Copper In Architecture

The North American Initiative on Copper Architectural Applications is a joint project of the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA) and the Copper Development Association in the U.S. Its objective is to establish and maintain a comprehensive support and resource service for all those involved in the architectural applications of copper and its alloys in North America.

While topics such as copper roofing and cladding are mainstays of the Initiative, less prominent applications such as interiors, fixtures and furniture, and finishes are also important components of the program. Contemporary building components such as prefabricated shingles and cladding systems are also covered.

An excellent example of the broadening of the copper architectural industry is the recent introduction of prepatinated copper sheet in North America.


Box-lunch seminars are arranged in the offices of architects, contractors, building officials, and others involved in the construction industry. The topics addressed include roofing, cladding, interiors, finishes, material selection, and installation details. Seminars are also available for universities, community colleges, and other educational institutions. To date they have been held in several cities across Canada.

Design and detailing support is provided to architects, and designers, upon request. This includes the review of details, specifications, and drawings of copper applications. It also allows the CCBDA to keep these groups informed of new developments in the copper industry while discussing real world applications.

Resource Materials

The Initiative's main resource tools are the Copper in Architecture Handbook, along with its companion set of CAD discs, and the two videos Copper in Architecture and Installing Copper Roofing.

The Handbook is an extensive compilation of information covering copper roofing (including batten, standing, flat, and horizontal seams), cladding (flat, formed panels, and prefabricated systems), flashings and gutters, and expansion assemblies. Fabrication and installation details, and specifications are also covered. The Handbook is updated regularly with new material and the additions are sent free of charge to subscribers.

The discs contain the detail drawings from the Handbook. There is also a disc on specification writing.

The videos are a visual guide to many of the topics covered in the Handbook. The first has six sections covering an Overview of Copper in Architecture; Standing Seam Roofs; Batten Seam Roofs; Flat Seam and Shingle Roofs; Horizontal Seam Roofs; and Gutters, Flashings, and Roof Details. The second video, Installing Copper Roofing, is a 72-minute tape showing the installation details for a variety of assemblies in a training setting.

Goals and Benefits

The Initiative is intended to stimulate a variety of new and exciting copper architectural applications. The CCBDA provides the support and educational services to communicate these new uses to those participating in planning, design, and construction of projects.

The program's immediate benefits include providing the architectural community with copper design details and specifications, as well as technical information on copper usage. This is accomplished through seminars, publications, and design assistance on specific projects.

CCBDA Services

The CCBDA is the authoritative source for information on architectural applications of copper, brass, and bronze. Our goal is to promote copper, a material with a rich historical legacy in Canada having been used on some of our most prominent structures. It is also a material to consider for a wide variety of contemporary projects as well as applications such as residential flashings, gutters and downspouts.

The Association also provides assistance on other applications of copper and copper alloys, including plumbing tube and fittings, natural gas systems, air conditioning and refrigeration, wire and cable, power quality, electrical energy efficiency, and structured wiring systems for voice and data.

Canadian Copper

The periodical of the CCBDA, Canadian Copper, regularly features notable projects from across Canada. It is circulated free of charge to everyone interested in the applications for copper, brass and bronze.