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Friday | 03 September, 2010 | 3:56 am

Decorative accents

By Meghan Siroky

September 2010- The designer on the Discovery Channel's new show was attracted to McNichols Co., Tampa, Fla., because of the company's expertise with perforated metal. An upcoming episode of the network's "Construction Intervention" show will highlight McNichols Co.'s perforated metal products employed as decorative accents at the Guys and Dolls Billiards Hall in Long Island, N. Y.

The docu-series trails 25-year construction veteran Frank "The Bulldog" Frattini as he rescues commercial properties from botched renovation projects. The episode featuring McNichols Co. products, titled "Guys and Dolls," was broadcast on Sept. 2 at 9:00 a.m. EDT on the Discovery Channel.

"McNichols, North America's leading supplier and fabricator of industrial and architectural hole products, donated sheets of 26-gauge stainless steel perforated metal with 5/64-inch round holes punched on 7/64-inch staggered centers," according to a press release. "The material was integrated into the pool hall underneath the bar countertop as kick plate accents in front of the stools, along with coordinating wall accents."

Green designs
McNichols Co. is no stranger to designers and architects. Just two weeks before the production shoot, the show's designer decided to use perforated metal, according to Dave Brenneman, executive vice president, sales. It just so happened the designer had worked with the company's products before, and she called McNichols Co.

"She knew she needed somebody who had a large variety that could ship it right away out of inventory," says Brenneman. "We're pretty well known in the design community for perforated metal."

During the last five years, perforated metal has picked up in popularity for interior and exterior accents, according to Brenneman. He says it's used in everything from accents and outdoor sunscreens to the entire facade of a building, such as the Tampa Museum of Art.

The material is appealing to designers because it's durable and environmentally friendly. "I think from a design standpoint, they're looking for durability plus the aesthetic value," says Brenneman. "It really supports the green movement with its recycled content." He notes if a piece of perforated metal is no longer usable, it can be recycled.

Designers strive to make occupants comfortable while using the least amount of energy as possible. McNichols Co.'s perforated metal can provide sunscreens with a range of ventilation, depending on hole size, and reflects or absorbs heat in a variety of applications. "It just has a lot of properties that make it appealing," says Brenneman.

One element appreciated by "Construction Intervention" designers, called the Virtual Designer, is available on McNichols Co.'s website. Users can "plug different perforated wire cloth patterns into the application to see what the visual effect would be," says Brenneman. It allows designers and architects to determine which hole size matches the desired amount of light in three settings: a stairway, office or parking garage. He also notes they offer actual-size, high-resolution photos for all perforated metal patterns, which can be helpful during the design process.

Back to businesses
With more than 40,000 active accounts, McNichols Co. focuses largely on small businesses. Part of "Construction Intervention's" purpose was to give small businesses another shot. This provided McNichols Co. with an opportunity to help small businesses--something the company tries to do whenever possible.

"The business, which was struggling to overcome the pitfalls of botched construction, received a modern interior makeover thanks in part to the architectural properties of the perforated metal," according to a press release.

As a family-owned company, McNichols Co. makes it a priority to give back to its customers. "Scott McNichols and his family, since this is a privately-owned company, have always been very generous in giving back to the community especially when it involves our customer base," says Brenneman. MM

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