Why Steel is a Sturdy Contender for AEC’s Next Big Trend, with Kendal Carlson of FireRock

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A&D professionals today have an abundance of information and options available to them when it comes to unique technology and specific building materials for every project, from product libraries to professional recommendations. So of course, they want to make the absolute best choices that are both architecturally sound, aesthetically pleasing, and financially responsible.

Kendal Carlson, vice president of new product development of FireRock Building Materials, is a building materials expert, and joined us on the podcast to explain why the trend toward creative steel use is checking all the A&D boxes for the next “big” material.

There has been significant growth in steel over the past several years and as the trend continues to rise, there are more suppliers, better price points, and products with better performance.

With all of the options available, “most people can figure out a way to incorporate this timeless look into their homes,” Carlson said. Both homeowners and business owners have started turning to steel as the aesthetic choice for their window frames.

Although steel may seem like a new window material to some, it has actually been a popular choice since Frank Lloyd Wright first used steel windows in the 1930s in Falling Water. Steel was the standard for single-pane glass, but as glass itself advanced and many started using dual pane glass for climate control, steel had to adapt to support the thicker glass, and still continues to improve every day.

Today’s steel can be thermally broken to prevent the conduction of temperature from outside the building to the inside, and has a little bit of a leg up on wood for several reasons. It can pass energy codes nationwide, especially with thermally broken profiles, and can be galvanized to prevent rust with just light bathing required to keep it looking beautiful and preventing harm.

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