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Raleigh, N.C. — Dec. 14, 2015 — VMZINC-US, the international brand name of rolled zinc products, is celebrating its 200th anniversary of zinc roofing worldwide, in addition to its 15th anniversary in the United States.
As the world’s oldest architectural zinc company, VMZINC is an international leader in the architectural products industry. Established in 27 countries worldwide, VMZINC’s products and services have become synonymous with high quality, innovation, and environmentally sustainable design. In the fall, VMZINC hosted a VIP event at the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower to celebrate this milestone in the company’s history in the city that made zinc such a famous architectural element.
In December 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte granted chemist Jean-Jacques Dony an imperial decree to begin developing a production process to mine and refine the zinc ore deposit at the Vieille-Montagne mine in Moresnet, on what is today the border between Belgium and Germany. Zinc was first used as a building material in Paris in 1815, then popularized with the introduction of zinc roofs and street facades throughout the city.
Today, 85 percent of all metal roofs in Paris use zinc, which permanently changed the city’s overall appearance and color. In February 2015, the famous, zinc-clad Parisian rooftops were nominated to become an official UNESCO World Heritage site to protect, enhance, and honor their impact on the French capital’s architectural history.
Since 1815, VMZINC has continued to be a company of firsts, providing a wide range of innovative architectural zinc solutions, including roofing and façade systems, rainwater systems, ornaments, and interior decorating products, for building owners, architects, and contractors worldwide. VMZINC joined Umicore Brand Group in 2001 and expanded into the United States, with its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.
The original, natural zinc offering used throughout the 19th century is still used today in VMZINC projects, along with the addition of several new surface aspects over time to keep up with changing construction demands and ensure customer satisfaction. About 30 years ago, ANTHRA-ZINC, a pre-weathered, rich charcoal black, was created. It was followed in 1993 by QUARTZ-ZINC, an elegant, uniformed preweathered gray, and in 2005 by PIGMENTO, a line of colored, preweathered zinc available in red, blue, green, and brown.
Most recently, after conducting a study with 400 international architects, VMZINC created AZENGAR, the first ever engraved rolled zinc product and lightest shade of zinc on the market, in 2014.
VMZINC has notable projects in every major sector, including residential, historical, cultural, educational, municipal, and more.