’s strength-to-weight ratio allows for additional weight to be distributed on the build- ing roof such as a solar installation or green roof sys- tem. As building owners become more concerned with sustainability, renewable energy assets fi xed to structures have become a means of decreasing the building's operational costs while improving the carbon footprint of the structure. The metal is strong enough to carry the increased load without adding undue weight to the structure. Furthermore, alumi- num’s corrosive-resistant nature will ensure that the roof lasts the lifecycle of the solar installation. Aluminum can also refl ect up to 95 percent of
solar heat radiation making the living space more comfortable. During the summer, the roof refl ects heat away from the building and in winter months, refl ects heat back into the building. The use of aluminum in roofi ng decreases energy cost and improves the structure’s energy effi ciency. The properties that make aluminum a winning
choice in roofi ng and provides strong competitive advantages in exterior application, including build- ing envelopes, fenestrations, storefronts, doors and cladding.
By Heidi Brock Recladding an older structure with aluminum
panels allows for a quick and lightweight facelift to a building that is virtually maintenance-free without signifi cant additions to the building weight. At the end of the structure’s life, the alumi-
num is completely recycled. Recycling aluminum saves a massive amount of energy. It consumes only 5 percent of the energy of primary produc- tion while emitting 95 percent less greenhouse gases emissions. According to a 2004 Delft University of Technology study, 95 percent of aluminum used in a building is recycled at the building’s end of life. The reason for such a high recycling rate is the value of the metal on the scrap market. When considering business expansion, it is
critical to examine the long-term impact of the decision to a fi rm’s bottom line and the benefi ts to consumers of new products and services. As building owners demand more energy-effi cient and greener structures, aluminum is positioned to offer those advantages while assisting a contractor with easy installation and handling. It is a win-win for businesses and customers.
Heidi Brock is the president of the Aluminum Association. For more information, visit www.aluminum.org.
As the headquarters of the Western Dioceses of the Armenian Church of North America, St. Leon in Burbank, Calif., features a 0.032-inch aluminum Dutch Seam (MRD150) metal roof in Coppertone from ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa.
Padnos Iron and Metal Co. is home to the largest solar roof installation in Michigan. Portland-based Sapa Extrusions supplied the extrusions for the array framings.