Pic Perf facades offer a striking mix of visual and practical benefits.

What’s it like to work with Locker on a facade project?

A facade is critical for many building projects for both aesthetic and practical reasons.

Facades have the power to transform a standard building, whether one under construction or an existing facility, with a unique front-facing appearance that sets it apart from the many other structures in the area. With a variety of materials and designs to choose from, each facade can combine many different elements to stand on its own and make a noticeable impact on those who walk past and interact with the underlying building.

These additions to buildings also play a key role in regulating temperature and creating a more comfortable environment for those inside. By screening out some, but not all, sunlight from reaching the windows of the structure, facades help to cut down on HVAC costs without keeping staff and visitors in unpleasant, windowless spaces. With sunlight filtered as it strikes windows, employees and guests have more consistent visibility and don't have to lose focus or face distractions that come with shifting natural light.

Let's look at how a facade project can add a distinct, eye-catching element to your building, and how working with Locker on such an effort gives your organisation a dependable and proven partner.

The many options available for building facades

One factor unifying the majority of facades on modern buildings is their basic composition. Some form of stamped, perforated or expanded metal is frequently used to ensure the aesthetic and thermal qualities of the facade last for many years to come. This is the point where facades begin to diverge. Depending on the specific needs of a project, you can choose from many different options that take those requirements into account. The options offered by Locker include:

Atmosphere facades

This type of building facade emphasises visibility while also ensuring the temperature regulation aspects of facades aren't ignored. By allowing those within a building to look outside and work or visit without being blinded during the brightest parts of the day, everyone can enjoy the view.

Atmosphere facade projects were created with speed and efficiency in mind, allowing for a quick addition to an existing or new structure. The panels are often installed on tensioned stainless steel cables, which makes the process that much easier. Ridged panels can also be used in situations where cables don't align with the design vision for the structure.

With a streamlined approach to adding panels, whether across an entire building or in key areas to maximise visual impact, Atmosphere building facades can bring a variety of benefits to structures ranging from car parks to office buildings, medical facilities and much more.

Expanded metal facades

Expanded metal offers an overall industrial visual quality when workers, visitors and passers-by are close to the structure, but have a light, open appearance when viewed from a distance. Designed to protect against the harsh glare of the sun, these facades are equally at home providing security, plant and privacy screening, among many other applications.

Pic Perf facades

Pic Perf facades highlight the range of visual options that come with these valuable additions to buildings. An existing facade can have a graphic design added to it by utilising the holes punched in the material. The overall appearance is that of an exceptionally large graphic, whether an abstract concept, logo or visual representation of the work performed by the company and those inside the building.

Pic Perf can be used both inside and outside, and this valuable addition doesn't compromise the heat regulation qualities that are so important when it comes to building facades.

What you can expect when you partner with Locker 

Adding a facade to a building, whether when designing blueprints or as a new addition to an existing structure, can be a complicated and time-consuming effort without the right support and guidance from a trusted partner. Locker's 60-plus years of experience working on a variety of architectural projects gives your organisation the guidance that is so valuable when it comes to everything from selecting the perfect material to safely and securely installing the facade.

When you decide to partner with Locker, you can expect knowledgeable, targeted and consistent support from the start of every project to its end. We're ready to provide guidance, answer questions and help you see your building facade efforts through to completion. With a wide range of facade products, we're sure we can find the best possible material, design and application to align with the visual and practical needs of your building.

To learn more about how Locker can make your building facade project a success, get in touch with the experts at of our eight offices today.

Perforated metal has an incredibly wide variety of applications.

Innovative uses of perforated metal in construction projects

Perforated metal is an incredibly broad category in terms of construction materials. With so many base materials and options for perforating, coating and adding borders, folds and notches, perforated metal can be a welcome addition to the aesthetics of a wide variety of structures while also offering practical benefits.

Perforated metal is most frequently thought of in the context of a facade for a building, helping to regulate temperature and exposure to sunlight. There are many different unique and impressive uses specifically in this application, but there are so many more potential applications to consider. This valuable, versatile material is equally at home within and outside of a variety of structures. It can emphasise aesthetics, practical benefits or an efficient combination of the two.

A look at some innovative uses of perforated metal can help you decide on how to best incorporate this design feature into your next project, whether it's designing a building from the ground up or adding key elements to an existing structure.

What do I need to know about perforated metal?

One of the key qualities of perforated metal is how easily it can be used to transform the visual appearance of part or all of a building. By creating a superstructure surrounding the more practical building underneath, perforated metal can solve a variety of design challenges that may otherwise require costly, time-consuming processes to achieve.

An incredible variety of shapes are possible with perforated metal, from rounded edges and sloping curves that evoke clouds and waves to sharp angles and flat surfaces that combine to create complex yet pleasing geometric designs. Whether limited to windows, applied to the front of a structure or surrounding much or all of the building,

Perforated metal also has a number of functional qualities that can be difficult to achieve with other materials, including:

  • Heat regulation: Perforated metal can, in many applications, limit the amount of sunlight that reaches the underlying structure or specific areas where this material is installed. That helps protect against excess heat, lowering cooling costs and maintaining a more stable temperature, and reduces the potential for the long-term affects of sun exposure.
  • Sound absorption: Excess noise can be a distraction or even a safety concern, depending on the setting. The right screen can effectively dampen these unwanted noises, as a research paper published by IOP Science explained.
  • Improved visibility: The perforations in metal make it easy for those within a structure to see outside while keeping their eyes shaded from the sun.

What are some innovative uses of perforated metal?

While no longer on the cutting edge of perforated metal applications, uses within a building – as opposed to as part of a facade or other exterior screen – have only begun to be tapped. There are a number of possible benefits to be had from a targeted installation within a structure. They can be installed along interior walls and below ceilings to help address issues with excessive noise as well as diffuse the sometimes harsh effects of lighting, as Metal Architecture explained.

There are a number of other uses to consider within a building, ranging from the purely aesthetic to offering increased privacy without completely walling off a space. They can also be deployed on skylights and some interior windows for a light filtering effect.

Imagery is another growing application when it comes to perforated metal. Along with the visual impression created by the perforations, form and structure of this material, there are also options for deploying graphics on perforated metal for increased individuality and a unique image.

Our own Pic Perf process uses a detailed approach to perforation that provides an end product with an array of visually distinct graphics. Options range from company logos and word marks to many abstract and more concrete designs. With a robust process for reproducing imagery, there are many avenues to explore.

Exterior corridors and walkway covers are another innovative application worth considering, especially in sunny, hot climates. With the right perforated metal, you can keep guests and staff members alike protected from direct sunlight as they travel between nearby buildings or within a large campus. Perforated metal can also serve as a privacy or security screen on the sides of walkways and corridors, paired with a full roof to protect workers and sensitive materials from the elements as well as prying eyes.

Finding the right partner for a perforated metal project is critical for realising success, from the design phase through the long-term stability and performance of the material. Get in touch with Locker Group today to learn how our wide range of materials and expertise in deploying them can help make your perforated metal vision a reality.

Aluminium floor grating is often chosen as a lightweight option.

Floor grating types and what they’re used for

Floor grating is often seen as a superior alternative to flat surfaces for flooring, walkways, raised platforms and various other industrial applications.

Grating is lightweight, affordable and low maintenance. It is aesthetically appealing, offering good ventilation and slip resistance. It can be stored and installed relatively easily. And often the material can be reused or recycled, which makes grating more environmentally friendly.

In addition to walkways and raised platforms, floor grating is used on bridges; commercial-grade catwalks; drain and gully covers; jetties; steps, stair treads and ramps; track crossings; and wash bays.

But there are a number of different options when it comes to choosing your industrial floor grating. In this article we'll take a look at three popular choices: steel floor grating, aluminium floor grating and fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) floor grating.

In each case we've highlighted the main characteristics and benefits of each material and provided links to further information, technical specs and downloads.

Aluminium has a multitude of uses, including in floor grating.Aluminium has a multitude of uses, including in floor grating.

Steel Floor Grating

Steel is the most popular material for floor grating. It is manufactured using a combination of vertical load bars and horizontal cross rods.

Steel as a material offers excellent durability and resistance to corrosion. It also has great yield and tensile strength.

Webforge offers five steel grating patterns. The most popular two feature a 30mm load bar pitch with either a 100mm or 50mm cross rod pitch.

Common uses of these two patterns include:

  • Power stations
  • Refineries
  • Sewerage treatment plants
  • Grain silos
  • Chemical plants
  • Trafficable drain grates
  • Stair treads

Webforge offers the option of a serrated steel grating finish, which enhances the non-slip characteristics of all of our steel grating products.

If you want more information about these products, including load bearing tables and downloadable content, please visit our steel grating product page.

In situations where corrosion and rust are of particular concern, stainless steel floor grating products can sometimes be the best option.

The chromium content of stainless steel means it combines the strength of steel with the corrosion resistance of chromium. As the name suggests it is also resistant to staining, making it particularly low maintenance.

It can easily worked and welded despite its strength. And a lot of people like the aesthetics and the durability of stainless steel and stainless steel products.

More information about stainless steel floor grating is available here.

Aluminium Floor Grating

Aluminium floor grating is often chosen as a lightweight option. As a material, aluminium is not as strong as steel but it is lighter.

As a result, aluminium floor grating is popular in industrial environments where weight is a primary consideration.

Aluminium is also sometimes regarded as having greater aesthetic appeal than other materials. It is one of the reasons Steve Jobs chose it to make all those iPhones and why it has so many architectural applications.

Similar to our steel floor grating products, Webforge offers a number of load bar and cross rod combinations in aluminium, as well as a serrated finish for superior slip resistance.

You can find more information about aluminium floor grating here.

FRP Floor Grating

Fibreglass reinforced plastic or FRP floor grating is replacing traditional floor grating materials in a number of different industrial applications.

As the name suggests it is not made from metal. Instead FRP grating is manufactured using either a mould or a method called pultrusion.

Moulded FRP is a mesh of vertical and horizontal layers of fibre rovings and liquid resin combined in a mould. Pultruded FRP takes resin and glass fibre strands and pulls them through a series of steps to create a new composite material

Both methods for manufacturing FRP grating rely on the combined characteristics of glass fibres and polymer resin. The glass fibres provide the final product with its strength and durability, while the polymer resins are resistant to corrosive substances.

What makes FRP particularly appealing in certain situations are its unique properties. Here are some examples:

  • FRP floor grating won't spark if metal objects are accidentally dropped on it. This is an important consideration when working around highly flammable liquids and gases.
  • Because it is made from reinforced plastic rather than metal it doesn't conduct electricity, making it a safer option for electrically-hazardous installations.
  • It is easier to cut than metal grating. This makes FRP grating more flexible, allowing for cut-outs for pipework or reshaping for new or complex floor layouts.
  • Finally, FRP floor grating is non-magnetic, which makes it safer in situations that are sensitive to magnetic fields.

Webforge manufactures moulded fibreglass grating in both standard and custom sizes.

Our moulded grating has a high resin-to-glass ratio giving it a particularly strong resistance to corrosion. This makes it a popular choice for environments with a lot of hazardous chemicals and a high risk for leaks and spills.

To aid low maintenance, 70 per cent of the surface area is open and the vertical surfaces are resin-rich, allowing debris to fall through.

If you'd like to know more about Webforge's FRP floor grating products, please visit our FRP grating page, which includes various downloads, load bearing tables and technical specifications.

FRP grating has a multitude of applications.

What is FRP and when should you use it?

Fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) grating is a type of industrial flooring used across a broad range of industries. Typically it is found in walkways and overhead platforms.

FRP grating is extremely durable, non-corrosive and doesn't conduct electricity, which often makes it a safer alternative to other flooring materials traditionally used in harsh and high-risk environments.

In this article we look at how FRP grating is made, some of the benefits of using it and the common places where you might find it.

How is FRP grating made?

FRP grating is made by combining fibreglass and resin. The fibreglass gives the finished product its strength, while the resin makes it resistant to corrosive substances.

What is the difference between moulded and pultruded FRP grating?

Moulded FRP grating is a mesh of horizontal and vertical layers of liquid resin and continuous fibreglass rovings. As the name suggests, it is made in a large metal mould.

The multi-directional strength of moulded FRP grating means cut-outs to make room for pipework or to navigate complex flooring layouts don't need extra reinforcement. Another advantage of moulded FRP is that it comes in standard sizes, which can be ordered in bulk and stored until needed.

Pultruded FRP grating uses a different manufacturing process. It takes the resin and glass fibres and pulls them through a series of steps to combine them into a new composite material.

It doesn't use a mould so there is more flexibility when creating different shapes and sizes. And often less waste. Pultruded FRP grating has a higher glass to resin ratio, increasing its strength and span capability.

Where is FRP grating used?

FRP grating is usually found in hazardous or harsh environments where it may be subject to the elements or come into contact with dangerous and corrosive chemicals. Here are some examples of situations where FRP grating is used:

  1. On ships and offshore installations: the tough, durable nature of FRP grating makes it ideal for ships and oil rigs or other offshore installations. It can be exposed to wind, rain and extremes of temperature and it can be submerged in water. It is also lightweight and relatively easy to transport.
  2. Working with flammable materials: FRP grating doesn't give off any sparks, so it is often seen as a safer alternative to steel or other metals around flammable materials. For example, dropping metal objects on it would not create sparks, potentially causing atmospheric gases around it to ignite.
  3. In electrically hazardous environments: FRP grating is often used in electrically hazardous environments because it is non-conductive. It therefore reduces the risk of electric shock or other injuries in the event of an accident involving electricity.
  4. In chemical plants: FRP grating is non-corrosive. This can make it the ideal material for walkways, platforms and other surfaces in chemical plants where there is a risk of corrosive materials leaking or being spilled.
  5. On complex construction sites: the ease of transporting, storing and cutting FRP grating makes it a flexible and cost-effective solution for site work. Construction firms are able to use standard cutting tools to make FRP grating fit complicated and fluid site layouts.
Construction sites need durable, flexible flooring solutions.Construction sites need durable, flexible flooring solutions.

Other uses of FRP grating include:

  • Bridges
  • Commercial-grade catwalks
  • Drain covers
  • General commercial flooring
  • Gully covers
  • Jetties
  • Ladders
  • Machinery housing
  • Platforms and raised walkways
  • Pool decks
  • Ramps
  • Screens and protective shielding
  • Steps and stairs
  • Track crossings
  • Wash bays

What are the benefits of FRP grating?

FRP grating has a number of benefits, some of which we covered in the previous section. Here are the main reasons it is chosen over metal and other grating alternatives:

  1. Durable: FRP grating is able to withstand harsh environments for extended periods of time without being damaged or degraded. It is low maintenance and easy to clean. And the moulded-through colour means it won't need to be repainted.
  2. Fire resistant: while specific fire ratings will depend on the individual product, generally speaking FRP grating offers a high level of resistance to heat and fire.
  3. Flexible: it is easily cut to fit particular flooring layouts and can be adjusted as layouts change, which reduces waste and saves on extra costs.
  4. Lightweight: FRP grating is easier to transport and store than other grating alternatives, which reduces costs and avoids stoppages and delays to projects.
  5. Non-conductive: it doesn't conduct electricity, so it is safer in electrically hazardous environments.
FRP grating is a safer solution in electrically hazardous environments.FRP grating is a safer solution in electrically hazardous environments.
  1. Non-corrosive: FRP grating doesn't corrode, so it can be used around dangerous chemicals where spills and leaks are a potential risk.
  2. Non-magnetic: unlike steel and some other grating alternatives, FRP grating is non-magnetic, which makes it is safer in situations that are sensitive to magnetic fields.
  3. Non-slip: a grit-top surface can be added to FRP grating that helps reduce the chances of slipping.
  4. Non-sparking: it doesn't spark, so it reduces the risk of fire when working with or around highly flammable liquids or gases.
  5. Strong: FRP grating has a good strength to weight ratio meaning it can handle substantial loads. Again, precise load ratings vary from product to product.

Learn more about FRP grating

Locker offers a wide range of industrial flooring products and solutions, including fibreglass reinforced plastic grating. This product brochure provides in=depth information about Locker's FRP grating, including a load table and a chemical resistance table.

Mesh facades are visually impressive as well as a practical tool for limiting sunlight exposure.

Great uses of expanded metal mesh facades from around the world

When thoughtfully designed and properly installed, an expanded metal mesh facade makes a building visually distinct and memorable while offering a variety of practical benefits as well.

Headquarters and major facilities are a crucial part of an organisation's identity. With the right facade included in the design, your new or existing building can become a valuable element of overall brand recognition.

Let's review exactly what an expanded metal mesh facade is, then review some especially impressive examples of their use in structures built across the globe.

What is an expanded metal mesh facade?

In the world of architecture, a facade is simply an external side of a building. It often, but not always, refers to the front of the structure. The distinguishing feature of the facade is its importance in establishing the overall style and identity of the overall structure. While a well-designed facade often includes design flourishes usually aren't as prevalent throughout the rest of the building, it is the most memorable.

Expanded metal mesh is a piece, or many pieces, of metal cut and stretched to form a distinct design. A variety of base materials can be used to reach a final product that displays a wide range of patterns. It can additionally be treated with a variety of paints and lacquers to display many different colours, and graphics can be printed on the mesh as well. Certain varieties of plants can also grow on the mesh, adding another visually impressive option.

The visually distinct appearance of expanded metal mesh isn't the only benefit it provides. A key element of this metal mesh is its ability to filter some, but not all, light from reaching a building. This helps regulate building temperature, reducing the amount of sunlight that comes into contact with the underlying structure while still allowing for air to circulate.

Additionally, metal mesh can maintain visibility into the outside world for staff and guests while reducing the amount of direct sunlight shining directly into meeting and working spaces. Depending on a building's orientation, this benefit can help employees and others avoid this type of unwelcome distraction.

3 buildings with especially impressive expanded metal mesh facades

1. Maison Folie de Wazemmes, Lille, France

The Maison Folie de Wazemmes is an excellent example of how a building facade can breathe new life into an existing structure. By applying modern design principles and benefits to an existing textile factory, this multi-use arts facility enjoys an incredibly eye-catching design that aligns with the facility's overall intent and purpose.

The aesthetic benefits are increased through the use of multicoloured lights that can transform the steel grey facade exterior at night, displaying a range of vibrant hues. This benefit is another example of the versatility of mesh facades from a design perspective. Of course, the facade also shields visitors, volunteers, performers and staff from the harshest effects of sunlight entering the building during the day as well.

This example of an expanded metal mesh demonstrates how a wide range of buildings, both old and new, can create a distinct atmosphere with the carefully designed and applied facade.

2. Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic, Kuwait

The facade of the Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic in Kuwait is another instance of facades combining practical and visual benefits. Designed by firm AGi architects, which has offices in Madrid and Kuwait, the clinic emphasises privacy – a core need in healthcare settings – while featuring a truly impressive outside appearance.

The overall building design places its courtyards and similar interior spaces within the facade, which plays a critical role in filtering and deflecting light. In a consistently hot, dry climate, offering access to outdoor spaces while reducing potential issues like heat exposure is critical.

This expanded metal mesh facade also makes an incredible first impression. While not a traditional design for a healthcare building, it's both memorable and easily distinguished from a distance. The ease with which visitors and locals can identify the structure is a significant advantage in terms of branding and recognition.

3. Deloitte Bygget, Oslo

We featured the Deloitte Bygget building when highlighting notable commercial building facades, and its distinctive appearance means its worth a second look. Located in an area of Oslo full of skyscrapers and other impressive structures, this building needed to stand out as its own structure.

The visual approach to the facade is based on a breaking glacier, which offers a unique appearance as well as a strong connection to Norway's cultural history and physical location. The practical benefits are similar to many other facades: Limiting the ability of sunlight to directly contact the underlying structure, helping to reduce heating costs and provide shade for those inside the building.

This facade is also notable for allowing the Deloitte Bygget to conform to Oslo's strict building codes while creating a strong visual identity. That's something worth keeping in mind for every project where a facade may be used.

Moving forward with your own facade

Expanded metal mesh facades allow businesses to add their own twist on common building designs, repurpose existing structures with a new, attractive visual element and stand out in areas where building codes limit other forms of individuality. Of course, they also provide practical benefits that help to address issues with direct sun exposure and HVAC management, as well as offer valuable shade and a more consistent environment for staff and visitors.

To find out how Locker Group can help turn your own facade idea into a reality, get in touch with us today.