Product Decisions

Every building designed and built brings a lot of decisions along the way. From the size, shape and location to the layout, type of products and building materials, owners, architects, designers and specifiers have a lot of decisions to make every day.

In each issue, we cover many of the products and options that architects and designers have available to them. While the case studies and product catalogs concentrate on different product categories each month, many of the articles and project features cover a variety of products. We turn to the architects who design the buildings, and also the product manufacturers and industry experts to gather insights and offer best practices.

In this month's Special Feature, we take a closer look at thin-film photovoltaics. Made up of very thin layers of photovoltaic material placed on a glass superstrate or a metal substrate, metal roofing panels are a good platform for this solar technology. See how designers are finding success with this alternative to conventional solar panels.

Perforated metal is the topic for this month's Bonus Feature, specifically as a sunshade. Offering flexibility in design, materials and performance, perforated metal proves to be a cost-effective and low-maintenance choice for sunshades and panels.

This month's Building Profile takes a look at the Hennepin County Library in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The new library replaces an older building, and is highlighted by its unique winged roof and façade. For the exterior, architects used a selection of zinc metal panels, hand-chipped Virginia slate and stained cedar siding. Read more, including insight from the architects.

The multitude of products available can make building-related decisions difficult to make. Knowing what's available and how they perform can help make these decisions a bit easier for all those involved.

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