City centre regeneration is becoming more prevalent than ever in the UK. As such, in 2020 we expect more local authorities across the country will be investing in improving existing buildings as opposed to demolishing and building new, as a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option, writes Simon Gregory, Sales Director at Proteus Facades.
Low-maintenance rainscreen cladding that retains its aesthetic appeal will be a compelling choice when it comes to upgrading the exterior of these buildings. This is because the use of rainscreen over-cladding not only modernises the look of the structure but provides an opportunity to incorporate insulation without imposing on the interior, effectively cutting the heat loss and carbon footprint. (Occupied buildings above 18m require a minimum of an A2 rated system under new Building Regulations; however, we would recommend a minimum of A2 for buildings of all categories).
Copper and copper alloys, stainless steel and aluminium will continue to trend with specifiers and designers. Stainless steel, in particular, will remain as popular as ever because of its combined benefits of corrosion resistance and appealing aesthetics, which will stay looking as good as the day it was installed, without the need for ongoing maintenance.
Furthermore, we expect an increase in the demand of mirror-polished stainless steel which provides designers with a once-unimaginable ability to make a building invisible. This is particularly useful for larger structures that need to blend in with their surroundings.
The UK is entering an exciting new era in terms of the aesthetics of our cities, and cladding is enabling architects and specifiers to meet their vision for transforming existing Brutalist structures into sustainable and visually pleasing buildings.