The future of architecture is bound by aesthetics.

Pic-Perf: Redesigning perforated aesthetics

 

Somewhere between 30 and 15 B.C., Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio wrote De architectura. Later published as Ten Books on Architecture, it would become the definitive treatise for conceptual design and inspire the future genius of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and other members of the Early Renaissance.

In Latin, Vitruvius wrote that a well-designed building incorporated three elements, famously translated by Sir Henry Wotton to ‘Firmness, Commodity, and Delight’. The phrase very quickly became the foundation of aesthetic design, inspiring exquisite and refreshingly unique architectural structures that pushed the boundaries of materials and technology in unison.

Now, of course, there are many options available to strengthen firmness, efficiently make use of the building as a commodity, and accentuate the aesthetic properties of a structure.

Beauty surrounds architecture and is an inherent part of its design.Beauty surrounds architecture and is an inherent part of its design.

Architectural and design harmony

The role that materials play in constructing buildings is increasingly relevant than in the past as the public voice for design aesthetics becomes more prominent. For example, buildings made entirely of glass offer a notion of positive transparency to the public from the outside, but inhabitants feel differently. A study by Urban Green Council asked: “Do tenants who live and work in all-glass buildings actually take advantage of the glass by keeping their blinds open?”

According to the results, almost 60 per cent of the window areas were covered with blinds, with the majority of all buildings in the study covering between 40 and 90 per cent of their glass windows. This represents a need for balance in materials, something Locker Group aims to provide with Pic-Perf.

A globally popular inclusion to Locker Group’s architectural products, Pic-Perf allows designers to display any image they desire on perforated metal. With a unique and relocatable aesthetic design, Pic-Perf also offers new and existing structures ventilation and sunscreening, thanks to its perforated metal construction.

Pic-Perf in action around the world

Material efficiency and beauty of design shouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Pic-Perf can be utilised to create a subtle backdrop for an often-used public space, or an awe-inspiring centrepiece for a business – both inside and out. One shining example of its use is in the award-winning Tip Top apartments in Brunswick East, Melbourne.

Paying tribute to the previous use of the site – Northern and Tip Top Bakeries – the redesign of the project incorporated a number of Pic-Perf applications inspired by the project’s heritage. The entrance itself displays a visually stunning representation of a horse-drawn carriage, transforming the area into a veritable work of art.

This encompasses the future of architectural design in the present, and perhaps the solution to common issues in the construction world. Heritage or character buildings that display a sense of old-world aesthetic design are often- fought over by the public. Many wish to have them pulled down for more efficient projects, while others argue vehemently of their design importance.

Material efficiency and beauty of design shouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive, and with customisable products such as Pic-Perf, Locker Group is proving around the world that the public can experience both to the highest standard.

Considerations for using Pic-Perf 

Perforated metal offers greater resistance to wind than solid sheeting, along with a number of other benefits:

  • Increased ventilation and airflow.
  • Greater shade protection from the sun.
  • Clearer vision from both the inside and out.

Most importantly, however, the image you choose has almost limitless potential. We can incorporate logos or brand symbols, a collage of images or even abstract artwork. Due to the flexibility of the design, the product is scalable to any size; Pic-Perf can be created small enough to fit in your office, or large enough to cover an entire building.

With Pic-Perf, even the great Vitruvius would be satisfied by this ultimate synthesis of form and function. To learn more about the range of Locker Group products, reach out to our team today.

Find out how to improve industrial workplace safety this October.

How to improve workplace safety during National Work Safe Month

 

This October, it’s worth paying a bit of extra attention to workplace safety. We look at what National Work Safe Month means, how you can be involved and how Locker Group can help you improve the safety of your workplace with our range of industrial products.

National Safe Work Month is an opportunity for improvement

Safe Work Australia is promoting October as National Safe Work Month – an annual reminder to give more of a focus to workplace health and safety by increasing awareness and discussion. The organisation has a range of resources and information available on its site for businesses that want to get involved, including a series of virtual seminars about work safety best practice and research and development in the field. If your company is interested in taking part, Safe Work Australia is hosting a workplace participation reward program with a prize of $5,000. Case studies of previous reward winners are up on the site to inspire and encourage participation.

A safer workplace is good not only for your workers, but also for your business itself.

According to Safe Work Australia’s statistics, 113 workers died in the manufacturing industry from work-related injuries between 2007 and 2012, and there was an average of 60 claims a day for serious injury or illness over the same period. While the rate of serious injury in manufacturing has dropped between 2000 and 2011, it is still higher than the average for all Australian industries.

The benefits of improving workplace safety

A safer workplace is good not only for your workers, but also for your business itself. Along with meeting the moral and legal responsibilities that you have as an employer, the Australian government says that there can be ongoing financial benefits to making your workplace safe. As well as retaining staff, you’ll also reduce the costs of worker compensation and lost revenue from staff taking time off to recover from injuries.

Workplace accidents can be reduced with the right safety focused products.Workplace accidents can be reduced with the right safety-focused products.

The risk of workplace accidents can be reduced with awareness and best practice. But another way of improving workplace safety is to improve the workplace itself through careful choice of design and building materials. Fifteen per cent of serious injury claims come from falls, trips and slips – simple accidents that could be minimised through using safety-focused materials. With that in mind, here are three Locker Group products you can use to provide your workers with the safest environment possible from the ground up:

1) Gripspan Planking

Engineered with workplace safety in mind, this anti-slip industrial flooring is available with a standard or serrated tread. Gripspan Planking is roll formed, which means it can be supplied in a variety of lengths to suit your specifications, reducing the need for welded joints or rivets. We also offer Gripspan Summit kits, which give you everything you need for an OH&S compliant roof entry point.

2) Safe-T-Perf

Safe-T-Perf is an anti-slip flooring that can be used for platforms, planking or stairs. Its 360-degree skid resistance lets you keep your grip in a range of situations. Safe-T-Perf is tough and load bearing, making it an ideal choice for industrial settings.

3) Handrail

A fundamental part of safe structures, Handrails are a must for workplace safety. Stairways, catwalks, ledges and drops all need a barrier to keep workers or the public safe. Our handrails can be used in an extensive range of industrial applications.

The safety of your workers is crucial to your business, and helping you achieve it is integral to ours. Get in touch and we can talk about what products will work best for you.

These five factors will help you make the right choice of industrial metal products.

5 considerations for choosing the right industrial metal products

 

Choosing the right metal product for industrial applications can be a daunting prospect, especially with the wide range of options available. This wealth of selection is essential, as these solutions are used in so many different environments – from the grating surrounding a single truck bed to guarding the machinery in a series of factories, and everywhere in between.

Fortunately, making the right selection doesn’t require expert-level knowledge about every available metal product. The team at Locker Group can help determine the best choice based on your project’s specific needs and circumstances.

Of course, having a good understanding of your options is essential in making a decision. That’s why we’ve put together this short guide to choosing the right metal product configuration. These five considerations will assist you in figuring out which Locker Group product range is the best fit for your needs.

Weight

Depending on the installation site and purpose, weight can be an important concern for metal products. A weightier selection has more stability behind it, while lightweight options can help contribute to safe work practices. When looking at weight in metal products, there are many variables that can affect this characteristic.

Generally, woven wire products are the lightest option – ranging from 0.178 kilogrammes per square metre (kg/m²) for grade-316 stainless steel to 8.1 kg/m² for galvanised steel.

Expanded metal products range from 0.53 to 15 kg/m², with variations coming down to the choices between large or small mesh, steel or aluminium, raised or flattened patterns, and specialty applications.

To assist in choosing, think about what you need to achieve. Do you need a screen to just be a visual barrier? Then something light will suffice. Alternatively, if you need a screen to withstand weight or debris, a more durable option may be required.

This chart provides a more specific breakdown of weight in the expanded metal product line.

Product Type Metal Weight Range (kg/m²)
Large Mesh Steel 1.8 – 14
Large Mesh Aluminium 0.68 – 5
Small Mesh Steel – Raised 1.31 – 4.1
Small Mesh Steel – Flattened 2 – 3
Small Mesh Aluminium – Raised 0.53 – 1.35
Small Mesh Aluminium – Flattened 1
Sunscreening Steel 3.5 – 11.08
Sunscreening Aluminium 1.5 – 4.02
Agricultural Mesh Steel 11 – 15

For perforated metal products, the weight is calculated using a combination of open are percentage and the original substrate weight.

Open area size

Perforated, expanded and woven wire metal products all feature a number of options when it comes to the size of the open area – or aperture. Fortunately, this is where Locker Group shines – offering a massive selection of aperture size to meet a variety of requirements.

Certain applications call for a large aperture size to enable airflow.Certain applications call for a large aperture size to enable airflow.

A small aperture is usually necessary in barrier and guarding applications, preventing against ingress by even the smallest objects. For projects that require metal products conducive to airflow and light penetration, larger apertures are more suitable.

For screening needs, open area sizes to match the material being worked with will be required – in fact, such a project will likely require several matched and scaffolded aperture sizes.

As a secondary consideration in this area, a set percentage of open area can be achieved – whether with multiple smaller holes or fewer larger openings. The exact application will influence the best choice.

Appearance

For projects in highly visible areas, aesthetics can also be an important characteristic to account for. This is where the perforated line really sticks out, providing a highly functional solution that also has a striking look. Locker Group’s perforation patterns are available in a number of configurations, giving any application a decorative appearance.

There are a number of patterns available for Locker Group's perforated metal range, whether designed to stand out or blend in.There are a number of patterns available for Locker Group’s perforated metal range, whether designed to stand out or blend in.

With woven wire and expanded metal products, you can also emphasise design appeal. With many options for the type of material and finish, these ranges can provide strong utility without sacrificing on appearance.

Material type

Match your substrate and finishing choices to your job site’s unique needs.

Do you need metal products for indoor or outdoor use? Gentle or harsh environments? The characteristics of a job site will play a big role in determining the most suitable choice of metal product.

Whether choosing between substrates or finishes, there is a solution that can be tailored to meet your application.

Woven wire is available in brass, galvanised mild steel, high-tensile steel, and 304- or 316-grade stainless steel. Perforated and expanded metal offers the choice between aluminium, a number of steel options and a variety of finishes.

Cost

Locker Group has an industrial metal product to suit any budget needs.

Keeping expenses within budget is an important consideration in most industrial settings. Fortunately, Locker products cover a range of spending levels to ensure you get the balance between the fit for your purpose and the right cost.

The manufacturing process for different materials affects the value of the final product. For example, a finished piece of expanded metal is larger than the original sourced sheet, making it a very cost-effective choice.

Depending on the pattern chosen in perforated metal products, individual holes may need to be punched one at a time – increasing the cost of production, but resulting in a smooth and refined finish.

Ideal solutions from Locker Group

There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when choosing industrial metal products. To make this decision more hassle-free, the specialists at Locker Group are able to lend their knowledge and wealth of experience.

Contact Locker Group today to learn more about finding the solution that is right for you.

Sometimes open plan offices aren't the answer.

Are chain curtains the key to open-plan office woes?

 

As popular as the design has become, open-plan offices aren’t winning any awards in the hearts and minds of office workers – at least, not in their current iteration. They are noisy, there’s no privacy and some studies have even shown that they reduce productivity overall. For something that’s intended to improve co-worker communication, interaction and efficiency, it sounds like it might be doing the exact opposite.

However, the open-plan office might still be saved – with the clever use of Locker Group products, of course. A few simple chain curtains could be the answer to all those employee grumbles.

Are open plan offices all they are cracked up to be?Are open plan offices all they are cracked up to be?

The issues of open plan

The key to better productivity, efficiency and workplace morale is to allow for a greater variety of different work environments.

Here are a few statements that you might find some office workers agreeing with: Open-plan offices are too noisy, disregard privacy completely and actually result in more fights between coworkers.

And they’d be right, at least according to surveys from Gesler Research in the UK as well as a paper in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. According to the former, people are sick and tired of working solely in open-office environments, and this design is actually having a detrimental effect on their work.

Meanwhile, the latter demonstrates that open-office environments, as they are now, score much lower in key environmental quality standards, including acoustics and privacy. Apparently, the benefits of the ease of interaction that open plan allows for is outweighed by the penalties that too much noise and not enough private space creates.

A change is as good as a rest

However, that isn’t the end of the story. Gesler Research’s survey also revealed a curious additional effect: It’s less to do with the open-plan office itself, and more to do with the lack of different environments in which to work. When you are unable to escape from an open office, it’s no wonder that people end up getting sick of it.

Gesler Research explains that the key to better productivity, efficiency and workplace morale is to allow for a greater variety of different work environments. Enclosed, semi-enclosed and open, all available to workers.

The difference between enclosed and semi-enclosed could be as simple as installing a set of chain curtains around one portion of desks. People can still interact through them, and you maintain that important office airflow, but it gives the illusion of a more private space. Considering how many workers seem to be calling for some kind of getaway, business owners might find that they get a little bit more out of their workforce when they aren’t chained to the open-plan design.

For more information and applications of chain curtains or other architectural products, make sure you check out our lookbook below, or get in touch with us directly right here at Locker Group.

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