The Possibilities of Wire Mesh in Architectural Facades

Architectural wire mesh is versatile and durable, making it a unique design option.

What’s Architectural Wire Mesh?

Wire mesh, also known as wire cloth or wire fabric, is a versatile metal product which can be used in many applications. Wire mesh is used for partitions in steel and wire mesh for building facades. PVC wire mesh can also be used for machine guards. Wire mesh has many uses, from industrial to commercial. Wire mesh is often overlooked as a facade solution. However, it has many benefits that make it a viable construction material.

Parking Terre Sud, Bègles, France. Image © POSITIF

A wire mesh facade is made up of a number of individual wire mesh panels that are assembled together to form a unique structural exterior. Facades are usually installed by tensioning the mesh panels to the required height, with support at the top or bottom.

The wire mesh constructions provide comfort and protection from the sun. They also absorb sound. Architectural wire mesh is made from high-quality stainless and requires minimal maintenance. The tried-and-true mounting systems allow for customization, which ensures maximum safety in tall buildings and strong winds.

Flat tension profiles, clevis screw and pressure springs can be used to tension mesh elements over multiple stories. Both the upper and lower sides of the structure must have a solid substructure to absorb the loads. A round tube with wire connectors runs behind the mesh to provide intermediate mounting at each floor.

Metal mesh cladding car park Regensburg, Germany. Image © N.Kazakov

What components make up a wire mesh facade?

The most important are the substructure, clevis hardware and flat tension profile.

  • The substructure is attached to the building and serves as the foundation for the facade.
  • The clevis hardware can be placed alongside the top and bottom flatten tension profiles. This is used to attach the mesh panel to a substructure frame.
  • The flattension profile clamps are placed at the top and bottom edges of each mesh panel. These clamps make it easy to attach the mesh and clevis hardware.
  • The pressure springs, located in the top or bottom substructure, provide a safe way to tension the mesh.
  • The intermediate tubes were designed to provide additional support along the entire length of the facade. They are placed in a way that prevents the panels moving.

6 The Benefits of Architectural Wire Mesh in Facade Claddings

Architectural mesh solutions. Image Courtesy of Haver & Boecker

1. Large-Scale Surfaces : An architectural mesh can be tethered to any height, no matter how tall or short. This material is much more affordable than other materials like expanded metal or perforated plates. The substructure is required only at the top and bottom mounting points. Intermediate fixings are required at the different levels of a building to support significantly lower horizontal loads.

2. It is quick and easy to install: Most buildings will have the substructure already in place. This includes the bottom and top as well as intermediate tube holders. The substructure profile at the top and bottom as well as the intermediate tubes and clevis hardware are already preinstalled. Contractors will only need to lift and attach the wire mesh panels to the hardware.

3. The use of robust mounting technology and corrosion-resistant stainless steel gives architectural wire mesh a long life cycle.

4. Natural Ventilation: Architectural mesh’ transparency provides natural ventilation. The mesh can be customized to meet the specific ventilation requirements of each project.

5. Safety feature: Stainless steel wire mesh is suitable for use as a guardrail system in places such as multi-story carparks or as cladding on balconies and external staircases.

6. Sun Protection: The architectural wire mesh is an effective sun protection solution. It filters incident light and helps to reduce heating.

Architectural Wire Mesh Facade Mounting Solutions Explained

Wire Mesh Facade of the Car Park Exhibition Centre in Bologna, Italy. Image Courtesy of Haver & Boecker
Wire Mesh Facade of the Car Park Exhibition Centre in Bologna, Italy. Image Courtesy of Haver & Boecker
Natural ventilation and transparency from the inside. Wire Mesh Facade at Holmlia Holdeplass Station, Oslo, Norway. Image © Øystein Ramstad
Natural ventilation and transparency from the inside. Wire Mesh Facade at Holmlia Holdeplass Station, Oslo, Norway. Image © Øystein Ramstad

There are two main options for wire mesh panel attachments systems: an flat tension profile attachment or an eyebolt attach system. Each attachment system can be used in certain situations, however, with special forms.

What is the difference between eyebolt attachment system flat tension profiles and eyebolt profile systems?

Mounting Solution 1 – Flat Tension Profile

You can tension wire mesh elements on multiple levels with a flat tension fastening system that includes flat tension profiles and clevis screws. Compression springs are required for exterior applications. Compression springs provide sufficient elasticity to the wire mesh when subjected to the loads. However, a solid substructure must be in place to absorb the loads on the upper and bottom facades. An intermediate mounting solution is provided at each floor by a round tube and the cable connectors, which are located behind the screen. Flat tension profiles can be used to fix all types of wire mesh panels, except cable mesh panels.

Flat tension attachment consiting of flat tension profile, cleves screws and pressure springs. Image Courtesy of Haver & Boecker

Mounting Solutions 2: Round Bar with Eyebolt

The eyebolt fixing system and slide-in round bars allow wires to be removed from the metal mesh and replaced with a load-distributing circular bar. The eyebolts clamp stainless steel mesh to a structure. This system can be used for cable mesh that has groups of warp or twisted wires.

Bottom fixing. Cable mesh elements can be tensioned using eyebolts, which are integrated into the mesh with a solid round bar. Image Courtesy of Haver & Boecker

Mounting Solutions 3: Special Shapes

Every project is unique. Special mounting solutions are also possible, regardless of whether they have angled edges or curves. These solutions are designed and implemented by contractors and planners.

Painted stainlesss steel wire mesh facade. Los Angeles Police Department, USA. Image Courtesy of Haver & Boecker

How to Maintain a Wire Mesh Facade

After the wire mesh facade is installed, there is minimal maintenance. No tension adjustments are required if the wire mesh facade is installed correctly. However, it is recommended that you clean the mesh regularly with water.