Slate Siding: The New Architecture Trend from Europe

August 24, 2016

Across the pond, many architects are turning to natural slate siding as a stylish, reliable cladding option. Used as durable roofing since medieval castle-building days, modern architects are reimagining this coveted roofing material as siding, creating beautiful statement buildings across Europe. At home in the United States, this trend is already starting to trickle in to the industry.

slate siding image credit Siding Source, LLC

This apartment complex in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia is one of a couple buildings that have embraced slate siding to create a chic, unique design. Situated directly across from the High Museum of Art, the sleek facade stands out in a high-end area of the city. The owner of the structures wanted “something different”, according to contractor Jason Smith of Siding Source, LLC, and selected slate for a timeless yet modern touch.

slate siding image credit Siding Source, LLC

Benefits of Slate Siding

As a high-quality product, natural slate often ads additional value to its parent building. Other than affording a beautiful aesthetic to any structure, natural slate has a number of properties that make it one of the most reliable siding materials available. Fireproof and water-resistant, quality slate is an incredibly durable stone that boasts a lifetime of 100+ years. Many strains of natural slate have an unfading quality that maintains the same color throughout their lives. The cladding system used in this building was constructed so that an air pocket is created underneath the tiles, ensuring a constant airflow that eliminates harmful moisture buildup. Should the slate outlive its building, tiles can be removed and used in another project.

Eco-Friendly Resource

Natural slate is also one of the most environmentally-friendly building materials, defeating even terra-cotta tiles in terms of water usage. Many other materials have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, clogging up landfills. Slate, in comparison, has more than triple this expectancy. From mine to building site, slate tile requires minimal processing, cutting out harmful CO2 emissions and saving energy and water. Using slate tiles as siding also has great thermal and acoustic properties. Keeping a constant internal temperature severely lessens the energy demand of heating and cooling systems, lowering not only money spent on these utilities, but also any harmful by-products they may produce.

Check out the gallery below for more photos of this unique project: