The Atmosphere facade system from Locker Group was specified for the new headquarters of the Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) in West Leederville.
WALGA’s brief for the redesign project of their headquarters sought an attractive, environmentally responsible design, which also reflected the local flavour of Western Australia. The architects were confident Locker Group's range of architectural products would meet the client’s specific requirements.
WALGA’s environmental focus within their operations and activities needed to reflect in the design of the new headquarters in West Leederville. Locker Group's Atmosphere facade played a key role in achieving this objective.
Locker Group Architectural Sales Manager Darren Stringer explained that the Atmosphere facade system was specifically requested for the application. Atmosphere is a unique facade system that uses Ronstan tension stainless steel cables and folded perforated panels to create an easily installed, energy-conserving building exterior. The decorative, lightweight facade reduces the impact of solar energy entering the building, lowering energy use within the building, and ensuring a solution that is both attractive and functional.
According to Mr Stringer, Atmosphere has the ability to reduce the amount of heat hitting any given building surface by up to 78 per cent. By providing shadowing and shading to the building's interior under the beating Western Australian sun, the facade system reduces the need for air conditioning to keep the building cool, correspondingly lowering overall energy consumption.
Locker Group's facade solution also contributed to the 5 Star Green Star rating received by the WALGA office for ‘Australian excellence’ in sustainable design.
Another product from Locker Group used in this project was Pic Perf, which allows any image from a brand or logo to a photograph or abstract artwork to be recreated in perforated metal. Mr Stringer described Pic Perf as more of a feature than the normal standard perforations or the typical facade.
WALGA chose the Kangaroo Paw, a local plant of the Wildflower State to be recreated on the building's facade, reflecting the unique local characteristics of Western Australia.
Unlike traditional facades, the Atmosphere facade system is simple to install: it's fixed onto tensioned cables rather than being a secondary steelwork structure, making the initial installation process relatively smooth.
Weather was the only challenge faced by the Locker Group team when fitting the facade system onto the WALGA building. Describing the C-shaped installation area as ‘a bit of a vortex for the wind’, Mr Stringer said operating on an elevated working platform or boom lift was particularly tricky.
The Pic Perf is similarly easy to install and change: Since the individual panels can be removed and reassembled with new ones on the vertical cables, it allows for endless rebranding opportunities in future in an affordable and hassle-free way.