July 17 2015 0Comment
Cladding at the Golden Square Birmingham

Case Study – Golden Square, Birmingham using Corten Steel Panels

The finishing touches can make such a difference to the overall aesthetic of a building. At Sage BEC (formerly Sage Roofing), we regularly help our clients to achieve the best look possible through our services as an envelope contractor, and one of our most recent projects was no exception. With Industrial Chic being one of the hottest new crazes in urban development, Corten have found a way to give you that vintage rusted look without having to expose any parts of your building to decades of wind and rain.

Corten Steel Panels

New builds can lack the character which restoration projects or older buildings possess, and weathering steel is a great way to add the appearance of age to a new build project. It adds style and character, making the building fit in with more traditional surroundings or making it stand out from new-build neighbours. We recently completed a project in Golden Square, in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, using these weathering steel panels to give a new retail unit a unique and stylish finish.

Weathering steel is based on a very simple concept. The steel is designed to form a protective rust-like layer when it is exposed to the elements, which will protect it from structural damage in the long run. You get the best of both worlds with weathering steel: a pleasing and striking overall aesthetic effect and a practical, durable material.

Before it was employed in architecture and building design, Corten Steel was mainly used for striking outdoor sculptures. Its distinctive colour and texture, as well as its versatility and hardiness against the rain, made it the perfect material for outdoor sculptors. These same qualities make it extremely well suited to the external decoration of buildings. It also now has an artistic association which enhances the overall effect of new, modern building designs.

As you can see in this picture, the panels arrive grey, without their trademark orange hue. They are fitted to the building in this state, and only begin to change their appearance once they are in place and exposed. After just a few weeks outside and exposed to the elements, they begin to develop an even layer of rust, turning them a deep amber. The process can be accelerated by ‘wetting’ the panels, but achieving the fully weathered look will naturally take a couple of years, which may seem like a long time, but is just a fraction of the time it would take if the panels had not been treated.

Here, the designers have chosen to compliment the orange tone of the weathering steel with a golden layer of cladding on the parts of the building which will be less exposed to the elements. But there are many different designs, colours and styles of building which would be vastly enhanced by a few panels of weathering steel.

The use of Corten weathering steel is not just limited to cladding either. You can purchase roof panels with the same qualities if you are looking for an aged roof effect. This is a great option if you are restoring the roof of an older building, and don’t want to lose the character by installing a brand new, shiny roof.

If you think that Corten steel panels might be the way to finish off a project which you are looking at completing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sage BEC and to talk to a member of our staff.