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5 building façade products for your next multifamily project

Cladding and Facade Systems

5 building façade products for your next multifamily project

From savvy to sustainable design, here are five multifamily building façade products.

By BD+C Staff | September 22, 2023
Poste du Louvre in Paris, France building facade modernization
After undergoing an extensive modernization, the Poste du Louvre in Paris, France, has had its rooftop—or "fifth façade"—updated to include a green roof with photovoltaic modules. Photo courtesy GKD Metal Fabrics

A building's façade acts as a first impression of the contents within. Is it chic and minimalist, or bold and expressive? Each year we're seeing more products hit the market that differentiate and accommodate various building types. For the multifamily sector, building façades have the potential to draw in tenants on aesthetics alone.

From savvy to sustainable design, here are five building façade products that BD+C editors have rounded up for the month.

5 Multifamily Building Façade Products

Fiberon Bamboo Wildwood cladding

by Fiberon

Fiberon Bamboo Wildwood cladding building product
Photo courtesy Fiberon

Fiberon's latest Wildwood cladding product joins the series' Sahara color collection of wood-alternative cladding. Inspired by the rich tones of the desert, the Sahara lineup is expanding its selection of light cladding colors—Mulga, Palo, and Sumac—with the introduction of Bamboo. The new material offers a subtle, sandy hue to the palette, with gradients and shading that mimics the characteristics of natural bamboo. Fiberon's introduction of Bamboo aligns with the industry's current trend of lighter cladding tones.

Highline B2 panels

by PAC-CLAD Petersen

PAC-CLAD Peterson panels on building
Photo courtesy PAC-CLAD Petersen

Part of residential development around a former railyard turned park in Las Vegas, the architects of a 290-unit apartment building took inspiration from surrounding activities to inspire the exterior’s appearance. PAC-CLAD 24-gauge steel Highline B2 panels in musket gray are utilized as wall cladding as a reference to the adjoining train tracks, while Flush Panels in multiple colors are placed in a seemingly random pattern around several exterior elevations as a nod to the park’s signature sculpture located across the street. Additionally, the brand’s 7.2 panels in .032-gauge aluminum screen the parking garage, and Snap-Clad standing-seam roof panels top pop-out elements designed to break up the linearity of the apartment building’s long façade.

GKD Metal mesh products

by GKD Metal Fabrics

Exterior building facade product
Photo courtesy GKD Metal Fabrics

The Poste du Louvre has been a cultural asset in the heart of Paris for more than 130 years. Increasing digitalization in the 21st century prompted the Poste Group to initiate an extensive modernization and functional reorientation for the building, which in modern times found itself in a trendy shopping district. Now taking on a new life, French architect and city planner Dominique Perrault had a vision to unite the building’s design heritage as a monofunctional industrial block into a multifunctional urban building. 

Perrault chose to pay close attention to the “fifth façade” or roof space of the building, including sustainable features such as photovoltaic modules on a green roof covered with specially selected plants and 70 trees. Stainless steel mesh from GKD contributed to sustainability criteria and also provided a decorative aspect. He used the material to create 100 ceiling-height sliding panels made of black-coated Escale 7×1 stainless steel mesh that serve as efficient solar protection. GKD metal mesh is also used as fall guard protection and visual screening, and metal mesh panels form a protective skin around outdoor seating areas. The mesh also acts as decorative cladding housing technology systems, allowing the fifth façade to be utilized in its fullest capacity, and earning the building five environmental certifications. 

Powdura ECO 4000 powder coating 

by Sherwin-Williams General Industrial

Plastic bottle
Photo courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Powdura ECO 4000 is the latest architectural-grade powder coating from Sherwin-Williams, formulated with resins made from post-consumer recycled plastic (rPET). The sustainable product provides an eco-conscious and durable polyester coating, with performance that is comparable to traditional products. The Powdura ECO 4000 is designed to meet AAMA 2604 standards, can be specified for metal interiors/exteriors and specialty products, and will feature a full range of color and gloss levels—available in the Fall.

Southern yellow pine CLT panels

by Georgia-Pacific and SmartLam

Exterior, artist's rendering of 609 Ponce office loft
Rendering courtesy Georgia-Pacific

Designed with a focus on sustainability and wellness and targeting net neutral operational carbon, a four-story loft office building is also prioritizing material selection that supports the local economy by sourcing materials from within 100 miles where possible, which means using Georgia-grown timber for its construction. Rather than sourcing the timber from Canada, Austria or Germany as is typical, the project utilizes local southern yellow pine sawtimber harvested from Georgia forests—a first for mass timber construction in Georgia—which was transported to Georgia-Pacific’s sawmill where it was converted into lumber, then on to SmartLam’s mass timber plant where it was manufactured into cross laminated timber (CLT) panels. The CLT panels are used for columns, beams and floor slabs within the building. So in addition to the mass timber being a sustainable building material with a low carbon footprint, the use of local timber reduces the project’s transportation emissions and the overall environmental impact of construction.

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