Not long after ENT Fort Worth at Clearfork was completed, its distinctive reclaimed Brazilian hardwood sections showed strain. Despite successful installations elsewhere across the country, the first six months of north Texas weather exacted a toll. Tight seams separated, and the wood discolored and warped, popping nails, and tilting and twisting out of its frame. That was before. Before, that is, the building’s neighbors at Acme Brick suggested MAC Metal Architectural as a redeeming replacement solution.
“It is frustrating, as an architect, to research a product, and to have it fail,” says Steven Halliday, AIA, LEED AP, with 97w, the architect on the project. “We consulted with the original siding vendor on specifications, details and installation. Nonetheless, we saw issues within the first year—board twist and warp. We tried simple modifications, consulting with the supplier, but it became evident that the original wood material could not withstand the Texas climate. We began researching a replacement, but strict rules on materiality in Clearfork meant limited solutions for a wood alternative. Having Acme Brick around the corner helped. Representatives watching the problems unfold reached out about MAC Metal, which compared well to fiber cement and other metal products, especially for long-term maintenance.”
MAC Metal offers the remarkable option of a wood appearance without the continual wood maintenance. Six different grain patterns and three different wood tones in each box ensure a variegated, natural look. Installers randomize the pattern, working with 12-foot-long panels that have a 6 1/16-inch lap exposure. Fasteners are concealed, and the Harrywood profile can be installed horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Its 25-year fade warranty and 40-year product warranty rest on a PVDF paint system that includes a zinc primer, two paint primer coats and three top coats on the exposed face.
Price is certainly a fair question. MAC Metal does have a higher material cost than wood, but then wood also requires trim, stain, paint/coatings, and labor to install. And with wood, the initial cost is only the beginning. A wood exterior requires regular maintenance, which gives MAC Metal a clear cost advantage over the span of a building‘s life cycle.
“MAC Metal was a little different to install than expected, because of angles and cuts to the panels, but I wish we had used it from the start,” explains Scott Price of Fort Construction, the general contractor. “It looks fantastic. Even with an installer more used to framing, the process turned out well. We’re convinced.“
“The MAC panels maintained the warmth and varied appearance of the wood siding and kept the same sight lines. Replacement was simple,” Halliday adds. “Once the siding was removed, and vapor barrier and sheathing inspected, the MAC panels were installed. The overall wall profile did not change. We were able to finish in six months, working in sections, in a continuous process. In the end, building materials must be beautiful and durable. We are pleased with the final product and can rest easy in the assurance of the MAC Metals system.”
Popular colors and standard trim pieces, at roll coil, and fasteners to complete an assembly are in stock. Custom trim pieces and colors are available.
Product testing documents and recycled content declaration are available upon request or online.
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