If you choose zinc as a building material, you will benefit from many advantages:
Zinc is a very durable material, which is why it is very cost-effective over the entire life cycle.
Zinc sheets have their own aesthetic look that inspires many people. In addition to its smooth surface, one of the visual advantages of zinc is the attractive color with a distinctive, lively metal character. Weather conditions create a patina on the zinc sheet, which forms a protective layer and which gives it a noble, medium gray color scheme. If you don’t want to wait, you can use pre-weathered zinc sheets. Today zinc sheets are also available in brightly colored versions, which nevertheless reveal the metal structure. Exciting effects can be achieved with perforated sheets or embossed surfaces, especially for facades or indoors. Zinc thus sets visual highlights and can highlight individual architectural elements (e.g. roof edges or dormers).
Zinc sheets can be shaped easily and arbitrarily, but are also very resilient. They can be used for roof and facade design and adapt to geometric shapes as well as organically curved lines. Connection techniques such as folds, edges or soft soldering are traditionally used for zinc forming. These techniques are safe and proven because they have long been used in the craft. (F. Porter, Zinc Handbook, Marcel Dekker, 1991)
Zinc sheets are extremely durable and maintenance-free. A patina forms on the zinc sheet due to the influence of atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide. This firmly adhering oxide layer protects the underlying zinc permanently against corrosion.
Zinc is very valuable and sustainable from an ecological point of view – especially when it comes to conserving resources: Zinc components have a very long lifespan of up to 200 years. Zinc used in buildings can be completely recycled and reused. Over 95% of the zinc sheet used today is returned to the recycling cycle via so-called urban mining in Europe. The recycling of zinc sheet requires only 5% of the primary energy required to produce zinc from ores. (Fact sheet “Zinc Recycling – Closing the Loop”, International Zinc Association, 2013 (Recycling); Life Cycle Assessment Zink, Krüger 2001)
Zinc has been used in architecture since the mid-19th century. The knowledge and experience that the skilled trades have is correspondingly extensive. (Dissertation Knut König, “The origin of the zinc roof in the 19th century”, TU Berlin, 2009)
Zinc is a natural element that can be found in varying amounts in nature. In the earth’s crust there are 10 to 300 milligrams of zinc per kilogram, in rivers the content fluctuates between less than 10 to over 200 micrograms per liter of water – depending on the zinc content of the surrounding rock and soil. In many living things – including humans – zinc is significantly involved in many metabolic processes and the defense against pathogens. Since the body cannot produce zinc itself, zinc must be ingested with food as an indispensable trace element. (IZA, “Behavior of zinc in the environment – essentiality and bioavailability of zinc”, 2014)
Need a roof? Facade? Roof drainage? All three? No problem, with zinc!
Regardless of whether the optics, the costs or the versatility of zinc are decisive for your decision, in any case you choose a high quality and fully recyclable building material. It is irrelevant whether you use zinc for roof covering, facade design or roof drainage. The advantages of zinc are on your side for every application!