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When builders think about siding, they tend to focus on things like water-shedding ability, installation details, and ease of maintenance. And despite what you might think, those things also matter to most architects. But siding can also be a powerful design element. Depending on how it’s used, it can break a large uninteresting mass into several smaller areas that are visually more interesting, tie disconnected elements together, or change the way a building fits into the topography of its site. Massing with Siding The architectural term “massing” refers to a building’s basic exterior form, or how a given elevation presents itself to the eye. The goal of effective massing is to create a pleasant and varied elevation, one that is