When you think back to the days of mud brick houses and giant masonry stones, today’s building materials have come an extraordinarily long way. The designs of today incorporate the new age of synthetics, and for most architects, their use is a dream come true.
Plastics are quickly taking over from the traditional embellishments of wood and glass. At the top of the popularity pile sits acrylic – a unique combination of properties that have facilitated its introduction in many applications typical of glass. These properties include:
Resistance to corrosion,
High light transmission rate,
Resistance to weathering,
Low thermal conductivity,
Distinct aesthetic appeal, and
In addition, acrylic properties include:
Resistance to shock,
Resistance to UV damage,
High heat tolerance,
Reduced risk of shattering, and
While glass has been a valuable tool in the building industry, these added properties make it clear to see why acrylic is a safer, more economical solution.
In a nutshell, acrylic is far lighter, tougher, and more easily moulded than glass, and the higher refraction of light allows for more accurate images. The lightness of acrylic keeps transportation and assembly costs low, and its ability to be thermoformed means that even the most complex shapes are achievable.
Let’s take a closer look at the main architectural benefits of using acrylic.
Insulation and security Resistance to impact and the lightness of acrylic makes the material a great choice for windows and garage doors. In the case of shaped glazing, the use of acrylic is often the only viable option. Acrylic also offers 20% better thermal insulation than regular glass, and tinted acrylic sheet can reduce solar heat and the load of air conditioning.
In terms of security, thick acrylic sheets can be used to bullet or shatter proof windows in school zones and industrial areas.
Installation An acrylic door or garage door panel offers various advantages over regular glass, such as weight, strength, and thermal insulation. It can easily be mounted to aluminium, wood, or metal frames.
Lightness An acrylic sheet is more than 50 percent lighter than regular glass, making it easier to handle, transport, and mount. As a result, installation costs are generally lower than those associated with glass.
Strength Acrylic can support a lot of weight and is far stronger than it may appear. It can also withstand physical impact, and in terms of longevity, is more effective than varnished hardwood.
Style Acrylic is available in transparent, translucent, tinted, and opaque colours, in a variety of textured surface finishes. Acrylic can even be glazed, printed on, and metalised. The more choices in colour and finish means styling is made easier.
Weatherability Acrylic can be used for a range of outdoor purposes, such as undercover walkways, stair railings, sheds, garage doors, lighting fixtures, and more. Resistant to sunlight, heat, low temperature, and fog, it’s ideal for elements exposed to the outdoors.
But it’s not only architects who are benefitting from the use of acrylic in their designs. Homeowners are also enjoying the many advantages of the material, some of which include:
Refraction of light When light is passed through glass, it is often bent four times. With each bend the image becomes distorted, and the colour and position are no longer true. The thicker the piece of glass, the more apparent the problem. Acrylic on the other hand bends light just once or twice, allowing for a more accurate image. This makes acrylic ideal for uses such as doors and windows on garage.
Chemical resistance Acrylic is generally unaffected by most household detergents and is virtually maintenance free.
Eco-friendly Specially designed tinted acrylic can save on costs associated with heating and cooling. Acrylic can also be used to capture energy and is an ideal energy saving material.
Acrylic can be used in many different ways around the home, with its main uses being:
Garage doors The strength of acrylic makes it a perfect choice for garage doors. Despite its glasslike qualities, acrylic garage doors offer impact resistance 250 times stronger than its fragile counterparts. Both UV stable and weather resistant, acrylic is also a superior noise barrier.
Pergolas Acrylic sheeting is often used on pergola roofs to provide affordable protection from the elements. Though acrylic sheeting won’t be a source of shade, it can reduce harmful UV rays and block out rain, hail, and other falling materials, while still allowing in the light.
Pool design Modern architects are loving the introduction of underwater windows, and recognising how effective they can be when incorporated as a design feature. Acrylic windows can be used to filter light into the room, give a swimming pool an individual touch of style, or give a skylight a submerged effect.
Aquariums For an oversized aquarium – think an aquatic feature wall – acrylic is the perfect material. Not only does acrylic provide the strength and flexibility required, it offers perfect transparency for a clear image of the fish inside.
Staircase Acrylic lends a modern approach to a staircase, and offers safety without obstructing the view. An acrylic railing can keep the open feel of a stairwell, perfect for open plan living.
Steel-Line has a remote control opener for every type of garage door. They are reliable and easy to use. It’s a great gift for people who find it difficult to lift a garage door manually or for those who just want to make life a bit easier! Order a garage door opener today for your loved ones, so they won’t need to get out of the car in the wet or cold weather ever again.
The Photo Electric Beams are designed to detect an obstruction while the door is closing and to send a signal to the opener to reverse or stop the doors movement. It helps to protect your family from injury and your car from the damage caused by contact.
The security keypad can be programmed with up to twelve user codes. It is perfect for the family, trades people, or even just going for a walk. This means you can leave your keys at home with the peace of mind that your home is secure.
Australia is a great place to live. However, every year from November to April, cyclones affect the eastern, northern and western coastlines, so whether you live in the city or the rural area, learning to protect yourself, your family and your property from cyclones can assist in minimising the potential losses and trauma that you might suffer.
Roller doors damaged after being hit by cyclone. Source: Cyclone Testing Station, JCU.
A number of studies have discovered one of the common failures during cyclone event was disengagement of roller doors from their tracks. This left the door curtain free to flap in the opening and allowed wind and water to enter the house, which caused the roof and walls to fail. On some buildings, the change in internal pressure caused other damage to the structure. Failure through buckling of sectional garage doors was also observed.
In 2012, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) changed the regulations to make garage doors more resistant to severe wind damage. This work has resulted in a very good understanding of effective garage door design to resist severe tropical cyclones.
So in repairing and rebuilding after wind damage, it is important that the current codes and standards are followed. In cyclone areas it is not possible to predict whether an element will be on a windward, leeward or side face, so all building elements must be able to perform regardless of the wind direction.
As the largest point of entry, your garage door offers the largest opportunity for high-pressure destruction. When selecting a rolling door, ask for products that are specified to resist the design wind speed for your house location. These garage doors have wind locks or other braces to help resist the wind loads. This will give your house the best chance of performing well and safeguarding the lives of you and your family during these types of events in the future.
You need to ensure that your builder is aware and understands mandatory design standards for wind loads as required by current Australian law.
To reduce the risk, it is recommended that you install garage doors that are adequately wind and debris rated.
The best way to cope with a natural disaster like a cyclone is to prepare your family and your home before crisis occurs. You may not have enough time to organise things or to think clearly during an emergency situation, so it’s important to be prepared well in advance. This guide contains some useful checklists and information to help you prepare for the cyclone season.
A cyclone is a violent storm that forms over warm tropical waters. It’s a system of winds rotating around a calm centre (also known as the ‘eye’) of low atmospheric pressure, and produces wind gusts of over 90 km/h. If these gusts reach 165-200 km/h, the cyclone becomes severe and can cause plenty of damage. It may even cause death or injury as a result of heavy flooding, falling buildings, and flying debris. Coastal regions have a higher risk of being hit by a cyclone.
Cyclones can also produce storm surges and storm tides. A storm surge is a rapid rise in sea level, up to several metres high and 50 km wide, that moves inland at a very fast speed. A storm tide is a combination of a storm surge and the normal ocean tide. If it’s high tide, the storm tide will be able to reach areas considered safe, with low-lying areas most at risk of being inundated.
Preparing for the cyclone season
The Australian cyclone season starts from November and ends in April. It’s important to prepare your family and home before the cyclone season starts, especially if you live in a cyclone-prone area. This will help reduce the amount of damages to your home, and ensure that your family stays safe.
Between May and October, here’s what you need to do to get your family and your home ready for the cyclone season:
Prepare your family
Ask your local council if you live in an evacuation zone and if your home will be prone to storm surge or flooding
Make a list of emergency contacts and place it somewhere that your family can see, e.g. on the fridge
Get a friend or an interstate family member to be a point of contact if your family becomes separated during a cyclone
Make sure all family members know how to tune into warnings, such as:
Tuning in to your local radio and TV stations
Logging on to the website of the Bureau of Meteorology
Listening out for emergency alert messages that are sent to your phone
Acting fast when warnings are issued and advice is given
Find out which room in the house will provide better protection (e.g. the smallest room), and let everyone know where it is in the event that you need to seek shelter in your own home
Ensure that at least one person knows first aid
Make sure your family understands cyclones and the risks involved, as well as the community alert stages and the steps to be taken for each
Develop a family cyclone plan, which should include emergency and evacuation plans. Review it on a yearly basis.
Prepare emergency and evacuation kits, and tell your family where they’re stored
Find out where your nearest welfare centre is
Determine whether you and your family can relocate on your own during a cyclone or if you’ll require special assistance
If you live in a low-lying area, find out where your family can relocate to on a safe high ground in the event of a storm surge/tide.
Prepare your pets
If you have pets, figure out what to do with them during a cyclone as welfare centres cannot take in pets
Decide whether your pets will relocate with your family or friends, or if you’ll keep them in the strongest part of your house with food and water
Determine when to relocate your pets to ensure their safety and yours
Update your pets’ tags and registrations so they can be properly identified if required
Make sure your pets have extra food, water, and bedding.
Prepare your home
Check if your home is built to cyclone standards by contacting your local council
Make sure your home and contents insurance covers you for any cyclone damage, including cleaning up and removing debris after a cyclone
Also ensure that you have enough car insurance cover and that it’s currently valid
Check the condition of the walls and roof of your home, and fix loose tiles, eaves, gutters or roof screws, as well as corrosion, rotten timber and termite infestation
Fit your glass windows and doors with shutters or metal screens
Install double locks on external doors, and ensure that all shutters and locks are working
Trim overhanging branches and remove leaves and debris from gutters and downpipes
Secure or remove any loose items around your home
Store poisons and garden chemicals above ground level
Find out if there are any indoor items you’ll need to raise or empty out if there’s going to be a flood
Make your own sandbags in the case of flooding (you can fill up plastic bags, pillow cases, or stockings with sand)
Replace carpet with tiles or another floor material
Know where and how to switch off the main supply for electricity, gas, and water
Use a licensed contractor to relocate power points to above previous flood levels
Have a professional builder check your home and identify ways to increase its structural security to withstand strong winds.
Prepare emergency and evacuation kits
An emergency and evacuation kit can ensure your family’s survival, whether you seek shelter at home or relocate to a safer place. Prepare a kit before the start of the cyclone season with the following items:
Portable battery-operated radio
Spare batteries for your radio and torch
First aid kit with a manual
Medications, toiletries, and sanitary supplies
Special items for infants and the elderly, injured, or disabled
Strong waterproof containers or sealable plastic bags for important documents (e.g. wills, certificates and passports), as well as cash
Emergency contact numbers
Spare keys for the car and house
Change of clothes for each person, including sturdy gloves and shoes, and waterproof ponchos
Basic toolkit that includes hammers, nails, and timber strips
Masking tape for windows
Strong waterproof plastic bags for storing items
Candles and matches
Combination pocket knife
Tent or tarpaulin
Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, and towels
Extra supply of fuel for your car
Pet food, water, and equipment
Non-perishable food (e.g. canned or dried food), and 3 days worth of fresh water for each person
Can opener, cooking gear, and eating utensils
Portable gas stove or barbecue, and fuel for cooking
Water containers to store washing and cooking water
Pen and paper for communicating during a noisy cyclone
Books, games, and cards to help pass the time.
If it looks like you’re going to be hit by a cyclone, add to this kit your mobile phone and charger, and your credit and debit cards (items which you will likely need to keep on you throughout the season!).
Create an emergency contact list
You should have emergency contact numbers for the following:
Police, fire, and ambulance (for life-threatening emergencies): 000
State Emergency Service (SES) assistance: 132 500
Local GP or doctor’s surgery
Local hospital and/or veterinary hospital
Interstate family contact
Local primary or high school
Other useful information
The Bureau of Meteorology issues a cyclone watch when gales or stronger winds are expected to hit within 24-48 hours. A cyclone warning is issued when gales or stronger winds are expected to hit within 24 hours.
The Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) is issued when a cyclone is expected to hit within 12 hours.
You need to listen carefully for community alerts and do what they say to ensure your safety. There are four stages of alerts:
Blue – Get ready and prepare for cyclonic weather
Yellow – Prepare for the arrival of a cyclone and get ready to seek shelter
Red – Seek shelter from the cyclone immediately
All clear – The cyclone has passed but be careful around any damages.
Here’s where you can find more information:
Bureau of Meteorology website (for weather and cyclone forecasts)
Emergency Management website
Your local council’s website for information on the cyclone, evacuation centres and routines, and assistance for afterwards
ABC radio and other local media
Bureau of Meteorology cyclone warning advice line: 1300 659 210
Gloss has lost its…gloss. It’s all about MATT in 2017.
Tough. Bold. Minimalistic. And ruggedly beautiful. No wonder the world has fallen madly in love with matt. Jewelries look stunning in matt. Cars look outstanding in matt. Even homes are amazing in matt.
But matt is not just plain beauty; it is a lot more…
Meet the new Steel-Line Matt finish sectional garage door range in the five amazing Colorbond® colours from BlueScope.
How does MATT work?
The new Steel-Line Matt finish sectional garage door allows you to make stylish and defining design choices for your home. Five Colorbond® steel colours (Surfmist®, Shale GreyTM, Dune®, Basalt®, and Monument®) can be matched in the Steel-Line Matt finish powder coat to make your design statement.
To achieve this finish, these five neutral Colorbond® colours will be powder coated on BlueScope steel, enhancing the visual design by giving it a more subdued finish and colour with less glare than a gloss finish.
Why choose Steel-Line MATT finish?
Long term durability with exceptional corrosion and dirt resistance.
Manufactured in Australia and compliant with relevant Australian standards.
Designed to withstand the harsh Australian environment, maintaining its Matt finish, looking even better for longer.
Suitable from moderate to severe marine or industrial environments.
Complementary with Colorbond® Matt roof or window frames.
Whether you’re building your dream home or making some upgrades to your current one, choosing the right garage door can be overwhelming.
If selecting your favourite design and colour isn’t enough, there’s also the common insulated vs. uninsulated garage door question.
So, what’s the difference between the two, and which is the perfect choice for your home?
insulating a garage door
Does insulating a garage door help?
Insulated garage doors offer a few benefits that you don’t get with non-insulated garage doors. While either choice can be a stylish feature for your home’s exterior, the contrasts between insulated and uninsulated garage doors go beyond their appearance.
Standout features of an insulated door include:
Insulation to help keep your garage at a more comfortable temperature
Quieter operation to keep noise to a minimum
Gives you that extra space by utilising your garage for a home office, rumpus room, workshop or gym
Your garage door doesn’t just protect your vehicle, it also protects your home and your family. Having an insulated garage door can create a comfortable living environment by completing the insulating envelope of your home.
convert a garage into this cosy theatre room
Do I need an insulated garage door?
There are a few factors that you should consider before deciding whether an insulated or non-insulated garage door is the right choice for you.
Do you spend minutes sitting in your car before work each morning, waiting for it to warm up? An insulated garage door can help keep your garage temperature more comfortable than an uninsulated garage door.
Depending on the climate where you live, choosing an insulated garage door can make a big difference to the comfort of your garage and home.
Strapped for cash? If you’re on a tight budget, an uninsulated garage door is generally the cheaper option.
While insulated garage door may cost you more upfront, though, it will cut energy costs and save you money by reducing thermal exchange in your home. Reducing energy bills makes insulated garage doors a more economical option in the long run.
Are the neighbours complaining about your garage band or workshop at night?
Insulated garage doors make less noise than non-insulated garage doors, so if noise is a priority for you, this is something to take into consideration.
If you’re still not sure which option is best for you, get in touch with our friendly team for a free measure and quote, so one of our experts can assess your home and help you select the most suitable garage door for your individual needs.