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GKD Metal Fabrics: Cladding A Healthy Built Environment

Since metal fabric was first embraced by visionary Dominique Perrault for his design of the French National Library in Paris, architects around the world have continued to specify metal fabric – and yield high sustainability results for their designs.

Paris, the City of Lights, launched the architectural metal fabric category, so it is fitting that the material also helps architects meet healthy lighting requirements outlined by several global sustainability programs. The woven material helps boost daylighting conditions, affording sunlight exposure and views to the outside. In North America, metal fabrics contribute to LEED points under the Energy and Atmosphere, Material and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation and Design and Site Selection categories.

Architectural mesh has also proven adept at modulating glare and solar heat gain passing through fenestrations and glazing. Metal mesh used as a building’s exterior shading reduces cooling loads on the HVAC system and energy consumption, which can dramatically impact energy savings and operating costs.

Metal fabric can be woven in a range of alloys but its signature stainless steel provides a highly durable and maintenance-free solution for interiors and exteriors. With current health and safety precautions encouraging socially distanced, outdoor activities, architects are exploring sunshades, overhangs and other structures to shade and define exterior spaces. Metal fabric is ideal for demarcating naturally ventilated, auxiliary amenities which safely connect people and nature. It offers a flexible design solution that can adapt to location, exposure to sun, moisture and other elements. Architects may choose from multiple aesthetics and customization options using the wide variety of finishes, weaves and metal alloys available.

The stainless steel used in GKD metal fabrics contains more than 60% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled content and during manufacturing, 100% of scrap metal material is recycled. Because the mesh is constructed of stainless steel or other non-degrading alloys, there is no timeframe for removal or replacement except in the case of remodeling, renovation or changing customer needs. However, if the material is removed GKD metal fabric is 100% recyclable.

This article series focuses on evolving sustainable technology and how GKD Group is working with our customers to solve sustainability challenges around the world. Learn more about our vision for a healthier, cleaner and safer world.