Some call it Alucoboard, Alucobond, acoboards, acobond or while others just call it cladding boards. They are all referring to aluminium composite panels. ALUCOBOND which is manufactured by 3A Composites® just happens to be among the oldest brands in ACP and made the early entrant into the Nigerian building industry. So the name of the brand ended up being used to describe the product.
In this article we will show everything you need to know about Alucobond cladding in Nigeria. Regarding its specifications, how it’s installed, how to calculate the quantities, how to negotiate the pricing, what it can be used to accopmplish, and advantages of using it over other cladding options. The post will be filled with images, so you’ll grasp easch point easily. Kindly note that all the images used in this post are from Kontekture projects.
- They have standard sizes, and the most common panels are produced in sizes of 1.22m x 2.44m. Some other available sizes are 1.22m x 3.05m, 1.22m x 3.66m, 1.50m x 3.05m, 1.50m x 3.05m. The board thickness comes in 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm or more. They can also come in other customized board sizes and thickness.
- They come in various colours, textures and reflections to give you great aesthetics. There are standard colours like yellow, blue, green and they all come in satin and glossy. There are finishes that look just like wood, bricks, etec. There are mirro colours like mirro silver, mirror gold which are both higly reflrective. There are the textured panels which have grains, and so other patterns like wood.
- They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made into tessellations, mosaics, geometric patterns and more. They can also be bent, or made into curved shapes while still maintaing their structural stability.
- You can estimate the cladding area – getting the total area to be cladded is quite easy but not always so striaght forward. First you have to calculate the lengh and breadth to determine the exact area. Then you multiply it by a factor which depends on the design, projection of the boards, combination of clolours, and presence of so many doors and windows. For normal flat claddings you could estimate 20-30percent extra. That is, multiply the exact area by 1.2 or 1.3. For 3D cladding and other more complex designs, it gets more tricky as the exact areas depend on the shape of each panel, projection, presence of many windows and doors. Normally it ranges between 30 to 100 percent.
- The installation system isnt rocket science. ACP wall claddings are usually installed as a system of cladding boards, aluminium profiles, aluminium angles and along with accessories like screws, rivets e.t.c Other things that may be needed are scaffolds, additional steel substurcture. easily installed on old buildings undergoing renovation or new buildingd just constructed. it’s frame systems are fast to deploy and the materials can easily be found around nigeria. When installed as a sysem, panels they are also easy to maintain, and where panels are damaged, the partiucular panel that has the damage can be fixed without removing others.
- Pricing the price – The rates are negotiated per square area. Written as 18,000naira per sq.m. You could leave it to the installer to buy all the items and aggregate the costs all into a per sqm price, or you could buy all the materials and pay the installer per sq.m for the installation. It is important you know that quantities can only be reduced they can’t be negotiated. if an area is 100sq.m and you find it too expensive, you can decide to clad just 70 percent of the area, leaving it at 70sq.m. What you can negotiate is the rate. Installation rates depend on the expertise of the installing company or the complexity of the work. Other ways to negotiate the rate is to use different brands, or different grades.
- Getting the best value for money – It’s not just enough to go along with the cheapest quote, because they may just be using inferior materials for the cladding and framework. So, in 6 -12 months the edge of your boards have lost shape due to the low quality frames, while the boards would have faded due to the poor quality of the boards.
- Beware of the weakest link. In places where you need additional steel as subframes prior to having the cladding frames and boards, ensure the steel frames are of appropriate sizes. While ACP system is strong, they are still connected systems, and the strength of the entire system is as strong as the weakest link. Otherwise, wind loads may act on them and cause a collapse on a portion or the entire system especially during rainfall.
- Schedule ahead – When ordering for ACP boards, it is always advisable to order ahead of time. Because while manufacturers offer you a wide array of finishes to choose from, all the finishes are not in the same demand. Those with high demand are always available and produced in high quantities, while those in low demand may not be available for immediate pick up in the quantity you need.
- Popular brands – In Nigeria common brands are Alumax, Tinoning, Classbond and more. Alumax is one of the best locally produced cladding boards. The brands come in different prices which is a reflection of their grades and quality. Low priced brands may have surfaces that scratch easily, fade easily over time, get stained by dirts easily, gets damaged easily and lose shape quickly. ALUCOBOND, Aludecor, Alstone, Alucobond, Eurobond, Virgo, Alstrong are among the best and well known globally.
- Glass and cladding are the building finishes version of Bonny and Clyde. ACP combines well with glass claddings to give stunning visual effects. Cladding and glass works are ususally done around the finishing stage So, if you have two different teams for cladding and glassworks it is better they work together from the early stage in the project. Because some aspects of the glass frames may need to be done prior to cladding, while some aspect of cladding needs to be completed before some aspects of glass works are introduced.
- All weather. ACP boards are very strong and when properly framed and screwed, and they retain their shape for long even in extreme climatic conditions and varying weather. They are resistant to wear, are corrossion resistant and require little maintenance. In most cases just cleaning the boards would do as most of them have anti-corrosion and anti-stain.
- They are an extra layer of insulation. The thermo plastic core in the ACP panels which are sandwiched by the aluminium sheets have excellent thermal and sound insulation properties. They keep building interiors cool and prevent external sound from entering the building. To a varying dgree, ACP boards also have a measure of fire resistance.
- Lightweight. Due to the low density of ACP boards, they do not add as much dead load to the building, this is especially important in existing structures, where you want great contemporary aesthetics without stressing the existting structural capacity.
- ACPs are sustainable materials. The Aluminium sheet on either side and the thermoplastic material in the core are recycable and resuable.