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45 The sky’s the limit for zinc


Jonathan Lowy of VMZinc explains how Zinc can now be specified far more easily for a wide range of projects, whether it’s for a transformation of a tower block or creating a vibrant interior


relatively uncommon. Today, however, the variety of projects in which it can be seen is almost limitless – from schools and hospitals to retail, social housing and self-builds. The material is now seen so regularly that, for many, it has become instantly recognisable.


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The ability to specify zinc in a variety of colours adds a fresh context to its use. Sustainable, pre-weathered colours and distinctive, highly evocative shades are available from manufactures. These lend themselves to both rural and urban environments and can provide a level of colour retention which sustains the ‘as-installed’ appearance. For older buildings, often of no architectural value, upgrading can also introduce a highly contemporary visual aesthetic.


Zinc’s muted colours and texture provide a step away from the neutral tones favoured for so long


A good example is Cambrian House in the centre of Shrewsbury where, as part of a £3m renovation, an interlocking panel facade was specified in conjunction with a standing seam and flat lock panel roofing system. This has enabled a dreary 1960s office block to be converted into what has become a highly sought after apartment building.


Zinc was installed to the principal elevation and existing concrete frame, with contrasting dark and engraved finishes being used to complement oak and render in the creation of 17 apartments and penthouses.


In much the same way, the regeneration of Friars Mill, Leicester’s oldest wool mill, came at a time when the building had lain


Newcastle College’s Parsons Tower


ast your mind back 15 years and zinc roofing, cladding and rainscreen projects were still


ADF SEPTEMBER 2017


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