Architectural Transformation: Multi-Story Car Park Facades

Architectural Transformation: Multi-Story Car Park Facades

While the past of car parks is one of utilitarian design and a lack of safety consciousness, the future is one of a design-, people- and environmentally-centric approach. As more and more Australians are moving into the inner cities, the need for functional yet aesthetic multi-story car parks is increasing, and with it the requirement for cost- and time-effective manufacturing and implementation.

Here, we're going to consider traditional car parks and their limitations, followed by an outline of what the car parks of tomorrow will look like, and how such structures are orchestrated through Locker's service offerings.

The Problem: The Past of Car Parks

Traditional car parks come with a handful of concerns for its users and the community it's placed in, including poor safety, ventilation and aesthetics.

Poor safety

The inadequate safety measures of traditional car parks are generally manifold. The close proximity of vehicles and pedestrians has led to many accidents, while a lack of adequate lighting and signage can create hazardous conditions — particularly at night time. Additionally, subpar barrier structures which lack functionality and fail to protect both vehicles and pedestrians are commonplace.

Poor ventilation

Tied in with the abovementioned poor safety — and less commonly known — is the often inadequate ventilation systems of traditional car parks. This lack of ventilation leads to the accumulation of hazardous pollutants potentially leading to respiratory problems for both car park users and those who live close by.

This problem is further exacerbated by mechanical ventilation's reliance on electricity, making mitigatory measures expensive, specifically for multi-story car parks.

Poor aesthetics

Many traditional car parks are utilitarian in nature — function over form. Their design is often uninspiring, resemblant of concrete boxes that lack visual appeal. And notably, dull and monotonous exteriors, lack of structural innovation and an overall lack of visual appeal have a negative impact on the car parks surrounding environment. Such monotonous repetition of concrete structures, absence of natural elements and the lack of creativity has shown to contribute toward a sense of communal sterility and dreariness.

While function over form may have been a cost-effective option in the past, it has become increasingly clear that the drawbacks of such an approach are not merely superficial, but rather have tangible implications on public health, environmental sustainability and the overall quality of a region. The priority of cost-effectiveness is being addressed, however, with manufacturers — through the use of innovative technologies and manufacturing processes — now focusing on creating car park facades that prioritise safety, ventilation and ethics without compromising on affordability.

The Solution: The Future of Car Parks

The car parks of tomorrow are visually pleasing, environmentally conscious and safe. Such efforts are made possible through state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and technologies that facilitate bespoke car park facade solutions at a cost-effective rate.

Enhanced aesthetics

While multi-story car parks exist to offer a service that addresses densification through the integration of vital transport infrastructure, that's not to say that these service offerings can't be accompanied by visual appeal.

Designers and manufacturers are increasingly creating contemporary car park facades which are not only functional, but also complement the surrounding streetscape. They also work to consider how the surrounding environmental context may change over time and orchestrate the car park facades accordingly.

The increasing capacity for creativity and design-centric manufacturing has led to a handful of innovative facade solutions: green walls, living walls, solar panels and perforated metal screens among them. Artwork is also commonly used to add character to car parks, particularly in the context of exploring and expressing a region's history and indigenous heritage.

Enhanced environmental outcomes

Optimally designed car parks incorporate screens and/or other related enclosures that limit the amount of light pollution emitted from the facility, minimising the impact on the surrounding area. These efforts — via bespoke design solutions — don't diminish the visibility of the car park, allowing for the entry of natural light and in turn the reduction of artificial light reliance.

Enhanced safety

Safety remains at the forefront of contemporary car park facade solutions, ensuring the protection of drivers and pedestrians alike. Efforts in this area include the implementation of materials that are not only durable and corrosion-resistant but also incorporate safety features — such as slip-resistant surfaces and fire-retardant properties, among others.

Safety is further prioritised through car park facade providers offering safety management, quality assurance and end-to-end project management, alongside other safety-ensuring services. Locker is one such provider. We offer our clients expert and innovative multi-story car park facade solutions — from design and engineering to manufacturing, implementation and ongoing support/maintenance.

Our multi-story car park facade solutions include two approaches: our Aurora System and Atmosphere System.

Aurora System: A highly customisable cassetted system that is compatible with any substrate of expanded or perforated metal. As the only offering on the market that is capable of crash rail system integration, this system allows for optimum airflow, safety and functionality — paired with its aesthetic appeal.

Atmosphere System: A lightweight, sustainable facade system that is suitable for both retrofitting and new construction. This system features perforated elements that are able to be tailored to the specific requirements of a project, and offers a streamlined installation process via patented tension cable fixing systems.

You can learn more about both systems by clicking here. Or, to learn more about the full breadth of our car park facade service offerings, click here.

With a history of manufacturing excellence, we offer our clients bespoke, high-quality and locally derived facade manufacturing and implementation services that are tailored specifically to your needs. Learn more about how our services can be personalised to your project needs by reaching out to a Locker team member today.

Australian-Manufactured Perforated and Expanded Metal Sheets

Australian-Manufactured Perforated and Expanded Metal Sheets

Perforated and expanded metals are popular across the globe for their versatility and wide-ranging applications in various industries. Australia specifically has stepped up as a significant contributor to the development and distribution of these metals via advanced and cost-effective manufacturing methods.

Here, we're going to look into the finer makeup of both perforated and expanded metals, their benefits and the way Locker provides Australian-made metal products for their durability, precision, reliability and wide-ranging applications across industries.

Perforated vs. Expanded Metals

While perforated and expanded metals are commonly used for similar purposes, they do have their distinct differences.

Perforated metals, characterised by their hole patterns, offer a diverse range of functionalities. The process of perforation involves punching precisely shaped holes into a flat sheet of metal. This manufacturing process results in a mesh-like structure, in turn maintaining the materials' thickness consistency. At Locker, we offer our customers the choice between various base layer options: aluminium, galvanised steel and mild steel.

Perforated metals are commonly utilised for the following reasons:

  • Filtration: Perforated metal stands out for its filtration applications — able to effectively control the flow of gases and liquids. The precise hole patterns, shapes and sizes allow for the intentional and predetermined separation of contaminants/liquids, making them widely suitable for various filtration requirements.
  • Customisation/versatility: Locker can tailor perforation patterns, open area percentages and sheet dimensions more generally to meet predetermined design requirements. This versatility allows for the realisation of complex, aesthetic and functional architectural designs. Their customisable nature can also facilitate privacy by optimally screening off the inside of a building, thereby reducing visibility into the area.
  • Acoustic control: Via strategically designed hole patterns and perforation densities, Locker can create panels that effectively absorb, reflect and/or diffuse sound, in turn minimising unwanted noise. It's for this reason that perforated metals are commonly utilised in designing noise-reducing barriers, ceiling systems and interior wall panels, for spaces where the control of noise is necessary.

Among the wide range of applications that perforated metals are used are:

  • Metal ceiling tiles
  • Facades
  • Slip resistant walkway panels
  • Balustrades
  • Industrial filters and screens

On the other hand, expanded metals — known for their malleable nature — offer their own set of advantages and applications; some of these advantages crossover with those of perforated metals while others are more distinct to their specific properties.

The expanded metals' manufacturing process involves strategically slitting and stretching the metal — either mild, stainless and galvanised steel or corrosion resistant aluminium — to create a pattern that allows for expansion without the loss of its structural integrity.

The advantages of expanded metals include:

  • Safety: The ability of these metals to expand and contract without the loss of structural integrity makes them generally less prone to breakage in the case of impact or unduly strain.
  • Sustainability: Compared to traditional counterparts, the manufacturing of expanded metals offers a more sustainable approach. The manufacturing process generally requires fewer materials, in turn facilitating the minimisation of material waste.

While expanded metals have a large application range, it's commonly used for security fencing, balustrade panels and car park enclosures — environments where durability and robust materials are required.

While they may have their individual advantages, they often complement each other in applications where flexibility, structural integrity and cost-effectiveness is important.

The Locker Approach to Perforated and Expanded Metal Manufacturing

As a leading Australian manufacturer of both perforated and expanded metals, Locker offers high-quality, custom-engineered manufacturing solutions that are personalised to the needs of our clients.

Through our brief-centric approach — one that is tailored to the needs of our clients — we're able to develop custom perforated and expanded metals that meet specific project requirements. Beyond providing a solution that not only offers bespoke functionality, we also offer cost-effectiveness. Our manufacturing process draws on state-of-the-art equipment and technology that allow us to produce high-quality perforated and expanded metals at competitive prices.

When you partner with us, you gain perforated and/or expanded metals that are Australian-made and are always in stock — meaning you can be assured of a fast and reliable delivery. You can learn more about our expanded metal offerings by clicking here; or, if you're interested in perforated metals for your next project, click here.

Alternatively, our team is available to speak with you about your specific project requirements, answer any questions you may have and let you know how our services can meet your needs. Speak with a Locker team member today.