Copper cladding is cladding material for the exterior of a structure which is made from copper or a copper alloy. Cladding serves a number of functional and aesthetic functions in a structure, and copper is one among many choices available to builders. Firms which specialize in cladding metals can install copper cladding, as can experienced contractors who are familiar with working with copper cladding products.
Cladding shields a building from the elements, acting as the first line of defense against wind, dust, water, and other intrusions which can damage a building or make the space inside unpleasant for occupants. In the case of copper cladding, the building can be covered in sheets, shingles, or prefabricated panels made out of copper. Cladding is installed towards the end of the exterior construction phase. Depending on the style of cladding used, it may be easy or difficult to repair or replace as the building ages.
As a cladding material, copper have several advantages. It is very lightweight and durable, which can be especially important on large buildings. Other cladding options may add significant weight, making the building more challenge to engineer, and they can also be difficult to install because of their weight. Copper also resists many forms of corrosion, forming a protective patina which will keep it in good condition, even though the bright color will dull.
Some people are also intrigued by the appearance of copper. Copper's color, which develops and changes with age, can add to the visual interest of a building. Metal cladding materials are especially popular with modern architecture, and architects can play with features such as embossed or shaped metal cladding, or a carefully designed mixture of metals. Visual interest can be just as important with function, and choosing the right cladding material from a visual perspective for a building is important.
Installing copper facing on a building can be costly. This metal is used in numerous industries and it is highly prized in some regions of the world, which can add to the cost of copper cladding products. However, on the plus side, copper is fully recyclable, which is something important to think about when people are considering the lifetime impact of a building. It is also sometimes possible to obtain used copper cladding from buildings which are being remodeled or destroyed, which can cut down on costs in addition to being an environmentally sound choice of building materials because it does not require any new materials for construction.