Most common metals used in architecture guide, Property building advice, Real estate builder guide

The Most Common Metals Used in Architecture

29 March 2022

Metals are vital to the way in which our society runs, from the construction of buildings to the manufacturing of many products. The importance of metals stems from their unique properties that we can rely on in a multitude of ways. Some of the most important structures across the globe wouldn’t be made possible in the absence of metal. These include the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, and the Statue of Liberty.

One might wonder how you actually go about sourcing metal for a project. Although it’s unlikely you’ll singlehandedly construct the next Eiffel Tower, you can certainly source metals for smaller scale projects. For instance, online retailers such as Rapid Metals distribute metal on a national or even global scale.

Now that you know where you can source metal, you might be wondering what types of metals are most commonly used in architecture. Read on to learn more.


Copper Most common metals used in architecture

First up is Copper. Copper is a preferable metal for architecture due to its aesthetic quality that evolves over time. The final phase of copper evolution results in a patina color – this is what gives the Statue of Liberty its green appearance. As well as the evolving aesthetic, copper is one of the more environmentally friendly options, as this type of metal can be crafted from recycled cords and wires.

Other properties of copper include its high electrical and heat conductivity, its high ductility, its resistance to corrosion, its good machinability, its antimicrobial properties, and its non-magnetic nature. Each of these properties can act as a benefit within the architectural industry, whilst they can also render copper useless for certain applications.


Following copper is aluminum. Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, but its largest redeeming quality is how light it is. As a result, construction becomes simpler, quicker, and incredibly convenient. Similarly, architects are able to easily curve, cut, and weld aluminum into any shape, making it ideal for intricate designs that couldn’t be achieved through the use of any other metal. As a result, aluminum is often the preferred choice when it comes to constructing modern buildings.

Other properties of aluminum include a low density, simple processing, a smooth surface, lower dimensional tolerances, a non-magnetic nature, a decorative appearance, and good machinability. Once again, these qualities can be extremely advantageous when it comes to applying them to an architectural purpose; however, as with any metal, the qualities of aluminum won’t be suited to each and every purpose.


Steel Most common metals used in architecture

Finally, is steel. Steel is both resistant to corrosion and very strong, making it a very reliable metal. Unlike the previous two metals, steel is comprised of various metals and is available in a variety of grades. In fact, steel buildings that were built upwards of 100 years ago are still standing today. Therefore, you can be sure that any structure made from steel will stand the test of time.

Other properties of steel include weldability, hardenability, machineability, workability, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, yield strength, tensile strength, and elongation. Since steel can be made in a multitude of ways, its properties can vary from type to type. Therefore, you can select the best type of steel to suit your project if steel would be the most appropriate metal for what’s at hand.

Most common metals used in architecture conclusion

Architecture is an extremely complex industry, yet there are a few commonalities that run throughout. The most common metals are just one of these commonalities, but there are many more that can be contemplated and considered. What else would you like to find out about the architecture sector? There’s a lot to learn.

Comments on this guide to Most common metals used in architecture article are welcome.

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