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Perforated Metal Sunshades: Design Tips & Ideas

Australia’s set for an El Nino Summer – which makes keeping buildings sustainably cool a challenge. An increasingly popular architectural solution is perforated metal sunshades. Much more than just shade providers, perforated screens built into a facade are a passive, no-energy way to maintain a comfortable indoor climate, ideal for modern green building design.

Design Tips for Perforated Metal Sunshades

The secret of the success of perforated metal sunshades lies in how the holes manipulate sunlight to reduce or boost the intensity. Using just the panel pattern, we can control solar glare, interior temperatures, and airflow to match elevations in full shade or sun.

For example:

– A perforated metal sunshade design with a lower open area percentage – which means more of the panel is solid – is ideal for buildings in all-day sun, as occupants can still enjoy views and well-lit, airy spaces without heat and glare.

– A pattern with a higher open area percentage – so more of the panel is perforated – suits building elevations affected by shade, as it lets in more light and warmth.

Open area percentage is just one of the design considerations for perforated metal sunshades. Hole size and pitch also determine panel performance and shading, heating, and cooling effectiveness.

Our project at Canterbury South Public School  is a great example of how perforated metal sunshades can be customised to solar movement.

The North elevation of the school has constant sun and large windows. We manufactured panels in pattern 2319 for this side – a decorative mixed-hole profile with a 23% open area.

Click on photos to enlarge

However, the West elevation is shady – so we punched screens with pattern 240, a classic 8mm hole design with double the open area percentage for increased natural light.

Click on photos to enlarge

Perforated Metal Sunshade Projects

Using perforated metal for sun shading does not restrict the panel design to purely functional. Take a look at more of our solar shading projects that use clever, innovative, and creative pattern design:

Oatley Station

Oatley train station’s footbridge uses triangle perforations to keep passengers shaded and dry. The custom-manufactured pattern has a specific arrangement, with larger open perforations on the side walls for light filtration and smaller triangles on the roof for weather protection.

Perforated metal panels - Oatley station

Unanderra Station

Connecting commuters with nature was a key architectural goal of Unanderra Station’s upgrade, which features Aboriginal themes. We perforated panels in a customised round-hole design for the station’s bridge, canopies, and stairs, ensuring the stunning landscape views were maximised without compromising weather protection and safety.

Riverview Apartments, Carrington Assisted Living

Serenity, nature, and beautiful shading all in one: The folding perforated metal sunshades we manufactured for the Riverview apartments at Carrington assisted living complex feature a custom leaf design to match the tranquil bushland surroundings. We also created leaf panels for the walkways and welcome signage, creating an on-brand cohesive scheme.

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Sunbury Aquatic Centre

Sunbury Aquatic Centre swimmers enjoy privacy and natural light without glare thanks to 4m-long perforated metal screens covering the centre’s full-length windows. We perforated holes in a ripple wave pattern using our state-of-the-art machinery that can precision-punch panels up to 5m in length.

Perforated sheet metal facade by Arrow Metal - Bunburry Swimming Pool project

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Blacktown Tennis Centre

Blacktown Tennis Centre also features perforated screens that match the building’s use, with a sports-inspired custom illustration incorporated into the design. The perforated exterior panels give centre users privacy and sun protection, with the theme continued inside with panels installed as staircase balustrade and screening.

Click on photos to enlarge

Design custom perforated metal sunshades with Arrow Metal

We punch panels for perforated metal sunshades and folding facades in an extensive range of designs, including standard styles, made-to-order creative patterns, and custom solutions through our PixelPerf service. Finish options include colours, effects, and durable coatings.

Call our team for specification advice and design help on (02) 9748 2200 or email

Browse or download our Perforated Metal Catalogue  or  Project Look Book   for more perforated metal inspiration.

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Posted: October 13, 2023

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