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. 

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