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Three exterior building material trends, examined

The exterior of a building is its first impression, and the materials used for cladding have a major impact. Whether it’s the natural appearance of wood or the sleek, sophisticated feel of glass, building material selection has an immediate impact on curb appeal.

exterior building material trends

Functionality of the building material is also a big factor that can influence aesthetics. How will the materials age, hold up to the elements, or help achieve energy efficiency goals? As well, how efficiently, through cost and installation timelines, can the cladding be installed?


Many architects are choosing what can be a stunning look in the form of glass facades. Glass as a building material has come a long way. Per Think Architecture,

Not only does glass provide an impression of luxury, but it also flows with its surroundings seamlessly. Another reason many architects are utilizing more glass in their designs is new technological developments that help maximize insulation without losing any exterior views.

Glass can offer superior weather tightness, thermal performance, fire protection, custom colors and can even incorporate LED lighting and digitally back-printed with custom imagery.

Adaptive reuse

The trend towards adaptive reuse – where an existing building is repurposed for a use other than its original design – is also having an effect on building material selection for exteriors. With a good chunk of existing building stock outliving its original purpose, architects and designers are now selecting materials that must match the old while bringing in the new. This means a mix of historical colors along with repurposed textures are being blended with new elements.

Mixing it up

Mixes of metal, brick, stone, EIFS, concrete glass – the list goes on – have create some striking building exteriors. While too many material type mixes can overwhelm the look of an exterior, shaking up the look of a building with two or three building material looks can harmonize a look. Adding to the design arsenal, innovative products are now on the market, like StoCreativ Granite, that can emulate a look without the weight requirements and cost considerations of natural elements.

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