(ARA) – Through tempestuous weather and extreme four-season cycles, today’s vinyl siding is living up to both the style and durability demands of discerning builders, remodelers, architects, homeowners and multifamily developers. Manufacturing advancements allow the market’s innovative producers to artistically recreate looks of genuine weathered cedar, reclaimed brick and deeply-faceted stone.

One manufacturer, Foundry Siding by The Tapco Group, offers a line of Shakes, Shingles and Shapes along with various stone siding profiles and colors in its expanding Stone Collection. While their authenticity to the “real thing” rings true, these premium vinyl panels surpass natural counterparts with an optimal blend of affordability and stout performance – top level Class 1(A) fire resistance, 170 mph wind load rating, 60-plus pounds per inch of  impact resistance and limited lifetime warranty.

“The Foundry has great looks and I like the fact that it meets the strict Florida building code wind load requirement,” says George Williams, owner of Precision Homecrafters in Birmingham, Ala. “With the Foundry’s cedar shake profile, until you walk up and touch it, you don’t know that it’s vinyl. I put it on my home – people see it and they really like it,” notes Williams, who also appreciates the siding’s ultra-low maintenance.

“With our weather the way it is – the severe winters and cold, and also the humidity changes – it’s the right product,” agrees Ray Leonard, construction superintendent at Oot Bros. Construction, a third-generation family-owned builder in East Syracuse, N.Y.

Foundry panels are thicker than many PVC panels, but are thinner and lighter than the polypropylene panels historically used to recreate shake and shingle profiles, so they are easier to cut with snips but still have authentic cast-from-cedar detail. Another major difference distinguishing The Foundry from polypropylene is its Class A fire rating. No polypropylene siding can be listed as Class A due to its flame spread performance –  it requires the option of a fire-resistive treatment in order to meet Class A standards.

The Foundry is certified to meet ASTM D3679 test standards for flammability, heat shrinkage, impact resistance, surface distortion, low-gloss and product weathering. Panels also exceed thickness requirements. The Foundry is ICC-ES certified and carries the Vinyl Siding Institute’s third-party performance certification.

With an efficient 5-foot length, Foundry panels are easily transported, simple to hang, and generate little waste. Conversely, polypropylene shake products can have a scrap rate five times as high as The Foundry. In comparison with another cedar alternative, fiber cement shakes installed cost can add up to twice as much as premium vinyl. Fiber cement also requires regular painting.

With high-performance vinyl’s graduation from a history of limited neutral colors, innovations in UV-fade protection have allowed for enhanced color retention. In the Foundry’s case, a proprietary cap stock keeps its bold spectrum of 41 colors looking rich.

The Foundry is a division of The Tapco Group, a U.S. Green Building Council member. For more information, visit www.foundrysiding.com or call (800) 771-4486