Galvanizing for Healthy Buildings

The average person spends just 8% of their time outside, with 92% of time spent indoors. Good indoor air quality is therefore vital to control health risks and maintain productivity in the workplace.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) arising from building materials, furnishings and finishes such as paint coatings play a significant role in indoor air quality. The importance of indoor air quality is now being brought to the attention of politicians because of its impacts on health and wellbeing and the effect it can have on performance and productivity. Although it is difficult to associate particular VOCs or products, directly with particular health complaints, evidence is growing and for some chemicals the effects are known.

As an inert, metallic zinc coating that is comprised from a naturally-occurring essential element, galvanized steel is the perfect choice for optimal indoor air quality – eliminating presence of VOCs and other synthetic materials.



Galvanizing for Healthy Buildings – Case Studies


Old Shed New House

Location: Great Ouseburn, North Yorkshire
Architect: Tonkin Liu

Old Shed New House is a home nestled within the agricultural landscape of North Yorkshire. The client sought a high quality, energy-efficient and low-cost building to serve as a house, library and gallery. Galvanized steel is used throughout the project, both internally and externally.

Images © Greg Storrar

Galvanized steel was used internally to structurally form the slender-profiled bridge and mezzanine in the gallery and library, as well as for sliding perforated flyscreens and to form shadow gap junctions throughout.


Location: London
Architect: Chance de Silva

Vex is a unique architecture/sound collaboration. It is an in-situ concrete house which arose out of the collaboration between musician Robin Rimbaud (known as ‘Scanner’) and architects Chance de Silva. Where an upper floor overlaps the one below, there is a reflective soffit of galvanized steel. The building is a very bold addition to a London conservation area (of predominantly Victorian houses).

Images © Hélène Binet, Chance de Silva

A characteristic feature internally is a curved galvanized Flow Forge grillage which defines spaces, provides guarding to staircases and acts as both dividers and screens. A galvanized ship’s ladder rises to the rooftop terrace where a circular larch fence enclosure is fixed on both sides of galvanized steel structural posts with curved flat horizontals.

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