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.

Looking for a cool way to add some shade to a public space? Consider draping metal curtains like this project here.

Stainless steel metal curtains: An edgy alternative

Metal curtains have expanded the playbook for designers and architects worldwide. What used to be associated mainly with industrial art spaces has become an edgy option for interior and exterior spaces. As an ideal architectural solution, the material is highly versatile and is an increasingly popular choice among facade designers.

We'll explore more about this material and how you can use it in your next project.

There are many ways a mental curtain can transform a space and your next project.There are many ways a mental curtain can transform a space and your next project.

What are metal curtains?

Wire curtains that are fabricated of stainless steel offer a cool look to a room, an impenetrable divide for a wall and ongoing customisation possibilities. Stainless steel is a corrosion-resistant metal that allows the material to transition from indoor to outdoor spaces with seamless ease.

Locker has a significant portfolio of architectural wire curtains, varying in thickness and weave configurations. The material can bend and move in any direction based on our client's preferences and how the material will be used.

Advantages of metal curtains

The unique metal chain link curtain is woven wire drapery that is extremely versatile. This material can be used for a variety of functions including car park facades, bridge screening and space delineation. You get both privacy and airflow, mixed in with a modern visual edginess unfounded in any other material.

With the changing of the seasons, metal curtains need minimal maintenance. Not only is it corrosion-resistant, but also fire and acid-proof as well. Because of its resistance to common metal stressors, replacing a metal curtain is only necessary when you're ready to update your look.

Stainless steel is environmentally friendly and easy to recycle to use again for other purposes. It possesses a low carbon footprint, is sourced in Australia, is easy to maintain and is cost-efficient for the long and short term due to its virtually no maintenance requirements.

How it's manufactured

The strength and resilience of metal curtains come from how it's manufactured. Locker metal curtains are produced with interlocking individually coiled metal wires in a simple corkscrew shape. Depending on how much space you want between wire wraps, the corkscrews are either very tight or rather loose with a lot of give.

The coil drapery can be made into any length and width to meet the demands of any project. Before it is installed, the edges of the curtain are crimped and the finished metal panel is secured onto an attachment made specifically for its unique use case.

Styling stainless steel wire curtains

The versatility of metal chain links knows no bounds as they can be used for any number of applications and spaces. Locker is committed to developing coiled wire curtains for architectural designs that develop significant building performance and incredible ambience that can flow into any environment.

Replace plastic or canvas shade, and drape wire curtains across tall metal structures for a new take on a pavilion cover. Or, stretch the material across a large surface area to use as a fenced-in space separating pedestrians from traffic. Even further yet, allow the wire chain link to stretch down vertically from the ceiling for an intriguing take on modern light fixturing.

Wire curtains allow for light and wind to pass through without debris or excessive heat to flow as well. The small openings between each chain link reflect the light playfully on any surface while absorbing the sun's rays for temperature-controlled areas.

The attachment could be strong metal links mounted on the side of the building or a metal frame. Or, the links can be affixed to curtain tracks, allowing the designer unlimited flexibility to position the space and light intentionally to suit the conditions of the room or time of day.

Drape the curtains to cover up air ducts, wiring or as shade in front of windows. This material can move with the modern aesthetic or be repurposed for new installations.

When you work with Locker, we can make your wildest architectural dreams come to life. Our metal curtain experts can help you choose the material that will work best for your project and configure it to meet your design needs. Customisation doesn't stop at the material, you can also choose coatings that fit in with a specific look or feeling of a space.

Functional architectural art is only as limited as your imagination. At Locker, we can make sure you can exceed your expectations.

For more information on the possibilities ahead with metal curtains, contact us today.

Making the world more sustainable starts at the construction and fabrication stage. Here's how Locker supports this initiative.

How to improve construction site sustainability

The industrial industry as a whole is known as one of the most prominent consumers of natural resources with construction at the forefront. However, there are emerging methods of conserving these resources, cutting back on waste and recycling the materials that don't get used. This article will explore some sustainability methods you can put to use on your next project.

Immersive 3D building renderings help construct exact measurements and requirements for a building to reduce waste.Photo-realistic renderings help ensure the product and materials are exactly what the client wants to reduce waste.

What is sustainable construction?

The construction industry contributes between 25% to 40% of the world's carbon emissions according to Thought Leadership Architecture 2030. Construction emits large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane into the environment. Infrastructure produced massive amounts of waste from unused materials and using nonrenewable resources.

Locker has found ways to improve the sustainability level of our facilities so construction operations are more efficient overall. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Create efficiencies on the construction site.
  • Use renewable energy.
  • Cut down on energy consumption.
  • Choose recyclable materials.

The main objective of creating sustainable and streamlined operations is to lessen the impact the industry has on the environment. The first step in doing so is looking at how operations can cut down on waste. We've taken a critical look at where our business can make better use of the materials available while cutting down on wasted resources like water, metal and energy.

Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director of UN Environment, says there are opportunities for improvements, "It's critical we have a big change over the next couple of years in how we do buildings and construction. We only need to look at the current norms and quality of many buildings to see that we can do much better."

The global impact of construction and the industrial industry as a whole is well known. Fortunately, the number of green-conscious businesses is growing and we've remained ahead of the trend.

Methods for green construction

There are new technologies and methods of improving energy efficiency and reducing harmful emissions into the environment. Let's take a look at a few different methods for improving your workflow's sustainability.

1. Sustainable supply chain management

Fleet management and supply chain transport are one of the leading emission factors for CO2 in Australia according to the Australia Vehicle Fleet. This fact indicates how easily the industry can improve its sustainability efforts by simply switching to greener transportation methods like electric vehicles and trains.

Even if you own and operate a smaller business, purchasing from local suppliers and loading up your delivery vehicles properly can cut down on emissions.

2. Choose recycled or natural building materials

Known as green metal, aluminium is one of the most environmentally friendly metals because of its sustainability. As the most recyclable industrial material, aluminium can be recycled infinitely to produce the same product. This is one of our primary materials for our facades, handrails, walkways and more.

3. Better waste disposal methods

Metal, as a highly recycled permanent material, saves raw materials, energy consumption and CO2 emissions. We believe in a real recycling society; no metal packaging should go to a landfill. Recycling 1 tonne of metal scrap uses up to 95% less energy than making 1 tonne of metal from raw material.

The metallurgical properties of steel mean it can be recycled continually with no degradation in performance, making it an intrinsically sustainable construction material.

4. Environmentally conscious building design

Constructing a building or material takes a lot of CO2. However, green buildings use a lot of recycled materials, use the surrounding environment to support the heating and cooling of the building, and don't require many materials to produce.

Our facades help reduce the use of energy by naturally cooling a building with shade. We take into account the building's angle throughout the day and where a facade would be more effective. In addition, they are developed using metal products that are built with longevity and minimal maintenance in mind.

Metal is valuable. There is only a limited amount of it on our planet so it is important to keep it out of the landfill. This way, it can be used again and again. Recycling metal also helps protect water quality and wildlife habitats because it reduces the amount of new metal that must be mined.

Committed to green construction

Locker has been committed to sustainability and efficiencies across our business from the beginning. For example, the holes punched out in our perforated metal are taken to a foundry and melted down so that the metal is available for our next project. Some of this metal was used for car part manufacturing.

Our team of experts will look at your building needs and help you find the best ways to cut down on energy, material and construction waste. We write sustainability into every step of the design process. To learn more or to get your next green project going, contact us today.

Expanded metal bulked up Build a Body's facility design.

Expanded metal as the perfect facade

Constructing a facade for a workout facility meant that the structure needs to both welcome members and encourage them to reach their goals. That was the visual angle for the project Build a Body came to Locker with. Working with Goldman Group contractors and the MSK Architects firm, we created an expanded metal facade that exceeded expectations.

Let's take a look at the project details and uncover what design elements made expanded metal the preferred material.

Black expanded metal design aligned with the brand and the intention of the fitness centre. Black expanded metal design aligned with the brand and the intention of the fitness centre.

The project

Set in Dural, New South Wales, a suburban area of Sydney and a primarily residential, semi-rural area, the project needed to speak to the people who lived nearby. The personal trainer gym is a family-run business that helps its members not only reach their fitness goals but also build a sustainable lifestyle.

With this in mind, the client approached Locker looking for a facade that could both create a barrier down a second-story walkway, and also create a cohesive design that connected both levels. Additionally, the walkway is west-facing and would get very hot during the summer, so it had to provide both ventilation and sun protection. The facade would be exposed to the elements all year round and needed to withstand all types of weather conditions.

The facility aesthetic is sleek and involves clean lines, a welcoming logo and a high-end feel. The facade would bring in a more rugged look that communicated the determination of the people inside.

Safety standards involved

A safety barrier for this specific project meant creating not only a balustrade but a screen to keep pedestrians from harm. We constructed the facade according to AS1657.

It's not enough to have a screen that keeps a pedestrian from falling off the edge of the walkway, you need a balustrade that is accessible if the walker needs something to hold as they travel along.

Our approach

Locker constructs every project with both architectural design and safety standards in mind. We take into consideration the goal and requirements of the project each time a client approaches our business with an idea.

Locker professionals decided that expanded metal should be the material of choice in this project. This metal type offered a strong, rugged solution to bring forward a strong industrial look, excellent ventilation and resilience. SUN919A was the product primarily used in this project because it has a lightweight aluminium profile and 25% open area. This offered the perfect level of structural soundness, ventilation and sun protection the client needed. It's not damaged easily and the metal sheets could be easily manipulated to fit the space the client envisioned.

In addition to the client's initial needs, we also have to consider how the product is shipped and assembled on the work site. We developed the 502 square metres of product in sheets that could be easily delivered and put together without any last-minute adjustments.

The final results

The final product resulted in a seamless design that communicated all of the aesthetic requirements of the client, set forth by the architect.

With black coating, the facade carries the palette of Build a Body, and presents a more rugged feel to the front of the business. The colour also matches the roofing and the lettering of their logo — creating a cohesive look.

Staff members can easily travel from one workout to the next without burning up from the sun, yet still feeling the breeze from outside. The expanded metal design gives an effortless industrial look, while offering pedestrians a chance to check on the weather outside and see the environment around them.

Expanded metal design made easy

At Locker, we develop projects that meet the needs of Australian Standards and exceed the expectations of our clients. This project result met all of the requirements of Build a Body and was easy to put together at the work site.

No matter the goal of your project, we can work together to find the best solution. To learn more about expanded metal custom designs or to get started on your own, contact Locker today.

Laser-cut facade design made easy by Locker.

Laser cut to perfection: Trinity Grammar School

Child-proofing any space can prove to be a challenge no matter who you are. But, Trinity Grammar School in Strathfield, New South Wales approached Locker about constructing a facade for one of the buildings used to teach year five and six students the arts. Adjacent to the heritage building on campus, we were faced with the task of harmonising the two structures together with a singular design using laser-cut metal sheets.

The results were spectacular. Let's take a look at what went into the project to get it where it is today.

An intricate, laser-cut design made to add intrigue and inspiration to an all-boys school.  An intricate, laser-cut design made to add intrigue and inspiration to an all-boys school.

The project

The Trinity Grammar School is a primary and secondary school for boys in inner-western Sydney. It was founded in 1913 and offers students the chance to explore and learn in the earliest years of their development. The campus is blanketed with green grass, brick buildings and intricate triangular permanent art designs that are reminiscent of Anglican-style decor.

Working with Stephen Edwards Construction and TZG Architects firm, Locker was tasked to develop a facade outside of their creative arts building. Because young children use the building, the caveat was developing a design laser cut into metal sheets that would not pose a safety hazard to the students.

Light and ventilation were also necessary for the design so a straightforward metal sheet or wall would not have met the needs of the space. The facade needed to stretch three floors and look similar to the surrounding decor of the building.

Safety considerations and parameters

Large-scale external walls must follow AS5113:2016, an Australian Standard of safety against fire. This includes fasteners, sealants and fixings of the building's facade. The ventilation of the wall is a consideration as well when faced with fire resilience.

The AS/NZS 1170 and AS/NZS 4284 work together to ensure the facade is energy efficient, wind resistant and can hold its structural integrity in the face of an earthquake.

Design preferences and safety standards for the project were taken into consideration as we approached the project, and acted as a guide toward our final solution.

Our approach

Locker professionals decided to work with three-millimetre aluminium laser-cut panels for this project. Aluminium is a strong, weather-resistant material. It is corrosion-resistant and holds its shape over many years no matter the weather conditions — making it a low-maintenance option.

Aluminium is helpful for more intricate designs like the one used in this project because of the metal's flexibility. Laser cutting the metal panels offered the chance to leverage the client's design, and ensure that it would hold its integrity in the final product. The material is excellent for conducting heat, which helps dissipate hot Australian summers, and helps keep the building inside cool without using too much energy.

As an eco-conscious community, aluminium was also a great choice because of its sustainability factors. It's 100% recyclable, and much of the aluminium ever produced is used today according to the Australian Aluminium Council. Locker strives to always use Australian-made metal materials to continue the sustainability of our projects.

The laser-cut panels were uniquely designed by the architect to call back some of the decor elements from around the campus. With some adjustments to protect the children nearby, the result was a beautifully intricate facade that allowed for ventilation, sunlight, sun cover and creating inspiration.

The final results

The final look of the building creates a sense of prestige, yet welcomes creative influence. The children and staff of the school can enjoy the sun as it comes in and check the scenery outside without falling victim to the sweltering heat known to Sydney summers.

Working with the design elements already existing around the building, the facade blends in to create a cohesive look and feel. You can pick out the triangular shapes that play on the school's trinity name.

Custom laser-cut solutions for any occasion

Whether you're looking for laser-cut custom designs or standard aluminium facade cladding, Locker has the solution you need. Laser cutting allows you to create 2D design elements, and make any building front look interesting, intricate, spectacular and unique.

We work with your design vision to help you find the best metal solution for your needs. Depending on where and for what purpose your metal sheet is being used, our friendly professionals can support your custom-made project based on the requirements of the space.

If you want to learn more about other laser-cut projects by Locker, or if you have an idea of your own, contact a Locker professional today to get started.

Simple and elegant, Locker designed each panel to be completely unique from all the rest.

Chelsea Station: Perforated and expanded metal charm

The Victoria state government turned to Locker to help them manufacture the perfect metal screening for Chelsea Station that would carry throughout the length of the platform. With varying sizes, designs and considerations for the project, we could offer an all-in-one solution that met all of the client's needs.

Let's explore the details of this project to uncover why the mixture of perforated and expanded metal panels was the perfect answer to this project.

Breezy and intricate, each panel of this train station walkway has its own unique design. Breezy and intricate, each panel of this train station walkway has its own unique design.

The project scope

The Chelsea Station is located on the Frankston line, which serves the greater suburban Melbourne area. Established in 1907, the station has seen many people, changes and upgrades. As part of a greater project to improve the railroad line, this design was poised to establish Chelsea as the lead in innovation, safety and intrigue.

The client came to us with a fairly simple need: to give the Chelsea Station a facelift with new screens for the walkways, awnings and fences. Design for the railway had to be cohesive throughout and the project had to offer both wind ventilation and space for pedestrians to see the space around them. The colours were chosen by the client to work with the aesthetic already in play in the area.

Perforation is important in metal panelling at a railway station because commuters need to see the environment around them. When a train is coming in, they need to see which line to look for. Additionally, the holes in perforated panels act as a way for the breeze to come through and keep the space cool. A hot day with steaming machinery rushing past is a recipe for disaster without any space for the wind to come through.

In terms of materials and necessity, aluminium was the metal of choice for this project. It has incredible malleability for both perforation and expanded metal while maintaining its shape no matter the weather. It's virtually maintenance-free because of its resistance to corrosion.

Our unique approach

Working with our client, we decided to make a completely original and unique screening design. The aesthetic cladding stretched along the ramps, platforms and the pedestrian bridge, so we had a lot of space to work with a design idea.

We worked on over 650 individual drawing drafts — all programmed by Locker — before deciding on positioning the round holes at varying slot sizes, placed completely randomly. The Locker team was able to employ special coding techniques on Pic Perf to develop a new crypto pattern with slots and round holes together.

The materials we used included:

  • R25448
  • R03240
  • R03240
  • R25448
  • R06440 (Eclipse 600)

Around 742 screens were perforated, and a majority were folded and branded with fixing holes to complete the project. The longest sheet produced was over 4.80 metres high along the ramp.

Two aluminium grades were used — 5052 H32 and 5005 H34 — which have medium to high alloy strength. These aluminium grades are more resistant to change to marine and industrial atmospheres — making them perfect for longevity. Another quality that made the grade level perfect was that these types have the ability for a tight radius while bending, making them perfect for sheet metal work.

The outcome of the project

We have manufacturing locations across Australia. This project was developed right in the client's backyard in Victoria. As a general rule of kind business practices, we ensured that each piece of the final product was preassembled and could still be transported to the worksite. Each piece is laid in order so the client can assemble the product with ease, devoid of last-minute complications.

The result of the hard work of both teams is a cohesive design for all of the pedestrians rolling into Chelsea Station. The colours invite a sense of breachy relaxation, where the holes and slots work together to create the look of a shimmering sea.

With Chelsea Beach and Victory Park just kilometres away, a lengthy commute makes pedestrians that much closer to paradise at Chelsea Station.

Locker is your perforation and expanded metal specialist

Whether you're designing for a carpark, a new train station stop or developing a perforated sun shade for your office building, there is nothing Locker can't do when it comes to metal manufacturing. We have an extensive product range that gives you the freedom to develop your vision and bring it to life.

From perforated and expanded to woven or spiralled wire, we can help you create something unique that meets the needs of your project. All of our metals are manufactured and sourced in Australia so you can trust in the quality of the product and the service. Reach out to a Locker professional to learn more about our products and services.

As a call back to the local vegetation, Locker created a custom perforated metal design.

Custom perforated metal: Muddy Creek Overpass

Perforated metal is sometimes associated with the park benches or partitions at your local train station. But what if you could customise a perforated metal sheet to a design that would both impress and align with the local aesthetic? That's what the team at Locker did for the Muddy Creek Overpass in Ador Park, Rockdale, New South Wales.

Eye-catching perforated metal design up-levelled this walkway crossing.Eye-catching perforated metal design up-levelled this walkway crossing.

The project

The client approached Locker because they wanted to upgrade the overpass with a custom design that would blend in with the creek's local flora. The colours needed to be subtle to work alongside the suburban area nearby.

Perforated metal is a piece of sheet metal that can be bent and manipulated with holes of any shape or size to create a mesh-like look. Standard perforations are sequential smaller holes, about one millimetre in circumference without any design specifications. However, the perforations can be easily customised to fit any scenario. The one caveat of requesting larger holes for a design is that the metal needs to be thicker.

Together, our team and the client decided perforated metal was the style of choice for this project. This choice created a clear distinction between the walkway over the creek and brought in sunshine, ventilation and visual openness simultaneously. It offered a way to separate the outdoor space from the walkway to create a sense of enclosure and safety.

Safety standards

When walking over a body of water, there needs to be a sense of security from a possible fall or trip. Technical Direction TD2002/RS02 has several standards designers need to consider:

  • Safety screens must last up to 50 years.
  • Existing bridges with a new screen need to be retrofitted to the structure.
  • There must be a minimum of three millimetres up from the walkway surface.
  • There should be space for the pedestrian to see their surroundings while on the overpass.

With these parameters in mind, we got started with the project right away.

Our approach

The client wanted a custom design for their pedestrian walkway barrier. We decided to work with perforated metal because it offered the most structural soundness. Its characteristics also allow for more creativity and visual depth.

The client offered a design already in mind, which we began working on with laser cutting. As we considered the use and location of the barrier, however, we realised that the sharp edges of the laser cut would be a hazard. To solve this, we decided on using our PicPerf® technology so the perforations were instead stamped into the metal sheet.

The result was a smooth solution that looked great and produced the design effect the client was looking for. The holes of the perforated metal were fairly small, so we used three millimetres thick Australian-made aluminium.

We included laser-cut tabs into the metal panels so they could form part of the balustrading as well. This helped to align with safety standards and helped to work the design throughout the entirety of the 90-metre fencing.

The result

Customized perforated metal designs create a unique look that communicates the focus the architect created while allowing for a uniform commercial look. The result of the overpass screen was a clean, white bridge barrier that looks incredible and blends in with the surrounding aesthetic.

Local flora near the small neighbourhood around the creek gives off the impression of countryside memories, easy days and welcomed comfort. The overpass screening offers this same appearance with an image of tall natural grass standing above the water rushing below. The colour choice was subtle, helping dissipate the hot Australian heat while working with the black chain link fencing behind it — a contrast that worked perfectly in this project.

Now, pedestrians can safely walk across the body of water without fear of slipping, falling or even blazing heat. With both shade and ventilation, the neighbouring commuters can enjoy the bridge all year long.

Custom perforated metal by Locker

Developing a custom perforated metal sheet is made easy when you work with Locker. We take all of your considerations and put together a solution that is both pleasing to the eye and aligned with local Australian standards.

We offer a variety of metals, hole sizing and coating methods including anodising, powder coating and electroplating depending on the location and use of your screen. We'll work with you to find the perfect solutions for your needs and architectural goals.

If you're ready to get started or to brainstorm a project idea, contact Locker today.

Two layers of perforated metal can create a different look, demonstrating its versatility.

Bringing your vision to life with customised perforated metal

Architecture is more than designing a structure to exist in space. With perforated metal, you have the opportunity to take a drab building front and turn it into something inspiring, unique, and architecturally interesting.

With the right perforated sheet metal partner, you can bring your vision to life. Let's explore how that's possible and why you may choose perforated patterns over any other material.

Square, round, varying sizes and uses, perforated metal can uplevel your next project in more ways than one.Square, round, varying sizes and uses, perforated metal can uplevel your next project in more ways than one.

Processing perforated metal

Perforated metal doesn't occur organically, and must go through a process to achieve your architectural applications preference. It's a type of sheet metal that may resemble mesh or a grid and has been stamped, fabricated or punched to create the hole shape, size and design.

You can choose from a variety of metals from aluminium to mild steel to fit in with the structural needs of the building and the weather conditions it may come in contact with.

While the limitations are few for what and how to construct your facade, there are structural needs that must be considered. For example, a fabricated metal sheet with large holes will need a thicker piece of metal to ensure better structural integrity. Or, in the case of a building that may come in frequent contact with seawater, you may choose to work with aluminium.

As a general rule of thumb, the thickness of the metal sheet should not be greater than the size of the holes or the width of the bars (the spaces between the holes). Metal can be as thin as tin foil or as thick as an inch and a half perforated stainless steel plate.

Why perforated metal instead of glass?

Most buildings (think skyscrapers in Sydney) are covered in floor to rooftop glass. The energy it takes to cool these spaces can run up rent costs and require expensive window covers, no view of the outside and forced AC.

Perforated metal products can offer several benefits that work in conjunction with a glass building or any other type of structure:

  • Ventilation
  • Sun cover
  • View to the outside
  • Privacy
  • Separation between spaces
  • Corrosion resistance

A custom pattern can do all of the above with an on-brand design.

Locker is your design partner

In 2018, Locker worked for the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. The Institute wanted a strategic perforated pattern design partner that could deliver a facade that was inspired by the innovation and creation happening within the building. They chose to work with Locker because we had both the material and the technology to create the design they envisioned: Something both aesthetically natural looking and with a five-star Green Star Design and As-Built Rating.

What resulted was a six-star Green Star Rating and an incredible perforated metal facade and awning.

We also took on the Moda project. For this project, Moda wanted custom-designed colour and hole-sized metal with the business name stamped on the outside. With Pic Perf software, we were able to deliver exactly what the client wanted, with the colour and dimensions they were looking for.

Using Australian-sourced sheet metal, we plug designs into the Pic Perf system so that when the metal goes through the perforation process, the design is programmed into the template. This allows the software to process highly-customised designs that perfectly align with the client's vision.

This project and so many more have the capability to look and function in all new levels with perforated panels. If you're ready to up-level your next project, reach out to a Locker perforated metal professional today to get started.

Perforated metal has many uses from design to function sun shade and air flow.

Benefits and uses of perforated metal

We know the environment and finding sustainable options are top of mind for many businesses today. With the goal of cutting down on energy consumption and finding construction solutions that use recyclable materials, perforated metal can meet many of these expectations. It's a building material that is versatile, weather resistant and attractive enough to exceed your construction goals with the right design and location.

But, what is perforated metal?

Perforated metal is a great option for a facade, but it has other uses as well.Perforated metal is a great option for a facade, but it has other uses as well.

Perforated metal briefly explained

As construction continues to evolve, perforated metal is used more often for facades of any shape and sheet size. This type of perforated metal sheet metal can resemble a grid or wire mesh and the holes within the metal can be circular, square, rectangular, hexagonal or any other custom design.

Architects typically choose a perforated panel to distribute the weight of a building's framework, for ventilation, sun protection and design. The thickness of the metal sheet will depend on weather and wind exposure and how large the round hole perforation is. Finally, perforated metal is usually easier to install than other types of building siding.

How its made

The most common question about perforated metal is how it's made. With a soft, malleable metal like aluminium, a machine will punch holes of any type into the metal. The critical part of perforating the metal is understanding the thickness level necessary to keep the structural integrity intact.

The strength you need for the metal will depend on how the piece is being used — either for structural or decorative purposes. The space around the perforated area must be strong enough to not rip through in the case of high wind and still hold the design of the sheet.

Besides appearance and ventilation, how is perforated metal actually beneficial for building facades?

Benefits of using perforated metal

Metal is known as an environmentally friendly material because it can be reused and reconstructed. And, although the metal is mined from ores in the earth, a lot of the material is already available for use because of its upcycling capabilities.

As the holes are punched into the metal sheet, these waste materials can be recycled for other purposes after they have been molded down and used again.

In addition, perforated metal panels' lightweight properties make it easy to install and lighter to transport onsite, reducing energy consumption. In the same vein, perforated facades can cut down on energy costs. They are capable of providing sun protection for buildings, and with the perforations as actual holes in the sheet metal, you can also use the material for ventilation and to control sunlight coming into the building without the use of additional artificial lighting.

You can even use this material to create intricate designs and interesting images with the use of small and larger holes.

How to use perforated metal

As you may have guessed, perforated metal is a great option for a facade, but it has other uses as well.

For example, perforated metal has been used for noise control as part of resonating absorption. Sound waves can pass through perforated metal sheets without diminishing.

Because of its ventilation and holes, perforated metal can be used as a partition as well. Imagine a bus stop where you need to separate the north- and south-bound routes, yet want a space for benches and sun protection. You can use perforated metal for all three in such a way that commuters can see through to the other side of the stop, get some protection from the sun and are not blocked from any breeze.

Variety and versatility with perforated sheet metal

You can choose any shape or size, aluminium, stainless steel, or mild steel, indoor or outdoor, coated or painted. Perforated steel sheet metal by Locker can give you the material you're looking for, with the perforation pattern design you need to delight clients. For more information or to choose from a variety of off-the-shelf or custom options, reach out to a Locker professional today.

Perforated metal comes from a long history of architecture, dating back centuries.

History of perforated metal and the emergence of machine-made perforated metal

Perforated metal is used for more than just sieves or drainage. This metal design is perfect for a number of unique applications that stretch from sun protection and temperature control to wind resistance and dividers. The history of perforated metal panels offers a glimpse into some of these applications throughout time. We'll take a look at how perforated metal was used originally and how technology has made it possible to use the material in architecture like we do today.

Perforated metal has been around for centuries. The designs we see today come from a long history of perforation before it.

History of perforated metal

Perforated metal has appeared in both industrial and commercial spaces. Its characteristics include flexibility, versatility, and, depending on the material you use, longevity. A perforated metal sheet has holes of a defined shape and size that can come in a standard circular shape at 1 millimetre or can be customised.

In the early days of perforation, rudimentary techniques were used to create holes. The initial uses weren't for decoration but for sieving cheese in the area of modern-day Poland according to National Geographic.

Eventually, early civilizations discovered new uses for perforated sheet patterns for art, warfare and domestic needs. Perforation was even used to punch holes into coins, either so the currency could be strung together or to save on materials.

As sheet metal became more commonplace, perforated metal sheets were used during hand-to-hand combat so soldiers could protect their heads in battle while having the ventilation necessary to breathe. Some ancient examples come from the Sumerian culture in 2500 BCE.

Up until the industrial revolution in 1760, metal sheets were hand-flattened using stones or other tools and the holes were punctured using rudimentary tools. In 1615, the first rolling mill was small, hand-driven and primarily used to cut jewellery or machine roll lead for stained glass. The industrial rolling mill offered a revolutionary concept that would save time, money and labour hours.

Finally, in the 1800s, machine-punctured metal was created to drill holes into thick plates. The creative freedom derived from machinery developed into shearing, forming and folding the metal — thus creating the uniform perforated material and sheet metal pattern we know today.

How perforated metal is made today

Today, hydraulic machines consisting of a punch and a die make perforated sheets. The metal is first punctured and then the excess metal is pushed out to create an open area. Metal products such as stainless steel or aluminium can vary depending on hole size, pattern and perforated image designs.

Modern perforated sheet metal machines have the capacity to punch between 120 to 500 hits per minute where two to four rows are perforated with every hit. For architectural products, however, often the manufacturer will use linear punches instead due to the need for more precise detail and, if needed,  variances in the shapes and sizes required on the sheet.

Perforated metal sheets are incredibly versatile and can be flattened or folded to create the architectural design you're looking for. It could be the perfect stylized sunscreen to pull your outdoor facade together. Architects can use it for visual depth, and creativity with light filtration, stairs, screens, a perforated facade or balustrade designs. It's perfect for outdoor use because it can withstand harsh weather conditions and even control or equalise the pressure thanks to the strength of the material.

We use a program called Pic-Perf® which develops varying hole sizes to create an image on the metal sheet using bigger, smaller hole punches. Typically, our customers will send over an image they want depicted in the final sheet, Pic-Perf® then creates a series of holes to create the image
taking into consideration the local lighting.

If you're interested in using perforated panels in your next project, contact a Locker representative today.

PicPerf® is a process Locker uses for all of their perforated metal image designs

The role PicPerf® plays in our perforated metal designs

Adding visual details to your architectural design is key to drawing in curbside appeal. As the cornerstone of our architectural range, a perforated metal sheet by Locker is developed in-house and offers precision-made features to add the spark you're looking for in a façade.

We rely on PicPerf® for all of our perforated metal image design work. While you may have seen it mentioned in Architecture and Design or one of our end-of-year Lookbooks, this article will highlight what the process is, how it works and why we use it.

Perforated metal designs integrated into a facade to add intricate asethetics. Perforated metal designs integrated into a facade to add intricate asethetics.

Customised perforated metal

PicPerf® is a digital imaging processing program made specifically for perforating metals. It takes positive or inverted images and converts them into our perforated metal program. The software uses the holes in the sheet metal and background colour to create a textured 3D effect. It can be scaled for large or small spaces depending on the needs of the project.

Background lighting and viewing distance are taken into consideration as we design the image for the program. For example, a positive image will rely on a dark background, where an inverted image needs some sort of background light either natural or synthetic. The optimal viewing distance will depend on the size of the holes used for the façade.

We may also need to use a coated metal either in light or dark colours to achieve the correct contrast.

Additionally, the thickness of the perforated sheet metal is determined by how large the façade is and the size of the holes necessary for the project. The detail required for the image is another factor when determining metal thickness.

We highly recommend using aluminium for exterior façade, but we also offer stainless steel and mild steel. Aluminium has incredible resistance to corrosion and will be able to maintain the original design for longer without much need for maintenance or short-term replacement. Steel, however, while only suitable for two-tone images, is an excellent option for indoor applications.

Benefits of using custom perforated metal

If you're looking for architectural uniqueness, perforated metal façades or partitions offer the ideal solution. Perforated panels are used for protection from the sun, wind, air filtration, sound control and separation. A customised design provides visual interest and adds aesthetic value to a space.

A façade or partition can even provide a level of opaqueness to a space as you can see through either side of the panel. A customised partition is an excellent option for spaces such as a bus stop or an airport where some sun protection is necessary while waiting for transportation. The pattern you choose will also provide visual relief in an otherwise dull environment.

Perforated metal design and production steps
Locker uses PicPerf® to customise a perforated metal sheet based on your needs. All it takes is a few easy steps:

  1. Provide the image you want to be used for the metal panel. This will include the folds and bolts necessary.
  2. We will input the image into PicPerf® where we will determine if the image will be split into multiple panels, how large or small the holes will be and the thickness of the sheet itself.
  3. Once the terms are agreed upon, we will send the completed image to our perforation machine to punch the image into the sheet.
  4. The surface will then be treated, powder-coated or anodised for the desired finish.

We will include bolt holes into the production to ensure the panels are ready for installation. The bolt holes are incorporated into the design of the façade or partition.

If you're looking for a unique design and a façade or partition that will add visual appeal to your next project without compromising the integrity of the building, contact us for more information.