The architectural design process is an extensive endeavor that must be well thought out and organized. When planning the logistics of your project, you need to take factors such as the project’s location and time frame into consideration.
More importantly, you need to consider what material will best suit the project, as this is what will be seen by onlookers and play an integral role in the success of your efforts.
Here at W.S. Tyler, we understand that quality materials are exactly what you need to take your architectural projects to greater heights. With over 20 years of experience working in the world of architectural design, we are here to help you select the best materials for your particular needs.
This article provides insight into what an architectural perforated plate is, what architectural mesh is, the cost of each material, and why you may want to use one over the other.
What is an Architectural Perforated Plate?
Architectural perforated plate is best described as a piece of steel, either galvanized or stainless, that has several punched out holes that create a sense of openness or even a pattern.
These plates have an average thickness of 1/8, ¼, or ½ of an inch and are often used for the panels of a façade.
Why Use Architectural Perforated Plates?
When it comes to smaller architectural projects, smaller than 10,000 square feet, the material used to create perforated plate panels is much cheaper than architectural mesh. On average, a perforated panel carries a price range of $5-$10 per square foot.
Also, the machinery needed to punch holes into the steel plating is very common and there are thousands of facilities that have them at the ready. This means perforated plate panels have a lead time that is vastly shorter than architectural mesh used for architectural design.
What makes the perforation so unique is the fact that the holes can be punched at different sizes. Designers can use this to their advantage to create a 2-D image that translates throughout the entire project.
Drawbacks of Architectural Perforated Plates
The installation of perforated plate panels takes much longer than the installation of architectural mesh. Also, perforated panels have a lot of size limitations and, as a result, must be placed into a framing system.
When installing these smaller panels, each piece must be mounted at each level of the mounting frame. This is done by either welding the panel directly to the frame or mechanically fastening it to some sort of grid system that needs to be in place.
Naturally, this means there is a lot more labor involved, which will factor into the cost of the project.
What is Architectural Wire Mesh?
Architectural wire mesh is simply a group of wires woven together to form a mesh blanket that is interlocked together. The thickness range of these wires is 2mm to 6mm on average and are woven in a specialized weaving loom.
The weaving process used to weave architectural mesh is similar to how your favorite shirt is woven. The difference is your shirt is woven with fabric and mesh is woven with stainless steel wires.
Why Use Architectural Mesh?
The beauty of using architectural mesh is that when it comes to large-scale projects (think projects ranging from 10,000 square feet up to 100,000 square feet), you can have a continuous panel that covers the entire length of the project. In turn, this makes installation a breeze.In terms of size limitations, architectural mesh has a huge advantage over perforated panels. For example, you can request a roll of architectural mesh that is 10 feet wide and 125 feet tall. This means there only has to be major attachments at the top and bottom of the roll.
When using perforated panels, on the other hand, this simply cannot be done. In fact, there must be some sort of framing system that has multiple layers in place in order to use perforated panels.
At a cost standpoint, this is where mesh has the upper hand. While the initial cost of architectural mesh may be greater, ranging anywhere from $20 - $35 dollars per square foot, the installation and mounting of a large scale façade that uses perforated panels can become very costly.
Drawbacks of Architectural Mesh
The biggest drawback of architectural mesh is that there is a limited amount of suppliers that supply it. The availability of looms equipped to weave mesh is far less than the machinery needed to produce perforated panels.
This is why the lead time and initial cost of architectural mesh are greater than perforated panels.
It also plays into the fact that not a lot of designers are familiar with architectural mesh, creating a sense of intimidation when mesh is introduced as an option.
Concerns like, “I’ve never worked with architectural mesh. What is it? How do I use it?” are some of the common thoughts that many designers encounter.
For more in a more in-depth analysis of architectural mesh, refer to our article: What is a wire mesh façade?
Become an Architectural Mesh Expert With Us
Selecting the right architectural material can make or break the success of your project. This is because no matter what avenues you take to achieve the final product, the material you use is what is seen by your customer and onlookers.
Architectural perforated plates are panels that are made out of galvanized or stainless steel and have several holes punched out of them. They require the use of a framing system and are a good solution for projects that cover less than 10,000 square feet.
Architectural mesh is a blanket of stainless steel wires that are woven together with the use of a specialized weaving loom. They provide a more continuous look and are perfect for projects ranging from 10,000 square feet up to 100,000 square feet.
To learn more about architectural mesh and the benefits that it can bring to your architectural design process, take a look at our Architectural Wire Mesh product guide.