The construction industry uses detailed drawings, architects’ impressions and material swatches to show how features will look on a finished building. But it’s far from ideal.
In a nutshell:
- Samples and mock-ups are important elements in the architectural façade design process
- The top façade companies have dedicated samples teams
- Colour and coating swatches, components and material samples and even full size mock-ups are available
- Swatches are often free but sample prices rise depending on size and complexity
- Full-size mock-ups, though expensive, can help avoid costly mistakes later
- Colour swatches can be delivered quickly – but mock-ups should be built into the full production schedule
Even the introduction of 3D visualisation is not the same as seeing the ‘real thing’, That’s why samples and mock-ups have become such an important element in the architectural façade design process.
Everything from colour swatches to full-size mock-ups. And everything from samples of solid and perforated panels and expanded mesh, to structural components and fixings.
If you’re simply wanting to see some powder-coating or anodising options, ask for an sample of coated aluminium. They’re usually free from most façade specialists, although bespoke colours might cost a little more.
Take a look at the standard RAL powder coating options
Samples of louvres, side arms, mullions and other sub-structure components are also available but can be more expensive, especially if they need to be coated. What about mock-ups? Pricey. But the benefits of avoiding costly mistakes before manufacture and installation will be worth it.
More about mock-ups...
Mock-ups are full-size samples of architectural façades, louvres and brise soleil products. They allow designs to be viewed in ‘real life’, assessed and revised at an early stage in the project.
Some specialist façade companies have dedicated mock-up areas in their factories for architects, contractors and clients to visit. But full-size mock-ups can also be delivered to site for clients to see in situ on the actual building.
How long will a sample take to prepare
Expect colour samples to arrive in a few days – longer perhaps for bespoke colours. Product samples could take a week or two, while mock-ups may require extended lead times to include the purchase of materials, fabrication and assembly. For that reason, it’s important to think of mock-ups as an integral part of a project and plan them from Day One.
Top tip... ask your façade company if they have a dedicated samples team. Not only will it demonstrate their commitment to the smallest details, its likely to result in a faster service.
How to order a sample or mock-up from Maple
Speak to your regular contact at Maple or contact Production Manager Carl Fayers
Submit new questions
Would you like to see your questions answered? Submit them to us and we'll let you know when we've found the answer.