Faulty construction products can be dangerous. Use Locker Group solutions instead!

Why cheap construction materials can be deadly

 

There is now an increasing tendency to forgo using quality construction products in order to save money and time. This may reflect well on a budget sheet, but the consequences can be deadly. Last month, the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in the U.K claimed the lives of dozens of people, with cheap, combustible building cladding the culprit.

Cutting corners also extends to Australia, with a series of spontaneously exploding glass balconies in Melbourne apartments highlighting the rising tide of cheap imported construction materials. In an effort to address this, the Australian Building Codes Board recently launch a new website to help people understand the building code and the importance of product safety, according to a Housing Industry Association release.

”A national webpage like this is important for everyone in the building product supply chain,” said HIA Chief Executive of Industry Policy Kristin Brookfield.

”It is vital, now more than ever, to take action and ensure that builders are not the only people responsible for checking product quality.”

It is important to ensure that builders are not the only people responsible for checking product quality.

At Locker Group, we create architectural solutions that are carefully designed, rigorously tested and meet stringent Australian safety and quality standards. The cost of using inferior products in your next construction project could prove calamitous, so have a look at why Locker Group products are the way to go.

Architectural

Locker Group’s architectural solutions have been widely used in installations and buildings nationwide, notably at the Float Art Project in Sydney and the La Trobe University Dining Hall in Melbourne. Our designs combine innovative visual appeal with unrivaled architectural functionality.

Our variety of metal facade sheets are ideal in making your building exterior striking while also providing screening from the sun and maintaining air flow. The internal facade options are custom designed and easily installable to enhance visual appeal while creating spaces you can re-design endlessly. All products are made from strengthened steel, copper and aluminum substrates, coupling beauty with brawn – and all are meticulously tested to meet Australian standards.

The effects of poor construction materials can be deadly.The effects of poor construction materials can be deadly.

Industrial

Working in heavy industry throws up the threat of numerous costly breakdowns and worker injuries as a result of substandard materials. Locker Group’s industrial range is one of the largest in Australia, with everything from grip-designed and durable metal flooring to robust conveyor belts and roof walkway kits for safety working at heights.

Our products, including the characteristic variety of metal sheets and wire meshes definitive of Locker Group, can be custom designed to user specifications and are able to resist the extreme temperatures of industry, meaning your production will be able for full efficiency in no time.

It is important to factor in the cost of replacing inferior building products later on. It is important to factor in the cost of replacing inferior building products later on.

Mining & Quarrying

Locker Group have been supporting Australian mines and quarrying for years with quality products that are rigorously tested to meet extreme conditions. Roaring heat, high pressure and constant abrasion are just some of the tests that construction products face here, so we have designed ours to be as strong as they are functional.

Our screen meshes and machine accessories are made from a variety of materials, including mild steel, rubber and other durable materials requiring minimal need for maintenance or cleaning. Failure to meet safety standards for equipment and products in mining and quarrying can be catastrophic and deadly, so make sure you use reputable products with a history of supporting the industry.

Using construction products that meet Australian standards will be less costly in the long run, after considering the time-consuming maintenance and repair of inferior construction products. Locker Group are industry-certified and Standards compliant, and have been since 1956. For more information on any of our construction solutions, or for assistance picking out the superior Australian-made product you need for your next project, contact the team.

Winter blues can lower work productivity. But architectural materials could have a solution.

How Locker Group’s architectural solutions can help winter blues

 

Winter has arrived, meaning the days are growing darker earlier and more people are feeling the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a widespread condition in which mentally-healthy people experience mild depressive symptoms over winter due to less daily sunlight, having some negative effect on workforce productivity and social interaction.

A July 2015 McCrindle survey of 1,000 people indicated 33 per cent felt under-motivated at their workplace during winter, while 27 per cent felt generally less productive. Many commercial buildings exacerbate this problem with closed-off office spaces and dark decor, ill-fitting to capture the natural sunlight needed to boost our mood during the dark winter months.

Locker Group are leaders in introducing innovative architecture materials to enhance the visual appeal of commercial buildings to suit any concept or conditions. Below, we explore how three of our architectural products can help banish those winter blues by adding more sunlight to your office space.

Woven Wire

Woven Wire can be used on building facades for a sun-streaming effect, allowing maximum sunlight exposure. It is built in a variety of durable metal substrates to resist harsh winter weather and wearing, and are customisable to exact client specifications.

Woven Wire can also be used internally for a delicate textural finish over light shades, lowering the harsh artificial glare of lights. This function is particularly important, as the increased use of artificial light to compensate for shorter daylight hours during winter contributes to SAD symptoms.

Woven Wire can also be used internally for a delicate textural finish over light shades.

Perforated Metal

One of our most popular and enduring items, Perforated Metal is typically used on building facades to add visual texture without sacrificing function – indeed, sporadic facade installations around a building result in little loss of warmth insulation, keeping your building warm and dry. It also contributes to encouraging natural sunlight flow through the metal sheet’s holes.

We are able to perforate a range of of materials, and would recommend darker-coloured metals like copper and brass, rather than cold grey and silver metals, to give your office visual warmth during winter months. These sheets can also be customised with an imprinted image in the perforation pattern, displaying a company’s logo or as an architecturally-integrated alternative to an art piece.

Perforated Metal helped Porsche achieve their distinct brand look, while keeping the building sunny. Perforated Metal helped Porsche achieve their distinct brand look, while keeping the building sunny.

Curtains

Locker Group’s Transit Curtains are the ideal solution for office spaces that you want to customise and re-shape easily. These wire mesh screens are widely used in modern commercial and retail spaces for their ability to allow light and airflow through seamlessly while still maintaining privacy between separate areas.

Attach the Curtains to tracks to effortlessly change the layout of your office whenever you want, or drape them from the ceiling to cover unsightly appliances – they have endless potential for a chic way of increasing natural light and breaking down stern dividing walls in office spaces. This is particularly helpful in addressing lowered levels of collaboration with work colleagues in winter months, a problem highlighted by 28 per cent of polled Australians in the McCrindle study.

Transit Curtains are used in retail to maintain lots of natural light and airflow. Transit Curtains are used in retail to maintain lots of natural light and airflow.

Our range of architectural building solutions are built towards creating visually stunning and innovative spaces, designed to get the most from your environment. In the cold winter months, social isolation and depression in the workforce is going untreated, with dull commercial spaces dividing colleagues from one another and leaving them with little exposure to natural sunlight. Contact our friendly team today so we can shed a little light on how our simple architectural solutions could brighten up your winter blues.

Rugby meets industrial architecture as Locker unpack their solutions to Australia's Super Rugby weaknesses.

Locker Group’s industrial fixes the envy of Australian Super Rugby

 

It has been a tough season of Super Rugby for the Australian franchises. The five sides have performed poorly on-field, only managing 18 wins between them over 14 rounds. Off-field, they have been contending with plummeting attendance, poor senior management and deteriorating revenues that will see one of the franchises – as of yet undecided – fold after the current season.

While Locker Group can’t fix the Australian sides’ numerous on-field problems, they certainly can provide efficient solutions for your business’ industrial architecture needs. These solutions include security strengthening and addressing conveying issues, problems the Super Rugby franchises would surely love to fix as well. Locker Group’s range of industrial building materials are industry-vaunted in providing lighter, stronger and more durable products for industrial use, giving your business a toughness, visual appeal, and unrivalled functionality.

The Australian franchises have lacked the toughness or durability of Locker's industrial building range. The Australian franchises have lacked the toughness or durability of Locker’s industrial building range.

Expanded Security mesh

This season, Australian franchise sides have conceded nearly 2,000 points, a staggering statistic. If an industrial space had such regular breaches of security, they would contact Locker Group asking about Expanded Security metal mesh.

Traditionally, mesh sheets have been placed over doors and windows as fly screens, with one-way vision technology preventing outsiders from seeing in. Expanded Security operates with the same one-way vision, but set inside a reinforced frame to act as a lightweight but durable security fence.

Locker Group’s industrial building materials are industry-vaunted in providing lighter, stronger and more durable products.

Conveyer Belting 

The mesh also comes in perforated metal, with its small holes impermeable to hot embers from bushfires and sheer impact from knives or other objects. Expanded Security has passed all the Australian standards for impact damage and security, making it the perfect option to secure a leaky defence or valuable industrial unit.

Tries have been rare for the Australian sides; only five bonus points have been secured for scoring four or more tries, pointing to an issue conveying the ball over the try line under tough conditions. Locker Group’s Conveyer Belt designs are made from a variety of metals and can operate under extreme temperature or pressure conditions, built with durability and towards customer-specification.

This customer focus provides you with belting truly fit-for-purpose. For lightweight products, we use Flexigrid parallel wiring to ensure no damage; for heavier products, we use strong steel mesh to counteract extreme conditions and heavy loads. The metal belts are all easily assembled and able to withstand a range of temperatures, from blast chilling at -250°C to heating and drying at 1200°C.

Their industrial strength will see your conveyor operations simplified, and could show the franchises a thing or two about efficient conveying.

A post shared by NSW Waratahs (@nswwaratahs) on

Gridwalk flooring

Even without poor performances on-field, Australian Super Rugby’s numerous off-field issues have prevented the franchises from finding any steady footing from which to improve. Maybe they should have contacted Locker Group to discuss stable flooring options.

Gridwalk is an expanded metal flooring range, designed to create industrially tough floors and walkways that’ll stand up to most conditions. Their expanded diamond pattern provides extra strength and grip for walking or transporting equipment, and they are hugely easy to install. Customers have the option to use removable fixing clips for adaptability, or weld them directly to a structure for increased strength.

They are virtually maintenance-free and durable through most industrial processes, making Gridwalk the perfect option for those looking for a strong and reliable base that won’t collapse beneath them.

Had the Australian franchises recognised their need for industrial strengthening early on, perhaps they would have had a more durable and long-lasting season. As for industrial customers looking for architectural solutions that have industry-noted success and functionality, look no further. Contact our friendly Locker team today to figure out how to improve your industrial problem with simple architectural solutions.

Offices are moving to the suburbs, and with them a raft of innovative new design ideas!

3 ways to reinvent your office in suburban chic

 

As cities continue to expand and their centres becomes increasingly congested and expensive, investors are looking for office space in suburban and city-fringe areas. There, falling vacancies and rising rents are attracting these investors as part of a wider upswing in office relocation from the CBD to larger suburban spaces in search of better rental value. This gradual shift in prime office location has freed income for reinvestment and given businesses the opportunity to develop visually stunning commercial spaces operating in a variety of industries.

Businesses have been given the opportunity to develop visually stunning commercial spaces

Supporting this trend, Locker Group has a range of building materials and unique options for developing a bold, modern office space that will be highly sought after by investors and businesses alike.

Perforated metal sheets

Multi-functional and eye-catching Perforated metal sheets are primarily used as external facades on buildings, due to their durability and simplicity, and offer a distinct and signature look. Customisable in a variety of shapes and sizes, these sheets are a true shortcut to a striking visual. The holes can also be perforated to a unique shape, opening the door for creative displays of a company’s identifying graphics or logo that are integrated into the very design of the office.

A distinct feature in a reception area,which provides partial screening for privacy. Or it can be integrated into the structure of the building, including in staircases and alcoves, to carry a bespoke note through your commercial space.

The Porsche Showroom in Brighton, Melbourne is a perfect case study for achieving a signature look for your offices by using perforated metal.

The Porsche Centre used perforated metal for its signature look. The Porsche Centre used perforated metal for its signature look.

Transit Curtains

Transit Curtains are ideal for a chic way of subdividing spaces in an open-plan office. Unlike other partitions, they allow light and air flow through almost uninhibited, while still maintaining privacy between separate areas.

The curtains are also removable and adjustable, should you want to expand your spaces or change office layout. Alternatively, they can be fixed to a wall or the ceiling to hide unsightly ducts and electrical amenities, beautifying your space instantly. The chains can be made from a variety of metals to different lengths and thicknesses, giving the customer true control over how they want to use their space.

Transit Curtains have already been used to visually bold effect in Cara & Co in the Sydney CBD.

Cara & Co's Transit Curtains scream urban edginess Cara & Co’s Transit Curtains scream urban edginess.

Expanded metal mesh

Using Expanded metal mesh is becoming increasingly popular with designers who want to give an inventive industrial edge to their commercial project. The mesh panels are designed with two specifications in mind – lighting and privacy.

Smaller mesh gaps block light, ideal for building facades or external areas to minimise sun glare and heat, while larger gaps allow more through, encouraging internal light-flooded spaces. Similarly, smaller gaps allow greater privacy between open spaces, while larger gaps encourage a transparent semi-open plan feel.

The mesh can be coloured to client specifications, and provides a burst of visual energy to give your office the visual dynamism of a city centre space.

Agilent Technologies laboratory and offices in suburban Melbourne have used this Expanded mesh to dynamic effect, giving their building a uniquely memorable look.

Expanded metal mesh provides a gritty industrial look. Expanded metal mesh provides a gritty industrial look.

Innovating my Office Space

Whatever the specifications, Locker Group has numerous options for your design needs in creating innovative and architecturally winning visuals. We are highly trained technical professionals who pride ourselves on working with clients to develop a durable product that fits their exact specifications. Give your suburban commercial space an elegant big-city treatment by contacting Locker Group today, and hear how we can create something truly memorable for you.

Superheroes will be left stunned  at their up-close encounters with Locker Group's innovative building designs!

How Locker Group can provide a superhero architectural revamp

 

Last year, the latest film in Marvel’s cinematic universe, “Thor: Ragnarok “, wrapped filming its Brisbane scenes, which saw portions of the CBD transformed into a mini-New York. The Big Apple is a frequent destructive stomping ground for Marvel superheroes, with regular revisits for rounds of bad-guy busting, building-breaking brawls. The caped crusaders excel at saving humanity from doom, but can certainly make a mess in the process.

Locker Group’s range of building materials and innovative designs have already delivered visually-stunning structures all over Australia. Below, we explore some the signature architecture range, and see how it can captivate even Marvel’s Avengers.

Woven Wire

The city’s people hide in buildings, watching on while the epic battle begins outside. Luckily, with Locker’s architectural woven wire, they can watch in peace.

The architecturally innovative design can be made from a variety of metals, and combines a delicate textural finish with a robust substrate for a striking look. This makes it ideal for sun shading, partial one-way screening, or just giving your building facade a funky edge. Woven wire is manufactured to individual specifications, and is guaranteed to impress any nearby superheroes.

Hi Light Louvres

Trapped indoors while humanity’s fate is decided outside, the hot sun is beating down hard and fast, making indoors an uncomfortably stuffy place to be. You could roll down a window, but that’s risky with the brawling outside. Locker’s Hi Light Louvres provide perfect sun shading and protection from glare, and the design also allows for natural airflow, keeping your building cool and breezy.

Available in a variety of finishes for different looks, our Hi Light Louvres are resistant to UV damage. The dazzling array of bright colours are industry-vaunted, and are perfect in brightening traditionally dull monochrome inner-city spaces (and standing out in your superhero fight).

Pic Perf Metal

With the bad guys defeated and the day saved, it seems only right to immortalise the faces of the victorious Avengers in the city’s architecture, as a reminder of their heroic work.

Locker’s Pic Perf perforated metal screens use durable and customisable facades to create long-lasting metallic images.

Locker’s Pic Perf perforated metal screens use durable and customisable facades to create long-lasting metallic images. Using an innovative three-dimensional crescent system, Pic Perf can be customised to variety of surfaces and sizes, adding eye-catching dimension in a variety of finishes. Maps, symbols, and even portraits can be brought to life in metal, giving a structure a truly unique character. The Avengers’ heroic mugs can be preserved in the city always, watching out for evildoing.

If well-meaning superheroes have wrecked your building and you need a jazzy revamp, or if you just want to explore some innovative building materials and styles to give your structure a visual edge, contact Locker Group today for information on how we can give your structure new architecturally heroic appeal.

There are lots of reasons to use perforated metal.

Six reasons to use perforated metal in your architectural projects

 

Here at Locker Group, we’ve been delivering a range of quality perforated metal products on time and to a variety of specifications for years. Did you know that perforated metal has all sorts of different uses? Here are six reasons to use the product in your architectural designs.

1) Safety

If your project could do with more safety features, look no further than perforated metal. Its holes make it easy to see out of buildings but hard for those trying to look in, making it an ideal material to use in schools and car parks.

There’s also an anti-slip element to Locker Group perforated metal products. For instance, our Safe-T-Perf has raised elements surrounding each hole, providing a highly effective way to stop you slipping. The holes also allow water and other liquids to drain, while they’re still small enough to stop valuable tools and equipment from falling through.

Perforated metal allows you to mitigate some of the effects of Australia's harsh sun.Perforated metal allows you to mitigate some of the effects of Australia’s harsh sun.

2) Protection

In Australia, the effects of climate change are becoming particularly obvious (2016 was Australia’s fourth-hottest year on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology). This means architects need to continue to think of innovative solutions to the challenges that buildings face as a result of environmental issues. Perforated metal is one such solution.

Architects need to find a balance between sun and shade, natural light and protection from glare. As online architectural community Architonic point out, this is where the holes in perforated metal come in. They allow enough sunlight to enter into a building so that those inside can see, while still protecting them from harsh glare. Perforated metal also allows ventilation while mitigating the excessive warming effects of the sun, meaning tenants can reduce their air-conditioning usage. In winter, the holes will still allow sufficient sunlight to enter a building so that it can remain warm.

In very humid environments, our stainless steel products are the perfect material, as they are more rust resistant and won’t corrode easily.

3) Eco-friendly

If you take a look at our perforated metal brochure, you’ll see that we make the product in a variety of materials. This includes aluminium, which is 100 per cent recyclable. This means that, when the time comes, the materials used to build your project will be used again instead of simply going to landfill.

We make many of our products out of easy to recycle materials. We make many of our products out of easy to recycle materials.

4) Sound Absorption

Perforated metal is excellent for use in buildings where noise is a problem – for instance in offices or schools. Perforated metal panels help to diffuse noise, for example by reducing echoes. They are also a commonly used element in acoustics.

5) As a partition

Perforated metal and Pic-Perf can be used to divide a room up while still allowing for ventilation and a sense of airiness that wouldn’t be possible with a traditional wall.

Architecture isn’t just about functionality, something that we recognise in our product designs.

6) Aesthetics

Architecture isn’t just about functionality, something that we recognise in our product designs. That’s why our perforated metal comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours – for instance, if you choose Aztec, the holes will be triangular in shape, while the champagne design replicates the look of different sized bubbles. For more patterns, download our product range brochure.

Don’t forget Pic-Perf either. This Locker Group innovation allows you to replicate pictures on to metal by punching holes in it – a great way to jazz up any building.

There are a lot of different applications for perforated metal. For more information on any of our products, please get in touch with the team today.

Here's some information on one of our most recent projects - Cathedral Square, Brisbane.

Case Study: Cathedral Square, Brisbane

 

In February 2016, Brisbane City Council completed the first stage of their modernising project at Cathedral Square, located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD. The council’s aim was to upgrade and beautify the square in order to create a more inviting public space for use by people working in and passing through the CBD. The council brought this brief to us and from there we worked closely with them in order to bring this project to life. The result: an attractive and modern space that’s more fully utilised.

What was the project?

Cathedral Square incorporates a number of integrated areas including hardscapes, softscapes, paving, lawn, gardens and trees. The council wanted to modernise this whole area while still maintaining a relationship with St. John’s Cathedral, a gothic revival structure on the other side of Ann Street.

A number of large metal square structures adorn the park, made from a variety of Locker Group products. The screens, made from perforated metal or wire mesh, provide sun shading, aesthetic features and privacy leading to the underground car park. Locker Group worked closely with Brisbane City Council’s design team to select products and concepts that would achieve the intent.

Locker Group worked closely with the council to come up with an innovative design for the square.Locker Group worked closely with the council to come up with an innovative design for the square.

What Locker Group products were used?

After developing a thorough understanding of the design requirements, we reviewed our existing product range in order to select profiles that would suit the design brief. When choosing products we considered the open area, shading required and the aspects from which inhabitants would view the panels.

We try to make our projects both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and nothing embodies this better than the pergola. 

Pic-Perf

We used Pic-Perf as one of the main design elements of the project. Pic Perf allows the designer to depict an image permanently in metal. In this project the Pic Perf panels reflected aspects of the cathedral. We anodised it in sovereign gold, and had images of the columns and arches of the cathedral perforated onto it, which provided the connection between the square and the cathedral that was such an integral feature of Brisbane Council’s brief.

When designing Pic Perf Locker always considers the viewing aspect. At what distance will the majority of people view the panels, will light usually be in front or behind the panels? In this project the panels had to be visually appealing when front lit during the day or when backlit at night.

The Pic-Perf is mainly used at the entrance to Ann Street. It can be seen as the focal point which draws people in and means more people come into the park, which is exactly what Brisbane Council wanted from the project.

We had to think of a way to make the image work even when it's being backlit. We had to think of a way to make the image work even when it’s being backlit.

Aero perforated metal

Aero perforated metal is a standard Locker profile, however in this project we tailored in a staggered pattern design. This was used as a roof for the square’s pergola, which was designed in such a way that vines and various other plants would ultimately grow over and gain a foothold on it.

We try to ensure our projects are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and nothing embodies this better than the pergola in this project. We wanted to create a shade structure while still maintaining a sculptural element. While most pergolas tend to simply have slats on and are very one-dimensional, this structure brings it to life by adding another dimension.

Ikon 511 woven wire mesh

This galvanised woven wire mesh is normally used in industrial projects, but here was chosen to disguise the entrance to the stairwell that leads to the carpark. In addition it provides a structural background for the Brisbane City Council and Cathedral Square logos to be displayed on.

The project was highly successful and fulfilled the brief of tying the space to the square and encouraging people to use it.The project was highly successful and fulfilled the brief of tying the space to the square and encouraging people to use it.

What was the outcome of the Cathedral Square project?

Wayne Lawrence, Architectural Account Manager for Locker Group’s Brisbane office, said:

“The feedback from the council was brilliant, and they are currently planning the second stage of the project. We took on a very detailed brief and utilised our existing product range, coupled with our extensive knowledge to come up with a bespoke solution. The council was so impressed that they intend to work with us again because of the support and processes that we worked through with them.

We believe we’ve created a fantastic project that both ties the space to the cathedral and fulfills the aim of bringing more people into the square.”

At Locker Group, we’re proud of our experience and expertise, and use this at every stage of the projects we work on. We have a strong reputation in the industry as a deliverer of high quality, innovative and successful designs on time and to budget. For more information, please get in touch with the team today.

Here's how to improve your interiors with Locker Group metal products.

Five ways to make your interiors more striking with Locker Group

 

Here at Locker Group, we know that aesthetics are just as important as functionality when it comes to good architecture. Here’s a list of five innovative ways to make the interiors of your architectural projects more striking with Locker Group metal products.

1) Consider ceiling panels

Ceiling panels are a great way to provide both a functional means of separating two floors, and create an innovative and exciting alternative to a normal plain white ceiling. You can even suspend them in order to make a high ceiling less imposing. With Locker Group metal products, we make orders to fit, so that you aren’t limited to just one shape or size. We even supply a range of different colours to make your ceilings as exciting as possible.

2) Get into vertical gardens

Albany high school shows there's lots of ways to make your stairways more exciting.Albany High School shows there’s lots of ways to make your stairways more exciting.

Vertical gardens are all the rage at the minute, and are being touted as one of the key ways that urban living and the environment can become more harmonious. Woven wire is a good material to use for these, as it gives something for plants to climb up and hold on to.

3) Make your ceilings linear

Lots of architects are starting to veer away from more traditional ceiling panels and are now moving towards what’s known as linear ceilings, where the ceiling appears to move in one direction. Often the lines are continuous without breaks in between. Our perforated metal is a good option for this, especially if your building project is in a loud environment, as it has acoustical properties that help to minimise noise levels.

4) Add texture with wire mesh curtains

If you want to break up a room our wire mesh curtains are an excellent option. They can be used to define smaller spaces while still allowing for air circulation and a more open feeling than if you were to simply build a conventional wall. They are also a good way of hiding unseemly marks or electrical amenities.

5) Spice up your stairways

Balustrades don’t have to just be one long piece of metal. Consider placing woven wire or perforated metal underneath the handrail to add more texture, as well as enhance the safety of your stairways. Our work in Albany High School is a great example of this.

Locker Group provide a variety of products to different specifications, and we’re happy to hear new suggestions and ways of working together. Contact us today for more information.

The KUD house is one of our favourite uses of Locker Group perforated metal.

The KUD House: An innovative approach to old meets new

 

Creating a house that’s filled with character, but also lives up to the standards of modern living, is a difficult challenge that many architects face on a daily basis. Fortunately, there is a solution. The KUD perforated metal house in Brunswick, Melbourne, represents a new way of thinking about architecture in a neighbourhood that’s almost exclusively made up of traditional terraced houses.

It was also a project that Locker Group worked closely on, having supplied the perforated metal that was used in construction. Here’s a bit about the house and how it’s helping change the face of architecture in Australia.

The KUD house feels spacious and airy, despite its small footprint.The KUD house feels spacious and airy, despite its small footprint.

A new approach to terraced housing

The project is burrowed in the middle of a row of terraced houses, many of which have stood in the same place since the late Victorian era. Although it’s true that these buildings have heaps of character, KUD felt that they’re not the best houses in terms of design or comfort. Instead of choosing to build an ugly replica, they decided on a new approach. They would use Locker Group Pic-Perf metal to create an image of the facade of a terraced house onto the outside, while using modern materials to build it.

The exterior is particularly innovative. It’s made up of a mixture of perforated steel, glass and curtains, which open, fold up and slide out to let light in. This means the family have privacy when they want it, but can also create a more open-air feeling when required. In fact, the north and south walls can open up completely, allowing for breezes to pass through during Australia’s hot summer months. Essentially, the architects have dispensed with the need for air-conditioning, something that Australians need to start doing if we are to help solve the world’s environmental crisis.

The high use of glass in the building also adds to the feeling of space and airiness in a site that is only 5.5 x 14.4 m wide.

Responding to your environment

KUD wrote on their website that they felt the current rows of terraced houses in Brunswick “dictate the neighbourhood” rather than respond to it. So, while the outside design on the perforated metal helps the house to blend in and accommodate it in the community, the architects decided on a radical design for the interior.

The KUD house's interior has been rearranged to better respond to the environment.The KUD house’s interior has been rearranged to better respond to the environment.

While most terraced houses have a traditional layout with the living space on the bottom, KUD decided to invert this. Their reasoning makes sense – why not have the areas where people tend to spend most of their time upstairs, which gets more natural light, ventilation and privacy? That way the bedrooms remain cool, which is ideal for sleeping. By reinventing the way we order our houses, KUD have illustrated the fact that that we need to stop doing things just because that’s how it’s always been done, and actually start to consider how buildings can respond best to their environment.

Sparking a public debate 

The idea of the KUD house wasn’t just to build an innovative new home. The architects also aimed to spark a debate about terraced houses, and why we are so keen to romanticise old homes that aren’t always well-designed or conducive to comfort.

At Locker Group, we’re always keen to help with new and exciting projects like the KUD house. We ensure we talk to our clients so that we can help provide the solution to these wider problems. Please contact us today for more information.

Here's a history of mining in Australia.

Australia’s proud mining history – how far have we come?

 

Right from Australia’s early days, way back when it was first populated around 60,000 years ago, mining and minerals were integral to the continent’s culture. At Locker Group, we’re committed to providing Australian mines with the right tools and structures to enable them to carry on this amazing tradition. Here’s a look back at how far mining has come since it first started all that time ago.

Aboriginal art

Between 40,000 – 60,000 years ago, when the Aboriginal people came to Australia, they began the country’s very first mining phase. They dug for ochre, which they used to make pigments for paint. This gave rise to the traditional browny-red colour that’s often seen in Aboriginal cave paintings and rock art. The Aboriginal people also dug for suitable stones for weapons and tools.

The early colonial period 

It was the early days of European settlement that first saw minerals being produced on a large scale in Australia. Coal was discovered near Newcastle (NSW) in 1791, just three years after the First Fleet arrived. The coal was essential for heating, cooking and later steam power. This was the beginning of the coal industry, and the first export occurred in 1799, when a shipment of coal set out for India.

In Glen Osmond on the outskirts of Adelaide, lead became the first metal to be mined in Australia in 1841. Copper mining then began at Burra and Kapunda (both also in South Australia) not long afterwards.

Gold rush

In the 1850s a gold rush began that was to put Australia’s mining industry on the map. First found in NSW in 1823, there were sporadic discoveries of gold traces for a number of years before gold mining really took off. It was the finding of payable alluvial gold in 1851 near Bathurst in NSW as well as the rich reserves of it in Victoria that really saw gold mining begin properly. As word got out that Australia might be the next big gold rush centre, people began to emigrate there. This growing population enabled increased industrial development and more money to be invested into gold mining.

This all meant that, by the 1850s, Australia was producing almost 40 per cent of the world’s gold, according to the Australian Mining Association. Victoria in particular was to become a centre for gold mining for many years afterwards.

The familiar browny-red of aboriginal art comes from the minerals they first used to create pigments.The familiar browny-red of Aboriginal art comes from the minerals they first used to create pigments.

The late 19th-century

Tin was discovered in 1871 at Mt. Bischoff in Tasmania, and then Inverell in NSW. Soon, Australia’s great mines were established – silver, lead and zinc were mined at Broken Hill in NSW, while gold was a major export from Coolgardie and Kalgoordie in WA. Iron ore was produced in South Australia and copper and gold at Mt. Morgan near Rockhampton, Queensland.

The 20th-century

There were few new mineral finds during the first half of the 20th century, and mining in Australia experienced something of a decline. However the Pilbara iron ore region was developed in WA, and new metals were discovered in the second part of the 20th century. These included bauxite (the source of aluminium), nickel, tungsten, rutile (the source of titanium), uranium, oil and natural gas.

The goldrush of the 1850s laid the foundations for Australia to become the second largest exporter of gold.The gold rush of the 1850s laid the foundations for Australia to become the second largest exporter of gold.

Mining in the 21st-century

Australia is now one of the world’s major exporters of minerals. For example, Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter, worth $34 billion in export value in 2015, as reported by the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science. The same source tells us that Australia is also the world’s largest exporter of alumina and iron ore, as well as the second largest exporter of gold and the fourth biggest exporter of nickel.

At Locker Group, we want Australia to continue this impressive tradition and remain one of the world’s top producers of minerals. This is why we’re committed to providing your mine with the walkways, screening equipment and other tools to help you stay competitive and safe. Our mining product developers are industry experts, and here to help at every step of the way.

For more information, please contact us.

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