It seemed like a good idea, at the time. Until the relentless Texas weather showed everyone - the architects, the construction company and the building's owner - exactly who is in charge! In the end, the wood siding facade of a six-month old, beautifully designed office building had to be replaced with a material that was as tough as it was stunning.

Let’s start from the beginning.

When designing the new ENT building in Clearfork, on the west side of Fort Worth, the architects from the highly regarded firm of 97w did what great designers do. They spent weeks researching construction materials for the exterior facade of the building that would make it stand out among the other buildings in this rapidly growing and highly trafficked area. 

They decided that reclaimed Brazilian hardwood was the perfect look to complement the building’s overall modern design. Since this wood has been successfully installed across the country and its patina seemed to get more interesting as the years went by, there was little concern for its durability. Unfortunately, in less time than it took for the ENT staff to become accustomed to their parking spots, the reclaimed hardwood began to fail.

Due to the Texas weather, the tight seams between the boards separated, and the wood discolored and warped, popping nails, and tilting and twisting out of its frame. It was a mess. Fortunately, the ENT building was just around the corner from the corporate headquarters of Acme Brick, a place where many construction experts show up for work, every day.

If you’re designing or constructing a commercial building, aesthetics and long-term durability are equal considerations. Click here for more information on MAC Metal Architectural siding.

Building Experts Discover a Steel Solution

Juxtaposing two or more materials on the facade of a building is part of the creative genius of cutting-edge architectural firms like 97w. This skill convinced them that MAC Metal Architectural was a fitting replacement for the failed Brazilian hardwood.

According to a case study of this project, “MAC Metal offers the remarkable option of a wood appearance without the continual wood maintenance. Six different grain patterns and three different wood tones in each box ensure a variegated, natural look. Installers randomize the pattern, working with 12-foot long panels that have a 6 1/16” lap exposure. Fasteners are concealed, and the Harrywood” profile can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Its 25-year fade warranty and 40-year product warranty rest on a PVDF paint system that includes a zinc primer, two paint primer coats, and three top-coats on the exposed face.”

The Architect’s Challenge

“It is frustrating, as an architect, to research a product, and to have it fail,” said Steven Halliday, (AIA, LEED AP) of 97w. “We consulted with the original siding vendor on specifications, details, and installation. Nonetheless, we saw issues within the first year—board twist and warp. 

“We tried simple modifications, consulting with the supplier, but it became evident that the original wood material could not withstand the Texas climate. We began researching a replacement, but strict rules on materiality in Clearfork meant limited solutions for a wood alternative. Having Acme Brick around the corner helped. Representatives watching the problems unfold reached out about MAC Metal, which compared well to fiber cement and other metal products, especially for long-term maintenance. 

“The MAC panels maintained the warmth and varied appearance of the wood siding and kept the same sight lines. Replacement was simple. Once the siding was removed, and vapor barrier and sheathing inspected, the MAC panels were installed. The overall wall profile did not change. We were able to finish in six months, working in sections, in a continuous process. In the end, building materials must be beautiful and durable. We are pleased with the final product and can rest easy in the assurance of the MAC Metals system.” 

Five Benefits of MAC Metal

Many architects and builders have realized the benefits of specifying MAC Metal Architectural, instead of wood or vinyl.

#1 No Maintenance is Required

While vinyl siding can become brittle over time, especially in below-freezing conditions, and wood and fiber cement siding will require painting and caulking at least every decade, plus moisture can cause mold and mildew in wood and vinyl, MAC Metal Siding is maintenance-free. This is why these products have such an outstanding warranty of 40 years.

#2 MAC Metal is Color-Fast

Unlike wood, vinyl, or other synthetic sidings, the colors of MAC Metal siding will NEVER fade. The exclusive MAC TEXTURAL Color System includes a six-coat painting process that is twice as resistant to UV rays and three times more resistant to corrosion. This means the siding offers increased performance against bad weather and extreme climatic conditions.

The wide range of colors offers an unmatched depth of hues and textures, which perfectly mimic materials such as copper, zinc, and bronze. The matte finish process of MAC Metals eliminates all undesirable glimmer effects from the sun. This process also increases the resistance to scratching and delamination.

#3 It’s Fire Resistant

Buildings are safer when they are cladded with MAC Metal because it is fire-resistant. This can be a tremendous advantage in high fire areas or areas prone to frequent lightning storms. Such protection might also translate into lower monthly insurance premiums.

#4 The MAC Metal Warranty Is One of the Best in the Industry

When the MAC Metal Siding is installed to the manufacturer’s specifications, it has a 40-year warranty. Period. When this is compared to wood siding, which must be re-painted and caulked every 10 years, this is a huge saving for the building owner.

#5 It’s Environmentally Friendly

MAC Metal Siding is made from 100% recycled materials. This means that buildings can earn points toward LEED certification with this metal siding.

As a commercial building owner or building manager, your return on investment is inextricably tied to the construction material choices. As an architect or builder, MAC Metal Architectural siding could help you meet (even unforeseen) challenges, including the weather. Click here to talk to an Acme Brick representative. They are experts on this durable and dazzling product!