Metal grating walkways have numerous and varied applications.

4 times to use a metal walkway grating

Metal walkway gratings are versatile and dependable flooring options. Their unique design, durability and the many safety features incorporated into them by skilled manufacturers keep employees safe and work moving at the right pace.

There are plenty of reasons why businesses turn to metal walkway grating when designing new facilities and renovating old ones. Air circulation, resistance to corrosion, sure footing for workers and other benefits are all possible with the right type of grating. Of course, its unique aesthetic benefits can also come into play in a variety of ways. Consider these potential uses as you seek out effective flooring for your project.

A close up of metal walkway grating.Metal walkway grating is both safe and versatile.

1. Accessing raised surfaces, equipment and machinery

Warehouses, factories and similar facilities frequently have multiple levels where employees have to travel to complete their duties. While standard staircases and partial flooring can fulfil basic requirements for access, metal walkway gratings are especially effective. Consider these safety-focused benefits:

  • Metal walkway grating designed for industrial use includes a substantial emphasis on safety. Cleats in the metal offer increased slip resistance.
  • A serrated profile surface is another option for increased traction and employee safety that is especially effective in wet conditions. It is also useful in areas where the grating slopes.
  • Kickplating can prevent objects that land near the edge of the walkway grating from falling to areas below the elevated surface.
  • Mesh underneath the grating is an effective option for catching objects small enough to fall through the grating, resulting in a similar advantage.

These safety benefits are relevant whether the metal walkway gratings are used slightly above ground level or many storeys in the air inside a large warehouse or production plant.

2. Protecting against rust and corrosion

Industrial facilities may regularly utilise harsh chemicals that could discolour, weaken or otherwise damage standard flooring. That's especially true if the chemicals pool in a specific area and aren't quickly cleaned up. Water and moisture don't have as much potential for short-term danger in terms of corrosion and damage, but can negatively impact a walkway or flooring over time. This is another area where metal walkway gratings, specifically those made of stainless steel, excel.

Because stainless steel and its variants are specifically designed to resist corrosion, using a stainless steel walkway grating can increase longevity and improve safety in areas where chemical spills can't always be avoided. And in places where exposure to moisture – whether within a facility or outdoors – is inevitable, stainless steel provides a similar benefit. There are other options for corrosion resistant walkway gratings as well, including anodised aluminium.

3. Increasing visibility and air circulation

Another key aspect to keep in mind when using metal gratings on elevated surfaces is light and visibility. Solid platforms and staircases limit light flow from the top of the building and may require the placement of additional fixtures to provide a safe level of visibility, depending on the circumstances. Metal grating allows more light to shine through and provide more even coverage to the areas below.

Similarly, airflow can be a concern in many structures. Metal grating allows HVAC systems and fans to work more efficiently, providing gaps where air can flow freely.

These benefits are broadly applicable. In industrial contexts, a certain level of light and airflow may be required for employees to safely go about their work and produce high-quality results. In commercial structures, the advantages may have more to do with aesthetics than safety rules and regulations. Metal walkway grating is versatile enough to support specific goals across a wide range of building types and uses.

4. Creating a unique and engaging atmosphere

Metal walkway grating is traditionally seen in areas where safety and durability is a major concern, namely industrial spaces like warehouses and factories. This view makes plenty of sense, but overlooks what metal grating can do in other applications where design and visual identity are important and special safety needs often aren't present.

Utilising a metal walkway, ramp or staircase in a commercial building like a shopping centre or office complex can help create a more memorable environment with a simple design change. Versatility in terms of choosing finishes for the walkway grating and painting the surrounding handrail and support system can help create the best visual appearance for the setting.

Finding an experienced, dependable provider

The quality of metal walkway grating is deeply tied to the skill and experience of the manufacturer that produces it. A skilled supplier provides consistent results that you can count on, which is vital whether your choice of metal walkway grating is based on aesthetic qualities or a need to emphasise workplace safety.

Webforge has the skill, knowledge and production capacity to provide the highest-quality metal walkway grating for your project. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

Mesh curtains are effective in restaurants, offices and many other spaces.

How mesh curtains create atmosphere in any space

Truly successful architectural projects must meet standards of safety, stability and durability to address the most basic needs of the people who work, live, shop and otherwise spend time in them. But safety is far from the only consideration that needs to be made when designing a new structure or renovating an existing one.

To create a broadly positive experience, aesthetics must also be addressed. Designing a pleasing space that makes its purpose clear and provides an engaging atmosphere is an important part of the overall process, as the Whole Building Design Guide explained. Finding opportunities to define spaces and separate distinct areas with options besides standard walls is one effective way to leverage the power of aesthetics. The result is a more memorable and enjoyable experience for the people spending time in a building.

Metal mesh curtains can support this goal by creating clear boundaries in a less common way, while also appealing to those within a building through their unique design and appearance. Let's take a closer look at what mesh curtains are and how they can be used in an optimal way.

A mesh curtain divides two parts of a restaurant.Metal mesh curtains help define interior space in an aesthetically pleasing way.

What are metal mesh curtains, exactly?

High-quality metal mesh curtains are made of interconnected and spiralled wire metal mesh. The many constituent pieces of the material combine to create sturdy, long-lasting curtains that can be used to clearly divide spaces or serve as screening facades. Generally, mesh curtains contribute to a modern and sophisticated look. They aren't especially common in residential construction, which means their novelty can be a positive for businesses looking to create an interesting and distinct atmosphere.

Customisability is a core concern for architects, designers and many other project stakeholders. When it comes to mesh curtains, partnering with the right provider means access to a wide variety of base metals, designs and finishes. Locker offers stainless steel, brass and aluminium options, as well as a variety of wire profiles, mesh thicknesses and weave types that can be used as you see fit.

Mesh curtains have some practical benefits that should be considered as well. While often used mainly or purely for aesthetic purposes, there are some practical benefits of mesh curtains that are important in the context of a building's overall design. The two major advantages to keep in mind are encouraging airflow and allowing natural or artificial light to pass through.

How can I use metal mesh curtains to build atmosphere in my project?

Metal mesh curtains are a simple an effective option for adding texture and character to a space. Depending on your project's specific objectives, you may find using them as a purely decorative tool is the best approach. Putting a mesh curtain in front of a standard wall, for example, can create a more interesting environment and offer a more unique alternative to painting or wallpapering. Of course, there are plenty of options for using a wall's background colour and the colour, spacing and finish of the mesh to create even more engaging optics.

Metal mesh can also serve as an interior sunscreen, reducing but not eliminating the amount of natural light in a given area. This approach offers an alternative to standard curtains and blinds that is more memorable. And with customisation options, you can control the amount of light the curtains allow into your space.

One of mesh curtains' most visible roles is in dividing large spaces into more manageable and easily navigated ones. Convention centres and event spaces can both leverage metal mesh curtains to create divisions between different areas. This is most effective when there doesn't need to be total separation, such as the main floors of trade shows and similar gatherings. Mesh curtains can be positioned to help define the flow of foot traffic while also allowing visibility into other areas of the space.

Restaurants, especially those with large, open interiors, can also utilise mesh curtains to divide the dining space while maintaining a lively and convivial atmosphere. Because metal mesh curtains preserve a sense of openness while still serving as a barrier, the space can be more defined without feeling cramped or limited. And there are fewer concerns with light and airflow than there would be with traditional walls in place.

Finding a dependable partner for your mesh curtain needs

Mesh curtains need to be study, carefully crafted and designed to meet the specifications you lay out for your project. Identifying a capable and trustworthy provider is critical in this context. Locker has more than 60 years of institutional experience providing products that exceed our customers needs. Our knowledgeable team of experts can help you work through the process and realise the exact type of curtain your project needs. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

Architectural trends can greatly inform the results of building projects.

What architectural trends to look out for in 2020 (and beyond!)

Architecture can be seen as both a science and an art. New developments in this field can stem from innovations related to efficiency, safety and performance. Purely aesthetic concerns can also drive new styles of construction. And a mix of both factors may also influence trends.

Understanding current and emerging architectural construction and design preferences can help your next facility in terms of improving operational costs and addressing environmental concerns, as well as creating a more eye-catching facade and pleasing interior. Consider these emerging architectural trends for 2020 and beyond.

A facade screening a building from sunlight.Design trends have led to a variety of functional and visually appealing structures.

Understanding architectural design trends

Architectural work is incredibly complicated, as it has to successfully balance the intent and purpose of a structure with vital considerations like structural integrity and the safety of those in and around the building. Trends come and go, as they do with any type of art or design, but certain concepts can have plenty of staying power. These remain both useful and visually appealing long after a new fascination in the world of architecture emerges.

The concepts detailed below don't involve extremes or pushing design ideas to their practical limits. Instead, they incorporate current areas of interest and preferences while focusing on an all-around effective result in the long term.

Emphasis on outdoor areas and public spaces

International architectural firm RMJM highlighted one trend that can be relevant to all commercial and industrial construction projects: a focus on courtyards, greens and similar public spaces. There is a sustainability aspect tied to this emphasis on outdoor areas, in terms of encouraging individuals to spend time outside and consider their relationships with the local environment and natural world.

Of course, there are more practical benefits, too. A well-designed and carefully constructed public space – or an outdoor area set aside specifically for residents, employees and customers – offers a place for rest and relaxation and a change in setting from an indoor environment. Making this option available isn't particularly costly or complicated, but offers a clear benefit for many of the people who occasionally or regularly use the facility.

Outdoor areas still need to have protection from the elements and, in some cases, a sense of privacy or separation from fully public areas like sidewalks. Woven wire, for example, can serve as a durable and effective sun screen. This material can create a physical barrier when needed while still facilitating airflow and providing a level of visibility.

Blending of form and function

While discussion of and experimentation with the roles of form and function are nothing new in the world of architecture, this core design concept is re-emerging to the forefront, according to Build Australia. The website said a blending of both concepts into a dual-purpose goal is increasingly common among designers. This approach makes sense, as few architects, owners or tenants want to completely sacrifice one quality for the other. By bringing form and function together, the best qualities of both can be highlighted in a fashion that is both aesthetically pleasing and useful.

With a very broad underlying concept, there are many different ways in which architects can incorporate this blending of form and function into their designs. Perforated metal sheets can perform especially well in this role. The fabrication process for these panels allows for a wide range of variation in appearance while also providing practical advantages. And by providing effective sun screening and wind resistance without significantly disrupting airflow, building owners and operators can enjoy benefits such as lowered heating and cooling costs and more consistent internal temperatures.

A building featuring a unique facade design.Contemporary facades blend form and function for a top-notch result.

The rise of geometric motifs

Architectural Digest pointed to a building interior trend that draws on elements of modernism and art deco: bold colours and clean, sharp lines. This trend includes an emphasis on geometric patterns and related design elements. It stands in contrast to another trend mentioned by Architectural Design that emphasises earth tones and motifs based on plants and animals.

While the most visible applications are expected to be seen in home design and decorating, there is plenty of room for this trend within the world of commercial and industrial construction. Bright colours can be encouraging and motivating, and clean, connected geometric designs are often seen as eye-pleasing. A sense of uniformity and consistency has a home in many businesses, from offices to retail stores and plenty of other applications.

Expanded metal mesh provides many opportunities for catchy designs in both interior and exterior applications. By manufacturing each order to client specifications, we ensure your building has a durable material that meets your unique needs. The benefits of mesh when used as sun shading and in terms of facilitating airflow shouldn't be ignored, either.

Increased use of cladding

Although generally focused on residential trends and interior decoration, design website Houzz pointed to an emerging trend that could have a major impact on other types of architectural design and construction projects: metal cladding. This type of construction is far from unknown when it comes to industrial and commercial buildings, but the rationale behind its rise in popularity may also indicate room for increased use in those areas. Houzz said safety concerns tied to construction using combustible materials is one of the primary factors in the move to metal cladding, something that those who want a new facility, office space or retail location should also keep in mind.

Cladding can work in concert with perforated panels to create an effective mix of protection, pleasing aesthetics and a cohesive overall design. For example, cladding isn't desirable as an outer layer to windows and glass panels, but perforated metal sheets can offer effective protection from the elements and maintain visibility. With plenty of options for customisation based on overall aesthetics and the functional role of the perforated sheets, there are many different choices for stakeholders to explore when it comes to utilising perforated metal sheets.

Greener building options

Another 2020 architectural trend highlighted by Build Australia is increased sustainability in building materials. With eco-consciousness increasing among the general public, it's not surprising that more architects are reflecting this awareness and desire for change in their building plans and designs.

The ease with which materials can be reused and their longevity in multiple use cycles are core concerns in this respect. Build Australia highlighted different levels of durability among various building products, pointing out that wood and plastic have reuse potential but lose quality and are fit for fewer applications following each instance of recycling. Other materials, such as aluminium, hold up far better when repurposed for a new cycle of use. Aluminium's high potential for reuse and its general dependability in many construction applications make it a strong choice, especially because it is already incorporated into many building designs.

Laser cutting aluminium panels can help bring additional visual appeal and functionality to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Aluminium can be custom cut to produce a nearly endless array of designs and patterns, offering an eye-catching and pleasing design that can also allow light to filter through and encourage airflow. The deep customisability of this metal comes together with its extremely strong reuse potential to offer an effective and environmentally conscious solution for a variety of architectural considerations.

Finding the trend that works best for your project

Trends are very useful when it comes to identifying new and exciting ideas for a building project, both in the work architects do directly and the input provided by the many stakeholders in a large construction project. Just remember that you don't need to only choose from the latest or most popular trends when trying to create a concept for a building or fine-tuning its design. A more traditional approach accented with a few flourishes informed by trends can yield a final product that's just as satisfying as one specifically focused on the newest, most influential architectural trends.

Locker is here with experience, deep organisational knowledge and the technical ability to execute a wide variety of designs, including our visually stunning Pic Perf range. Our long standing in the industry means you have a dependable partner for your next construction project. To learn more, get in touch with us today.