Facade screening is architectural metal art used to decorate or conceal the dimensions or form of buildings, balconies, and gardens in commercial or residential structures. Also known as a curtain wall, this structural metal fabrication adds style, elegance, and fun to any designed space. It can be used to provide privacy, safety, and protection from the sun or elements.
What are facade screen systems?
Facade screen systems are walls of fabricated metal used to conceal or alter the appearance of an internal or external space. Used in projects such as parking garages, educational facilities, planting areas, building facades, and courtyards, facade screens enhance an area or view.
Metal facades are extremely durable and sturdy giving them a long lifespan. They can be constructed of zinc, copper, aluminum, galvanized steel, brass, bronze, or titanium. In some cases, precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum are incorporated.
What are the steps involved in an architectural facade screen project?
A facade treatment adds spice and energy efficiency to a building or a cordoning off of space. It conceals aspects of a view that may be undesirable and makes otherwise bland spaces attractive. Additional benefits include protection from heat exposure, privacy, and a semi-transparent safety barrier.
The process may include:
- Casting: Molten metal is poured into a mold, or cast, and allowed to harden into a specific shape.
- Cutting: Metal workpieces are cut using power scissors or laser, waterjet, or plasma arc cutting.
- Drawing: Stretching metal into shape using tensile force.
- Folding: The bending and creasing of metal.
- Forging: Shaping metal using compressive force.
- Machining: Shaping metal using an electric tool to drill, turn, or mill it.
- Welding: Joining two or more metal pieces of any size or shape using heat and pressure.
A metal facade screen project requires a talented welder with several years of experience and highly skilled support.
What styles are prevalent in metal facades?
The most prevalent facade styles are:
Characterized by styles popular in the middle of the twentieth century, mid-century styled facades may include patterned cutouts or slats. These facades give a structure a futuristic element that never gets old. It works well on building exteriors.
Moroccan style draws inspiration from the Moorish design of the East and the shapes of the rolling sands of the desert. The texture and fluid lines of a Moroccan-styled facade system lend a sense of luxury to a project. This design is good for courtyards and interior spaces.
With the look of corrugated metal or industrial steel, a rustic facade lends a feel of sturdiness to a structure. Designs can be constructed out of a variety of metals to give the desired weightiness to the look. This style may be used for parking structures or to give a new building an established look.
Traditional facade systems create a sense of continuity and connection to the past. Metal screens fabricated in traditional styling create a familiar feel that tends to be calming. This works especially well for garden areas and views that would be unsightly otherwise.
Facades that are contemporary contain elements that are considered modern. Artistic shapes and clean lines in facade screens create a look that is fresh, new, and enlightening. Contemporary facades are particularly popular for educational and other institutional facilities.
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking to create, it’s time to find a skilled artisan who knows the craft and has the precision tools to help bring your vision to life.
How to choose a metal fabricator for your facade screen
The metal fabricator you select for your commercial or residential facade screen project will affect the production quality, the building rate, and the cost. Before you hire someone, there are a few things you should research.
1. Experience and Talent
Metal fabrication is as much an art as it is a skill. Find out how many years experience the fabricator has and try to determine the level of talent. If you are looking for something that is attractive as well as functional, you’ll need to locate someone whose portfolio resonates with what you are looking for.
Look for a well-established custom fabricator with a record of excellent service who has experience working with the metal you prefer for your project and can deliver on design. Someone with experience completing projects similar to yours is highly desirable.
Metal fabrication involves cutting, shaping, welding, machining, and molding metal material. The process requires digital as well as physical tools. Find out what type of equipment the designer(s) you are interested in are currently utilizing and inquire about the level of skill. All the latest tools won’t be very useful if the fabricator is not experienced at using them.
You want someone skilled in the techniques and equipment required to realize a vision.
3. Reviews and Client Testimonials
Client reviews and testimonials provide excellent word-of-mouth about a metal fabricator’s work. You want a team that is well-versed in bringing a project from inception to its final form. Regardless of how vague the initial idea is, the fabricator should be able to create a piece that is functional, sturdy, and pleasing to look at.
Find out what others have to say about the fabricators you are considering. The good and bad experiences of others are a big help in making the right decision.
4. Qualified Workforce
Make sure whomever you want to hire employs an adequate workforce to complete the project in a timely manner. All team members should be skilled and professional.
Ask questions upfront to narrow down your search for a metal fabricator to hire. The right team for your project will have the experience to complete your project on schedule without going over budget. Positive reviews from satisfied customers can give you insight into a metal fabricator’s work ethic as well as skill level.