Corrugated Metals Blog

Corrugated Metals & Thacher Island, Massachusetts

Posted by Ken Carlton

Oct 16, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Thacher_Island_IMG_0356One of this year’s interesting projects, was an order for corrugated Aluminum replacement panels for a 50 year-old catch basin for rain water. The 25,000-gallon basin is located under a roof on Thacher Island, a 50-acre National Historic Landmark off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts. Captain John Smith visited the island in 1614.

Peter Bergholtz, VP of the Thacher Island Association, said that our Sinewave panels fit perfectly over the 50-year old panels. “I was very elated with everything, just what we wanted”, was Peter’s comment after finishing the first phase of the project this year.

Thacher Island hosts about 2,000 visitors annually. A ferry runs every Wednesday and Saturday from June through the first weekend in September. If you are interested in visiting or viewing images of Thacher Island, check out their website:


If you need a quote for corrugated metal roofing or siding, please give us a call.Our sales staff is ready to assist you with your project.




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Topics: metals, corrugated, quality materials, aluminum, customers

Cedar Rapids, IA Parking Garage

Posted by Ken Carlton

Aug 7, 2014 1:53:00 PM

This architecturally pleasing parking garage is a new addition to downtown Cedar Rapids, IA. CMI is proud to be a supplier for this high profile job.



Corrugated Metals, Inc. and our sales representative in Iowa, RW Brimeyer Sales closed the deal to supply the siding panels for the Cedar Rapids Parking Garage in Cedar Rapids, IA. This unique project designed by OPN Architects from Cedar Rapids, IA, managed by Knutson Construction and erected by Rushton Sheet Metal out of Iowa City, IA, encompassed our Bold Rib I profile made out of 0.080 Non-Clad perforated aluminum. The design started with perforated .25” diameter x .437” staggered center holes supplied by Accurate Perforating Company, Inc from Chicago, IL. CMI formed the metal in our Bold Rib I siding profile that comes 33.5” wide. We cut the panels to custom lengths dictated by our customer. After the product was formed into CMI’s Bold Rib I profile it was post painted by Crystal Finishing Systems, Inc. in 4 different colors on both sides. The colors used for this project were blue and various shades of gray. Detailed inspections of all critical dimensions ensured the integrity of this 25,000 sq-ft project.

Construction for this project commenced in January 2013 and was completed in June 2014.

Corrugated and perforated panels are a simple yet elegant solution for creating striking designs that give depth and texture to a building exterior, and our precision workmanship brought life to this architect’s aesthetic expression. 


For additional information on this project or CMI's architectural capabilities, click the Featured Projects link below.

Featured Projects

And if you have questions or would like to learn more about all of our products, contact us here.



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Topics: corrugated metals, aluminum, Bold Rib, Parking Garage

5 Steps to Ensure Design Efficiency for Your Construction Project

Posted by Ken Carlton

Jun 25, 2014 9:29:53 AM

denver-convention-3From the Colosseum to the Empire State Building, from a local courthouse to the local corner store, buildings and architecture make up a central part of our lives and consciousness. Perhaps no one is more aware of this than people in the construction business. This is an area that has seen more than its fair share of challenges in recent years, with the economic crisis of 2008 still looming in the background.

While construction has seen moderate growth since then, leaders in this industry continue to focus on improving the efficiency of construction projects. Making construction more efficient can not only directly contribute to a company’s bottom line, but also represents an investment for future sustainability and energy savings.

Choosing the Best Site

Designing and constructing energy efficient buildings begins with choosing the most appropriate site. There are a number of factors to consider when determining the most efficient use of a construction location. For maximum sustainability, it is best to choose sites where the least amount of land disturbance is needed.

Preserving the existing topography of a construction site minimizes excavation and allows for the conservation of trees, topsoil, and grass. Purchasing replacements for these can increase final construction cost. Also, a site that has been clear cut will often increase storm water runoff during construction, resulting in the loss of valuable topsoil and other erosion issues.

There are many other considerations involved as well. The access of the structure to sunlight could affect the building’s heating and cooling requirements. How windy the area is will also play a role in heating and cooling. This includes the direction of the prevailing wind, as well as the effect that cold winter winds or cooling summer breezes will have on energy efficiency.

A location’s current water drainage patterns should also be examined to ensure that the maximum amount of natural drainage will remain after construction. This will retain the current site’s topography while minimizing possible water damage in the future.

Optimal Building Design

Architects and designers can take steps such as locating spaces with no HVAC requirements toward a building’s colder areas, along with limiting the number and size of north/south side windows on buildings in cold climates. Making sure that windows in each room provide cross ventilation will give free cooling during the spring and fall. Designing buildings that provide maximum daylight can reduce the amount of artificial lighting that is required.

General contractors and sub-contractors can also contribute to efficient building design. Air and vapor barriers should be appropriately installed. These products, which inhibit the movement of airflow and water vapor inside a structure, need to be well secured and sealed to inhibit any possible damage done to them during construction.

In addition, contractors can ensure that air leaks in a building’s thermal envelope are properly sealed. This has been shown to save energy expenses by up to 50%. Finally, contractors can make sure that insulation is installed precisely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When insulation is inappropriately installed, it reduces energy efficiency and can even be detrimental to the building.

Resource Efficiency

Efficient building design makes the best use of resources. The construction of new buildings can produce a fair amount of debris and waste, so using resources efficiently is very important to keep the industry sustainable. There are many ways to accomplish this.

These include techniques known as “optimum value engineering” that reduce the amount of wood needed for construction. Building with wood is a sustainable method in general. When wood is taken from sustainable sources, it provides more energy efficiency than working with cement or steel.

Another familiar practice that helps make the most out of resources is recycling. Much of the waste created in the construction process could be recycled, but simply isn’t. Salvaging and recycling this waste requires some planning, but ultimately saves money while protecting the environment.

In addition to using and recycling construction materials, new buildings should incorporate features that make it convenient for consumer goods to be recycled throughout the building, further helping to save space in landfills and foster sustainability.

Saving Time and Money

As the construction industry continues to gain economic stability, it’s important for different sectors of the industry to employ time and money-saving techniques. There are a vast number of techniques for this purpose, including purchasing materials in bulk. With the volatile nature of the material costs, bulk purchases can be made that save time and money.

Many seasoned contractors have close contact and knowledge of the marketplace for their supplies and are able to navigate cost spikes with bulk purchasing. Another time and money-saving technique in construction is to purchase locally. Purchasing within a 500 mile radius can bring many logistical advantages that include less fuel consumption and faster delivery times, as well as decreasing a company’s carbon footprint.

A Growing Field

The art of maximizing design efficiency in construction has grown a great deal in recent years, and continues to do so today. In an economic climate that can be filled with uncertainty, making time and money-saving choices that lead to better overall sustainability is always a smart choice.

Working with the best sites, building designs and most efficient use of resources not only aids the bottom line of the construction company. Efficient design and construction contribute to an economy that will ensure high performance and sustainable buildings to help the environment for years to come.

To read more about our products and the processes we utilize and recommend for optimizing efficiency, visit our Architect's Corner and select from our wide range of data sheets, CAD files, and more. 

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Topics: corrugated metals, American Construction, design efficiency

3 Considerations for Material Selection on a Large Scale Project

Posted by Ken Carlton

Jun 2, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Whether constructing residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, or other structures, numerous factors need to be considered. These include the impact to the immediate area, scheduling, safety, budgeting, material, and environmental aspects. At the core of all of this planning is a very basic concern: what materials should be selected? And how can they be used to maximize efficiency and reliability while minimizing the impact to the environment?

Energy Efficiency

Today, special attention is being paid to constructing highly energy efficient buildings. Energy efficient structures provide a host of advantages, including using less energy, using fewer natural resources, producing less environmental impact, and not costing as much to operate.

Energy efficiency needs to be conceived into the design of the building from the beginning, including an evaluation of all materials to ensure they are environmentally sound and have cutting edge energy-efficient technology.

Some of the innovative materials used in sustainable buildings include renewable energy systems, including solar electric panels, solar water pre-heaters, and active solar space heating systems. These help offset a building’s electrical usage, saving energy and resources. They also help incorporate a strategy of passive solar design, where building materials and components are able to store, collect, and distribute solar energy from power stored in exterior walls and windows.

Other materials that help with energy efficiency include efficiently and precisely constructed windows and ductwork that minimize the heat loss of a building through air leaks. Windows and skylights can be glazed and shaded to avoid unwanted heat gain. Light-colored materials and paint that are used for roofs and building envelopes can also aid in energy efficiency.

Health and Safety

Appropriate precautions need to be made while working with potentially hazardous materials. When the appropriate safety measures are taken, the workplace environment of a construction site can remain safe and productive while using the most cost effective materials.

Care must be taken when dealing with materials treated with solvents. Depending on the amount, type, and frequency of exposure, solvents can cause adverse health effects. Building materials that contain solvents include coatings, thinners, and timber treated with Light Organic Solvent Preservative (LOSP).

Solvents can enter the body through inhalation, swallowing, or absorption through the skin. There are a number of general safety precautions that can be taken when dealing with these solvents. All containers with solvents or solvent-treated material in them should be clearly identified, labeled, and well-sealed for storage.

In case of a fire or a major spillage, evacuations routes and procedures should be established. Anyone who is in contact with solvents should wear protective clothing and use a respirator for added protection.

Most construction sites make use of materials like concrete, asphalt, and bitumen. These materials can be damaging if they get into waterways in the form of run-off. Concrete, asphalt, and bitumen run-off can be carried by heavy rain or another source of water and clog drains, waterways, and sewer systems.

This can be addressed on-site by diverting any run-off to grass or soil that is within the construction location. It can also be stopped by containing these materials in appropriate storage tanks. Additionally, sediment runoff is controlled by vegetation, fences, straw bales, and sediment ponds.


There are a number of factors which contribute to the environmental performance of a building, and many of these are directly related to the materials chosen for construction. Consideration should be taken for material’s structural capacity.

When a building is constructed, it should be used with materials that have the ability to support the building’s loads over its whole lifetime. Sustainable solutions are often provided by choosing highly durable materials, which reduces replacement requirements.

A building’s performance is also affected by choosing easily maintained materials. Durable and weather tight materials sometimes have higher up-front costs, but can save money in the long run when compared with materials that are cheaper and have to be replaced more often.

Other aspects of materials that affect performance include moisture resistance and material deterioration. Moisture can cause corrosion or the growth of fungi and mold, which can be prevented with adequate moisture resistance, including appropriate insulation and thermal mass in a building; it will also reduce energy demand and contribute to excellent thermal performance.

Finally, selecting the right materials can ensure that a building is adequately protected from fire. This is done by using material that has low ignitability, fire loading, and surface spread of flame.

Buildings Need Healthy Sustainable Choices

By choosing materials that adequately address the needs for high performance, energy efficiency, and health & safety, buildings can be smart and environmentally friendly from the very earliest stages of planning.

While buildings are still complex, choosing the best materials can be simplified by looking for the most sustainable results. Buildings can be constructed with resilient, durable materials that not only make them last far into the future, but help sustain the environment that surrounds them.

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The Construction Industry’s Increased Use of Energy Efficient Building Materials

Posted by Ken Carlton

Apr 22, 2014 9:00:00 AM

galavnized-steel-box-providence-park-hospital-2As construction companies research and learn about new and innovative construction materials, the industry grows and evolves.  One of the biggest evolutions in today’s construction projects is the use of sustainable and more energy efficient building materials for both residential and commercial construction.

A part of the new interest in energy efficient and sustainable building materials has been a focus by many government levels on providing tax incentives to encourage the usage of these types of materials and components. 

Tax credits, rebates, and other incentives from the Federal and state governments has encouraged construction companies and architects to include purchases and installation of a variety of new and energy efficient materials.  Everything from efficient insulation and hot water systems to increased energy efficient windows, doors, siding, and roofing materials have all become critical to construction.

A Continuing Transformation

In addition to these incentives, the construction industry has undergone some transformation in its own view of working with these types of materials, components and systems.  This transformation has seen a greater inclusion of sustainable materials and a strengthening view that increasing energy efficiency in the design of new construction is beneficial to their company’s ongoing business and place in the construction market.

The Legislative Research Commission in their publication “Energy-efficient Building Design and Construction Practices” commented that, “The whole-building design approach integrates building design and siting, including the use of components that feature the latest in energy-efficient technologies and practices, evaluation of all building materials for environmental preference, and completion of a base-case analysis to understand design strategies that will have the greatest impact on the design for a particular building function. “

The report continues to describe how the whole-build approach includes both the architectural design combined with its energy design for a particular building.  “The capacity of mechanical and electrical systems can be minimized by incorporating passive solar technologies to help meet indoor space-conditioning requirements and lighting loads.

Building simulation software can guide decisions to achieve this strategy. All suggested design changes should be re-evaluated through simulation before implementation to ensure they will not detract from meeting building design goals.”

New Materials, Systems and Design Concepts

In addition to the tax incentives and this new approach to construction, there are new materials and systems that provide opportunities that are increasing the use of these materials.  As well, new innovative designs are taking a fresh look on how to utilize every aspect of a building’s construction to increase its overall energy efficiency.  Some of the new materials, systems, and design concepts include:

  1. Occupancy sensors for indoor and outdoor lighting to maintain energy efficiencies when actually needed.
  2. Electrochromic windows that instantly shade, when hit with direct UV rays reduces overall costs for running air conditioning in hot summer months.
  3. High performance insulation for flooring, exterior walls and roofs maintain a building’s heat in colder weather and also retains coolness when operating an A/C system in the summer.
  4. Utilization of metal roofing materials to reflect the sun’s hot rays to keep a building cool and reduce cooling expenses.
  5. Functional use of natural ventilation and ceiling fans to cool buildings to reduce the need for air conditioning.
  6. Application of light colored materials or paint for a building’s exterior, including roofs in order to reflect the sun’s rays and reduce overall cooling costs.

All of these efforts by the construction industry are focused on reducing the general energy use of a building.  The efforts focus on how to effectively and efficiently use energy, but also water and other resources. 

Included in the design are factors such as materials that will protect the people who occupy or work in a building.  And finally, the construction industry is also using these new methods in an attempt to reduce waste and promote better use of materials.

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Topics: Steel, aluminum, American Construction, energy efficiency,

Aluminum and the LEED Revolution

Posted by Ken Carlton

Mar 10, 2014 7:42:00 AM

aluminum_bitsSince its introduction in 1993, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been promoting sustainability in America’s building industry. Its most well known initiative is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (or LEED) green-building rating system. According to the USGBC website, LEED provides: “a framework that gives project teams the ability to choose solutions that contribute to aggregate environmental progress.”

When it comes to actual building materials, aluminum finds its way into many LEED-rated projects. In 2008, aluminum producers claimed that approximately 85% of domestically produced, flat rolled products for the construction market were made of recycled content. This high level of recyclability is not a surprise when it comes to aluminum. Not only does both post-consumer and post-industrial aluminum contain high percentages of recycled content, but also aluminum itself is 100% recyclable. Other amazing eco-friendly qualities of aluminum include:

  • Aluminum from recycled materials requires only around 5% of the energy required to produce aluminum from bauxite ore.
  • Using recycled over raw materials to create aluminum reduces air pollution by 95% and water pollution by 97%.
  • There is no limit to how many times aluminum can be recycled, so it never loses quality. Therefore, even after it long lifespan, it can be quickly reintroduced into the material stream.
  • LEED buildings, many of which feature recycled aluminum, use 25% less energy than the national average, which adds up to $675.26 per employee!

It is clear that the LEED rating system is becoming a critical part of the American construction industry. As more construction professionals discover the benefits of LEED-rated buildings, the more it becomes clear just how eco-friendly and versatile aluminum can be.  

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Topics: corrugated metals, aluminum, American Construction

The Benefits of Weathering Steel

Posted by Ken Carlton

Feb 24, 2014 7:39:00 AM

Rust is a phenomenon that most engineers seek to avoid, but is actually desirable in weathering steel. Also known as Corten steel, weathering steel is characterized by what the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) describes as “useful corrosion,” in which naturally occurring rust not only lengthens the lifecycle of a weathering steel structure, but also saves the time and money associated with painting and maintenance.  Rust on weathering steel sheets is not a sign of deterioration as with corrosive steel sheets; in fact, it is just the opposite.

Corten, which was trademarked by the United States Steel Corporation (USS), is the well-known brand name of weathering steel. Corten originally received the ASTM standard designation of A242, but is now recognized by the newer ASTM grade for steel sheets and coils, A606. Weathering steel was specifically developed with small amounts of copper, phosphorus, chromium, nickel and silicon. These materials allow Corten steel sheets to form a layer of rust when exposed to weather, excluding the need for paint.

weathered_steelInstead of ruining the metal, however, rust actually serves to protect Corten from further corrosion. Weathering steel sheets, which initially look rather unremarkable, form a protective barrier of rust when exposed to moisture and oxygen.   That barrier eventually seals the exposed Corten steel sheets against the very elements that caused them to rust in the first place. According to AISC, “this stable barrier layer greatly resists further corrosion, reducing it to a low value.”

Weathering steel is also conveniently high strength, low maintenance, and cost effective. The abundant benefits of weathering steel make Corten steel sheets ideal for structural and architectural applications such as bridges, roofing and open-framed buildings. Bridges built with Corten have been known to last up to 120 years with minimal maintenance, which involves regular inspections and cleaning. Because weathering steel does not require paint, builders can also avoid the health issues concerning volatile organic compounds found in certain paints.

The popularity of weathering steel may also be explained, in part, by its attractive appearance. Structures built with Corten steel sheets take on the reddish, orange color of rust. As the rust deepens with further exposure to the environment, the steel sheets develop a deep russet patina that many people find appealing. The unusual appearance of weathering steel was featured in the New York Times a few weeks before the Barclays Center, built with Corten, opened. Weathering steel structures, the article observed, “can look suspiciously unfinished to the casual observer, [yet] has many fans in the world of art and architecture.”

Corten steel has been well-received by a community of architects and design engineers because of its considerable benefits. Weathering steel has a proven ability to withstand use over the long term, while requiring minimal upkeep. Structures built with Corten steel sheets do not require paint, which is good for the environment and the bottom line. Weathering steel sheets also develop a patina of rust that does not harm the Corten, but rather beautifies it. Beautiful and practical, weathering steel is an excellent building material. 


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Topics: corrugated metals, Steel, Rust

How Steel Made the Modern World

Posted by Ken Carlton

Feb 10, 2014 7:39:00 AM

metal_structureHere is a hard-to-argue fact: Without steel there would be no modern industrial world. Though the art of steel making dates back to 4000 B.C., the steel we rely so heavily on today was made possible by the development of the Bessemer process in 1856 and the first usage of the galvanizing process in 1836. These groundbreaking scientific discoveries allowed for the production of large quantities of high-quality steel at lower costs. It also marked the beginning of a switch from iron to steel and, more importantly, the start of the Second Industrial Revolution.

As has been widely documented, this boom in steel production allowed for the creation of transcontinental railroads both in America and around the globe. The connecting of once remote lands via 30,000 miles of new rails also allowed for a new era in agriculture and manufacturing. As cities grew out of this transformation, steel also allowed for the creation of high-rise living and skyscraper-filled financial districts. It was and still is a wave of overwhelming change that has little match in the history of humanity. Other interesting facts about the birth and blossoming of the modern steel industry include:

  • 60% of the world’s steel is produced using the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking Process.
  • Worldwide steel production has more than tripled since 1943.
  • China is now the world leader in steel consumption with an amazing 623.9 million tons of steel per year. To put that number into perspective, the U.S. is second with 89.1 million tons.
  • One-quarter of an average computer is made of steel!
  • Steel has a great deal to do with the growth of modern medicine thanks to its role in surgical and hygienic safety equipment.
  • Steel is incredibly sustainable. Over 80% of steel products are recycled.

There is no way to overstate the importance of modern steel. Its amazing combination of strength, formability and versatility, allows steel, especially galvanized steel, to continue to build the world of the present and future.  If you want to learn more about the history of steel, you can always check out the website of our friends at the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). 

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Topics: corrugated metals, Steel, AISI

Steel vs. Aluminum: What’s Right for Your Trailer?

Posted by Ken Carlton

Jan 14, 2014 8:37:00 AM

trailer_hauling_livestockHere’s a question that has been plaguing manufacturers for decades: Do you use steel or aluminum for your product? As you might imagine, the choice is critical on a wide range of levels. Issues like weight, strength, corrosion-resistance, carbon footprint and cost all play roles in deciding which direction to go. When it comes to trailers (the ones used to transport horses, cars, livestock and other products and materials) most of the industry’s leaders are fans of aluminum. So how did all the biggest names in trailers conclude that aluminum was far superior to steel for their products?

Corrugated Metals - Comparing Aluminum and Steel

While there are many factors involved when choosing between aluminum and steel, the following five factors stand out:

  • Weight - There isn’t much argument that aluminum weighs less than classic steel. While the price of a steel trailer might be lower when purchased, the second you get an aluminum trailer out of the road you instantly begin saving money. Whatever weight the steel adds to the trailer is pounds of cargo that you don’t carry.  This is especially a big deal to over-the-road truckers who must constantly battle with weight restrictions.
  • Strength - Don’t be fooled, modern aluminum is tough and strong. While it cannot match steel’s yield and ultimate strengths, aluminum can certainly hold its own. In addition, aluminum has a better strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Corrosion - In general, aluminum is much more corrosion resistant than regular steel. Some of the extremely expensive and difficult-to-work with stainless steels do offer excellent corrosion protection. However, they are heavy and absolutely cost prohibitive for use in trailers. 
  • Green Benefits - According to the Aluminum Association: “one pound of aluminum in place of 1.5 lbs. of steel in a typical bus or truck application reduces greenhouse gas emissions by almost 90 lbs. over the lifetime of the bus or truck.”
  • Cost - This one isn’t as clear cut as the issues above. The initial cost, what you pay to have a trailer manufactured, will most likely be higher with aluminum. Steel does have a number of cost benefits (upkeep, repairs); but if you crunch the numbers, the costs associated with aluminum and steel equal out in the end, or even in favor of aluminum.

After looking at these factors, and many more, it starts to become clear that when it comes to trailers, aluminum is your best bet. Of course, this is not the case for all situations, and you should always share your unique needs with your trailer manufacturer or salesperson; but in general, aluminum is the perfect corrugated metal material for your next trailer. 

Interested in learning more about our full line of corrugated metal products? Download our full product brochure to get started:

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Topics: corrugated metals, Steel, aluminum, Trailers

The True Beauty of Corrugated Metal

Posted by Ken Carlton

Nov 25, 2013 1:18:00 PM

corrugated_metal_redOne of the biggest myths about corrugated metal siding and roofing is that it is ugly and drab. Visions of poorly designed Quonset huts and mundane backyard sheds might even come to mind.  In reality, corrugated metal is a versatile, innovative, and often stunningly beautiful building material that is at the vanguard of the modern architectural movement.

Invented by Henry Palmer in the 1820’s, corrugated metal is to this day a common building material all throughout the world. Its staying power comes from a combination of durability (they last 2 to 3 times longer than asphalt shingles), utility, manageable weight, corrosion-resistance, and cost. For years, it got the reputation as an inexpensive and bland alternative to other roofing and siding materials, like wood, tile, and stone. However, over the past decade, designers and architects have fallen in love with the versatility of corrugated metal. 

corrugated_metal_blueThe fact of the matter is that corrugated metal roofs and siding have now attained “coolness.” It has found its way into all environments. Whether it is found in the middle of the hippest new urban neighborhood, on a beach, or down a classic country road; corrugated metal stands out as unique and attractive. Some of the biggest names in modern architecture, including Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Glenn Murcutt, all have and continue to rely heavily on corrugated metal siding and roofs to create some of the most iconic buildings the world has seen.

Another reason for the corrugated metal renaissance is its unique ability to be energy efficient. Being “Green” is a major part of modern architecture. Properly coated corrugated metal roofs are not only appealing to the eye, but can also cut heating and cooling costs dramatically.

One can only hope the myths surrounding corrugated metal will vanish as more architects, designers, and building owners discover its true beauty.


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Topics: corrugated metals, roofing and siding