Design and Architecture
The design and architecture sector embodies the art and science of creating environments that inspire, enhance quality of life, and adapt to the ever-changing needs of society. From iconic skyscrapers to eco-conscious residential spaces, designers and architects use inspiration from landmark and cultural architecture while harnessing cutting-edge technology and advanced materials to redefine the possibilities of construction. Facing a range of challenges, from sustainability and environmental concerns focusing on energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, alongside urbanisation and population growth leading to an increased demand for innovative, space-saving designs, balancing aesthetics, functionality and sustainability in an ongoing endeavour for this industry. There is an unprecedented demand for advanced materials that can meet rigorous standards of modern construction, not only providing structural integrity but also offer opportunities for groundbreaking design concepts. Goodfellow, a trusted global supplier of high-quality advanced materials and expert technical services and advice, provide solutions for this innovative sector.
Design and architecture applications can represent something of a playground for materials science innovation. Realising highly innovative building designs can mean finding equally innovative material solutions that provide the necessary mechanical properties. Equally, the design of new materials with unique properties can also inspire new architectural works by providing entirely new possibilities in the design and fabrication of buildings and other structures.
As a result of the constant drive for innovation in the design and architecture sector, this sector is often an early adopter of new technologies or materials, including looking at new manufacturing processes to realise new possibilities for construction. Some of the key materials properties that are to be evaluated for this type of application include density, price, thermal conductivity, and embodied energy.
Good design means achieving a balance of functionality and aesthetics while still addressing compliance standards. Finding materials with the right quality control to have predictable and expected behaviour is an incredibly important aspect of safety and something that needs to be considered carefully in the design and architecture sector.
Overall, the design and architecture sector is continuing to expand, with businesses looking to incorporate good and unique designs into their business practice as a way of increasing employee appeal. Other sectors, such as healthcare, are also evaluating how innovation in building design can help improve patient satisfaction and operating efficiency.
Timeliness, a challenge to the design and architecture sector
One crucial challenge in the design and architecture sector is finding reliable and robust supply changes. Architectural practice typically operates around a supply chain model, and the success of a firm is dependent on the ability of a company to meet customer needs while adhering to budgetary restrictions and timelines.
Sourcing the right suppliers is critical as all the onward steps in the chain, from manufacturing to product delivery, rely on the timely supply of materials.
There is also a drive in the architectural sector that such materials should have a smaller environmental impact to adhere to various energy and climate goals in creating more efficient and sustainable buildings.
Goodfellow is the ideal material science partner and supplier for the architectural and design sector. With an innovative catalogue of thousands of products and the in-house expertise to create bespoke solutions to the latest building challenges, Goodfellow can help you accelerate your product delivery without sacrificing reliability and quality.
Goodfellow offers an extensive range of ‘off-the-shelf’ materials in a variety of dimensions that are available for a 48-hour despatch time. With free delivery options and no minimum order size, Goodfellow is the company of choice to enable either small-scale prototyping or bulk orders for the final construction project.
Metal Foams, materials for the design and architecture sector
One cutting-edge class of materials Goodfellow offers that is ideal for architecture and design projects is metal foams. Metal foams are extremely lightweight materials as they are solid structures with gaseous bubbles in the structure. The incorporation of these ‘gas pockets’ into the metal structure helps reduce the overall density of the material while, with the right structuring, maintaining its mechanical properties and strength.
Finding lightweight material alternatives, such as aluminium alloys in place of steels, is a very important part of sustainable architectural work. As well as the reduced weight helping to lessen the environmental impact of the physical delivery and construction aspects of a project, more lightweight materials also reduce the need for auxiliary materials such as concrete or steel supports.
Metal foams have an important role to play in improving the overall energy efficiency of buildings due to their desirable strength-to-weight ratios as well as their ability to manage sound and heat. Some metal foams are used in sandwich structures, where they can act as an insulating layer to improve the acoustic damping properties of tiles as well as minimise heat transfer.
Goodfellow offers a range of over 50 different types of metal foams, including both closed cell foams and open cell sponges. Goodfellow’s metal foams are available in a range of porosities and thicknesses and also made from different metals or alloys so you can find the perfect foam for the job.
Carbon foams are commonly used for acoustic insulation. Bespoke metal alloys such as Fecralloy® - a mixture of iron and chromium are excellent choices where a very high strength-to-weight ratio is desirable. Such materials also have high surface area-to-volume ratios.
As well as metal foams, Goodfellow offers a range of different metal alloys in more conventional formats, such as plates, bars, and rods, that are also well-suited to construction and design projects. With small-scale orders being an option, Goodfellow can help you test and trial new materials to see which of their extensive range of alloys is the right choice for the job.
Contact Goodfellow today to see how its materials expertise could accelerate your design and development process and how modern architectural materials could help you realise new design and innovation possibilities.