Considerations for Architects and Architectural Metal Fabricators When Using Perforated Metal
Leveraging fabricator experience and knowledge to avoid design flaws
Both Architects and Architectural Metal Fabricators know perforated metal has the ability to elevate designs. But while there are numerous articles about the possibilities of perforated metal, not many share the pitfalls that can arise.
If you’re an Architect, you should keep the following factors in mind as you consider perforated metal for your next project.
Depending on the application and location of the perforated metal, not knowing the aspects of the material you are using can result in overbuilding or costly repairs. The best advice is to get a sample or mock it up from a fabricator with experience using perforated metal for architectural purposes. For example, if you’re debating the use of perforated metal in a high-traffic area; material thickness, type, and finish are 3 key material attributes that should be considered to avoid problems down the road arising from abuse.
Hole Size, Spacing, and Pattern
Whether an Architect wants to backlight a perforated metal section, use it for acoustics or airflow, hole sizing, spacing, and/or effective pattern can mean the difference in getting the desired effect or not. Performance-based requirements like these not only have an impact on the performance of a perforated metal element but also on its appearance. Knowing what is possible with these attributes in the fabrication process will help solve many design problems.
Probably the most glaring aspect of utilizing perforated metal, especially on a wall where thermal performance is key, is the fact that the perforated metal or cladding has holes in it to allow cold air to flow through. Despite this, there are some clever ways to help develop the wall profile so that the thermal performance of the perforated area is similar to other walls of the building.
Renderings, Samples, or Both?
AI is everywhere these days and the ability to generate hyper realistic renderings provides immense assistance in visualizing a project at completion. But renderings can also pose a risk in creating an effect that’s not necessarily impossible but not practical in reality. To mitigate this risk finding a fabricator and/or contractor who has the ability to review designs and create samples for review in the real world will go a long way to reducing the chance of this impractical in reality situation.
As a leading fabricator in perforated metals, IMARK is committed to helping Architects bridge the knowledge gap on architectural metal and fabrication. If you are thinking of using perforated metal on your next project please reach out to us.