Exterior architectural screens can blend aesthetic and practical benefits.

4 uses of exterior architectural screens you’ll want to implement yourself

Exterior architectural screens are versatile, attractive additions to building projects. Placement over windows, above doors and in many other locations can help to create a cohesive visual identity for your structure while offering some valuable practical benefits.

Whether you use mesh (including wire mesh and architectural mesh), cladding, louvres or another specific type of screen, you can realise some important and positive changes for your building. Let's look at four unique uses of exterior architectural screens you'll want to use in your own project. One especially important thing to remember as you review these benefits is their ability to stack upon one another. You can implement an exterior architectural screen that offers improved aesthetics, helps regulate cooling costs and adds an element of privacy all at the same time.

A screen at a train station.Exterior architectural screens help blend visibility and privacy.

1. Improved aesthetics

Exterior screens have an immediate visual impact on everyone who sees the building, whether they work, live or shop there or simply pass by. Architectural screens add a new dimension to a structure, making them more unique in terms of design and how they're perceived by individuals and the community. There are many examples of perforated metal and other types of screens helping a building stand out from the crowd.

The flexibility of architectural screens are important to note in this context. You can select mesh screens, perforated metal, woven wire and other options to best align with your overall vision for the project. Stainless steel and other types of metal can be finished and painted in a variety of styles, adding to the design flexibility. Whether your concept is a wholly abstract one or a visual representation of the structure's intent, you can enhance the aesthetics of your project with exterior architectural screens.

2. Informing intent

The concept of demonstrating the purpose of a building via exterior architectural screens is tied to idea of improved aesthetics, but offers some unique advantages separate from that goal. With a Pic Perf screen, for example, you can offer a concise and powerful visual explanation of the activities carried out within the structure. This application of architectural metal makes the intent of a facility clear in a way that many types of traditional signage cant. The ability to thoroughly customise the image perforated into the underlying metal sheets and vary the size and shape of the screen makes Pic Perf uniquely suited for addressing this opportunity.

An external architectural screen that demonstrates the purpose of the facility behind it is useful for attracting customers, growing interest in the local community and guiding first-time visitors to a specific location. With the use of this powerful design concept still on the rise, your facility will stand out for many years to come.

3. Temperature regulation and control

Heating and cooling costs for buildings are a major component of the long-term budget for operation. The Department of Environment and Energy found HVAC costs account for 39% of total energy consumption within an office building. Depending on their placement and the size of the gaps in the material, exterior screens can play a valuable role in providing shade to a structure while still allowing for visibility. By deflecting and absorbing sunlight, less residual heat filters into the building behind them.

In office buildings, apartments and other structures with a large number of windows, exterior architectural screens can reduce the ongoing price tag associated with cooling a building without significant maintenance costs of their own.

4. Privacy and limiting access

Windows that face the outside world help workers, customers and residents connect with the broader environment around them, as well as keep track of the weather and the passage of time. Allowing natural light into a building can also help to reduce the costs associated with electric lighting. These benefits aren't always in line with the purpose of a given building. Whether its environments with an expectation of privacy, like a medical facility or school, or a simple desire for limited visibility, exterior architectural screens can effectively address this need.

A screen can help strike a balance between visibility and privacy, allowing those inside a structure to see out while significantly reducing the ability of those outside to see in. With an exterior architectural screen, your building can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Finding the best partner for your exterior architectural screen

Knowing you want to add an exterior screen to your project is just the first step in realising this beneficial addition to your building. Partnering with a trusted, experienced provider of architectural screens means you can be confident in the results of your efforts.

To learn more about how Locker can help you make your vision a reality, get in touch with us today.

Metal grating is available in a wide variety of fabrications.

3 unusual uses for metal grating

Metal grating is an indispensable tool in a variety of industrial and commercial settings. In its most common applications, it helps keep workers and visitors in a facility safe, providing a stable flooring base and traction when walking at ground level and, especially, at heights. It also can serve as an effective safety barrier, helping to deter accidents that could harm staff, equipment and the facility itself.

Stainless steel grating is especially valuable in this context, as it resists rust and corrosion. That means a longer-lasting walking surface or barrier with increased reliability and greater long-term value to the businesses using it. Grating can be customised to fit in many different facilities and is offered in different formulations, taking different load-bearing requirements and other factors into account.

A material as versatile as metal grating has many more applications than its most familiar one. Using steel grating in new and unique fashions can combine its practical safety applications with other considerations, like a specific aesthetic or an opportunity to set a mood when entering a facility. Let's look at three unusual and attractive applications of metal grating.

A close up of a metal grating floor.Metal gratings play a critical role in the safe operation of many facilities, but can be used in many other applications.

1. A unique, consistent aesthetic

Metal grating can be deployed as everything from standard floor and walkway coverings to platforms and mezzanines. While safety and durability are always the most important factors in these applications, there are also opportunities to create a unified aesthetic for a facility within the requirements set by considerations like the need for traction and weight support. This unified visual feel can make a facility appear more cohesive overall, providing a sense of continuity across all surfaces where the material is used. It can also be extended to protective barriers, strengthening this holistic approach to design.

There are a number of strategies to consider in this regard. Prefabricated panels can be used in many circumstances where this type of grating meets the needs of the facility. Knowledgeable grating providers can also create custom grating that fit into nonstandard floor plans and address specific operational needs, allowing for consistent appearance as well as effective management of safety concerns.

2. Visually appealing applications in entryways and office spaces

Not every space within an industrial or commercial facility needs metal grating from a safety or functional perspective. Office areas, entryways outside of the factory or warehouse and other places within the facility may not need the same slip protection and support if staff aren't engaging in activities that require this level of safety and support. However, metal grating can offer a unifying element in these areas, visually tying all areas of the facility together with a unified appearance.

Using the same metal grating within an entryway or foyer, set into a supporting floor structure, helps to indicate the major purpose of the facility and the type of work performed there to everyone who steps foot inside it. Metal grating can also be used in a pure application of form in this way, mounted to walls to provide visual context. Although it's not being used in its most common application, it can be a powerful design element that creates a sense of unified function.

3. Aluminium – an increasingly popular alternative

While steel grating is often seen as the standard in industrial applications, there are effective alternatives that can replicate the most important elements of this type of support structure. Aluminium is an increasingly popular choice for businesses that don't want to implement steel grating. While not as strong as steel due to its lighter weight, aluminium can capably provide the support and traction needed in a variety of industrial applications. In fact, its lighter weight makes it easier to instal in situations where the load-bearing capabilities of the underlying support structure is an important consideration. Its light weight also allows it to be more easily used as a false ceiling, facade or landscape feature, bringing a variety of aesthetic design options to the table.

Aluminium additionally offers a unique visual appearance that can stand out more than standard steel. If the safety features of aluminium meet your project's requirements, you can benefit from an effective combination of form and function by choosing this option.

Webforge is a leader in the prefabricated and custom metal grating space, offering a wide range of options for industrial and commercial projects. Our ability to custom craft many different styles of metal grating means you can rest assured that your facility can instal the grating it needs to address concerns of appearance and safe operation, regardless of the specifics.

To learn more, get in touch with the experts at Webforge today.

Stainless steel grating is as dependable as it is versatile.

Why stainless? 4 surprising benefits of stainless steel grates

Stainless steel grates are an indispensable component of constructing safe and functional industrial facilities. When appropriately designed and installed, these reliable support surfaces help workers consistently complete their duties and mitigate the possibility of accidents on the job. Long life spans, the ability to support a range of activities based on the specific configuration of the grate and other benefits come together to make stainless steel grates a strong choice for industrial and commercial facilities across the modern economy.

Learning more about the specific benefits of stainless steel can help you make the most informed decision possible for your project and organisation. Let's look at four key reasons why stainless steel grates are so beneficial to the businesses that utilise them.

Stainless steel grating offers a number of advantages for businesses.Stainless steel grating offers a number of advantages for businesses.

1. Strength

Steel's strength is a core property recognised in a variety of design and construction contexts, from a skyscraper or industrial facility's columns and girders to its widespread use as grating. It has a high tensile strength compared to many other metals, meaning it can withstand heavy weight and pressure before starting to stretch out and deform. This is especially important for elevated walkways, staircases, mezzanines and similar structures, where the steel and the structure it's attached to are the only things keeping employees safely working at heights.

Steel and its many variations have different strength ratings depending on the specific composition of the final product. Stainless steel is strong enough to support a variety of industrial applications and comes with other benefits that make it a leading choice among the many options offered. Along with strength, businesses should also keep corrosion resistance in mind.

2. Corrosion resistance

Basic steel is an alloy comprised of iron and carbon to create a stronger, more durable metal than iron is by itself. Stainless steel is an alloy made by taking the basic formula for steel and incorporating other elements like chromium and, sometimes, molybdenum to improve corrosion resistance. Basic steel can suffer significant corrosion over time when it's regularly exposed to air and moisture. This results in cosmetic issues, namely rusting, and safety issues over time. As rust flakes away, the underlying steel will begin to rust. Ultimately, the steel will lose its structural integrity and pose a major safety issue for those who walk on it, carry out tasks near machinery made of it or work in buildings where steel components are exposed to air and moisture.

Stainless steel, in contrast, will develop a thin film in response to the onset of corrosion that prevents the spread of rust. The resistance to corrosion offered by stainless steel is what sets it apart from the many other varieties currently manufactured. The ability to resist rust and maintain its integrity helps stainless steel last longer and continue functioning safely in its intended role. A variety of stainless steel alloys are available to address different conditions present in a variety of facilities.

Corrosion resistance is especially important for stainless steel grating because of the many types of environments the material may be exposed to in an industrial workplace. Even in climate controlled facilities, ambient moisture content and the presence of oxygen can eventually lead to rusting and the issues that come along with it. With stainless steel's corrosion resistance and its underlying strength, you can be far more confident in the reliability of your grating.

3. Resistance to fire and heat

Stainless steel's overall reputation for dependability is tied to its strong performance in the face of adverse conditions. Along with its ability to remain functional in conditions that would corrode other types of steel, it also stands up well to other adverse events such as impacts, excess heat and fire. While every well-managed organisation takes careful steps to avoid accidents, an unpredictable series of events can lead to an emergency. Stainless steel grating that resists the damage caused by heat and fire can avoid further damage in these situations.

In less-catastrophic circumstances, resistance to heat can help stainless steel, especially protective barriers. Walkways, too, remain more durable in industrial conditions where high heat is an unavoidable element of operations. This helps improve safety considerations and reduces the costs associated with repair and replacement.

4. Customisability

A dependable and safe material only becomes useful when it can be consistently fabricated and installed in a way that meets the unique needs of a variety of different facilities. Stainless steel is broadly customisable, both in terms of the specific content of the alloy and the ways in which it can be manufactured. While there are recommendations and rules set by the International Organisation for Standardisation, Standards Australia and similar national rules authorities in terms of how to construct steel grating with safety in mind, many other elements of steel grating are easily changed to align with specific design requirements and the layout of a facility.

Whether it's a need to retrofit an existing building or address a unique layout and the needs of a specific industry, stainless steel gratings can be made to order for a perfect fit in nearly every situation. No matter the specifics, stainless steel can support your operations with both premade panels and bespoke pieces.

Finding the right provider to supply your project is crucial when it comes to stainless steel grating. A dependable partner can help you work through the entire process, from selecting the right existing panel option – or crafting custom elements from scratch – to producing and transporting it to the existing facility or construction site. Webforge can help your organisation select all of the necessary elements and associated hardware, from choosing the right slip resistance features to ensuring the most effective fixing clips are provided to help secure the grating.

To learn more about how we can help your business, get in touch with the experts at Webforge today.