Interior and exterior architectural elements have a wide range of material choices. Architectural precast, stone, cast stone, drywall, GFRC, GFRG, and many other options are available. Yet with all of these different options, it is important to be sure that you are selecting the right one by taking these considerations into account.
Which Architectural Material is Right for Your Project?
During the finalization of the design, a contractor needs to choose the right material for architectural elements. It is necessary to consider needs during construction and ongoing needs of the property, including:
- Cost – Cost remains one of the most important concerns so that you can stay under budget during construction. Products like GFRC and GFRG are often the cheapest, followed by precast, stone, wood, and plaster.
- Lead Times and Installation Times – Like budget, it is also important to stay within the necessary timelines for a project. Elements made in molds, like composite materials or precast go faster, as do lighter architectural elements that will need less time for installation.
- Interior or Exterior Use – If an element will be exposed to weather or in an indoor location with high moisture, you will need a material that has long lasting resistance to water, freezing, and excessive heat. Materials like GFRG and untreated wood should be reserved for indoor use, while GFRC, precast concrete, and stone will stand up to the elements outside.
- Existing Support – Particularly important with building renovations but also with new designs, you will need to be sure that the structure can support the weight of your material. Otherwise, a different design or retrofitting might be necessary. Stone and precast are heavy and require extensive support systems. GFRC, GFRG, and drywall are generally significantly lighter.
- Building Codes – If there are any specific building codes that your property needs to adhere to in terms of installation methods, fire safety, earthquake safety, wind resistance, or others, different materials will more easily meet those needs while some building codes may exclude certain materials altogether.
- Maintenance Requirements – Some elements will have more intensive ongoing maintenance requirements. Choosing materials in line with the maintenance you wish to provide will save on costs later.
- Sustainability – The sustainability of building materials is of increasing importance for many new constructions. If you are taking eco-friendly construction into account with your project, choosing a material made from recycled or other sustainable elements, like GFRC or GFRG, can increase the sustainability of your property.
Although there are many options for materials, GFRC and GRG are often the leading options for many commercial properties. GC Products can manufacture a wide range of GFRC and GFRG architectural elements. If you are considering composite materials for your construction project or are interested in learning more about the advantages of these materials, reach out to our team at GC Products today.