6 Striking Examples of Fiber Cement on Commercial Buildings
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6 Striking Examples of Fiber Cement on Commercial Buildings

Architects have helped to enhance modern commercial design by using design strategies grounded in style. Consumer demand calls for building designs that aren’t boring or cookie-cutter, so the construction industry has found a few solutions to both durability and style needs by building commercial buildings with fiber cement exteriors.

Here are a few distinct, even daring, examples of successful commercial building fiber cement design. 

Design That Supports the Surrounding Community

It takes skill and experience to make color work in your design, and some architects have played with hues in some creative ways by using fiber cement wall panels on commercial building exteriors. The vibrant purple, turquoise and pink in the design above give this mid-wife center a modern and playful style.

In fact, the colors were chosen in order to match the mural on the building next door in order to ensure that the center fits in with the surrounding community and the street's aesthetic, instead of overshadowing it.

According to Sean Williams, Regional Sales Manager, "In working on the Midwife Center, Rothschild Dyno Collaborative architects were looking to achieve two objectives: draw inspiration from a neighboring mural and use LEED building materials. Nichiha Illumination Series provided the custom color and distinct design the architects were looking for to complement the community, while also helping to contribute to LEED credits."

Fiber cement cladding can bring any building to life, and designing with custom color is an easy way to liven up your design. 

Create Impact With Your Hotel’s Exterior

Hospitality design has seen some drastic changes in recent years. “Major hotel brands are currently building new properties with modern designs to replace the 30-year-old inventory that currently exists,” Chris Tate, Nichiha’s Hospitality Manager, explains.

“Architects are continuously challenged to create inviting hospitality spaces in the competitive travel industry,” says Chris. “Architects have three groups that they are trying to please as they create their design: the owner/developer, the hotel operator and the general public. They must balance the desires of each group to create a successful design.” 

This fiber cement hotel features cladding that’s manufactured to look like wood. It’s a modern take on a traditional design that’s not just sleek: It also creates a warm, natural exterior style that’s welcoming to visitors. 

But commercial buildings need to comply with today’s stricter code and safety guidelines, too. Fiber cement cladding like Nichiha is a durable solution for building owners looking for benefits beyond style: these panels meet the country's strictest performance guidelines for exterior materials. 

In fact, Nichiha panels are in compliance with Miami Dade-approved wind load and building codes, some of the most stringent in the country. The resilient cladding can withstand 75 mph winds and severe rainstorms. 

School Design With Occupants in Mind

Safety in schools is a top priority, and for architects that need high-performance exterior cladding, fiber cement offers a few solutions they can specify.  

Building materials are tested to the ASTM E-84 standard for surface burning characteristics, and fiber cement cladding from Nichiha qualifies as a Class A cladding material since it doesn't easily ignite or spread flames. In fire-prone regions like the U.S. Southwest, these materials offer serious protection, along with plenty of options for style. 

The cladding used on this modern school’s exterior design helps the building achieve code compliance, but also adds a clean and friendly face to the entryway for students and staff. 

Create the Wow Factor With a Distinctive Exterior

Architects can create impressive commercial building designs using fiber cement boards in some surprisingly unique applications. This Dallas area school uses fiber cement panels to give the exterior a fresh look that’s both on-brand and on-trend. The bold use of color gives the building a creative flair without going overboard. 

The cladding used in this application also provides protection and insulation for a healthy indoor environment. Using Nichiha’s Illumination panels gives the exterior a distinctive style and offers moisture protection, which allows for better indoor ventilation. 

The Nichiha panels featured here can even help architects achieve LEED credits: Nichiha panels are a Low-Emitting Material, which gives additional credits for K-12 school projects.

Create an Office Culture That Isn’t Boring

You can design a building’s exterior so it makes a positive impact on staff and visitors. 

Using bold colors and the right materials can help to achieve a look that’s impressive and can even help to improve the experience of occupants in your building. A bright color palette in interior design has been shown to elevate your mood, and using playful hues on your building’s exterior can have the same effect. 

“The skillful use of exterior color for commercial buildings makes a statement about the company brand, creating an opportunity to stand out or make a statement to customers,” writes Jeff Alexander for Building Design + Construction. “Although more neutral colors remain common for exteriors, vibrant accent colors are growing in popularity and creating a unique visitor experience.”

Go Bold with Brand Style

The restaurant above uses the natural look of wood and bright red in a brand-forward design. The fiber cement cladding used can stand up to severe weather and won’t require repainting or refinishing to keep its bold style.  

For restaurant design, low-maintenance materials like fiber cement offer facilities managers more versatile solutions. Fiber cement cladding comes in an array of styles and finishes to help elevate any exterior. 

Fiber cement cladding is also easier and less expensive to maintain than materials like brick or stucco. These versatile siding panels won’t crack or chip, and colors won’t degrade over the life of the building. 

The brand style is extremely important when designing a commercial building. According to Michael Russo, Manager of National Brands and Hospitality for Nichiha:

“The national brand architect recognizes the need to satisfy the client on many levels, all of which lead back to the product value. In the competitive space of building exteriors, the architect needs to understand not just the brand needs, but the individual owner’s requirements to run a successful business. In addition to their ability to provide a material that supports the brand’s design intent, the architect also looks for product function to ensure that it is easy to use and doesn’t require costly maintenance down the road.”

In essence, clients want a design that is not only easy to use and low-maintenance but one that will also support their brand’s design intent. 

Give Your Design a Flawless Finish


The ribbed fiber cement cladding featured here offers commercial architects more solutions for serious style. If your design needs to fit in with surrounding modern, city-slick designs, but all window sides are not an option, Nichiha Dimension Series panels offer a metallic finish that still stands out from the crowd. Plus, they’ll give your design a bit of texture and movement for a striking finish. 

All of Nichiha’s fiber cement products are easily installed with a clip installation system, which includes hidden fasteners so that any design you come up with looks flawless. 

Commercial Design Comes Alive

The commercial building design is evolving, and architects want more ways to help their exterior designs create an impact. Fiber cement cladding gives designers a variety of options for protecting and elevating their design at the same time. 

For more fiber cement cladding ideas, take a look at how these other commercial buildings achieved successful exterior design using Nichiha’s solutions. Or, if you’re interested in a custom look, you can contact us here to get started. 

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