Which Mechanical Equipment Screen Is Right for Me?

PalmSHIELD opened its doors in 2002 and throughout the intervening years has continued dominating the market for architectural and mechanical equipment screens. Architects, engineers, and property managers remain under pressure to install barriers in front of and/or completely around items such as dumpsters, transformers, air conditioning units, pool equipment, solar panels, and cooling towers. The reasons include:

  • Improved exteriors. PalmSHIELD’s screens are designed to hide bulky, visually unattractive items from public view. A well-made panel with an aesthetic complimenting your building exterior effectively removes them from view without compromising function and makes your structure appear whole.
  • Protection from vandalism. PalmSHIELD manufactures architectural screens with gated entrances. Our gates are mechanically fastened to their posts using our signature Gorilla Hinges (and we should mention that, in our twenty-plus years, we haven’t received a single report of a hinge breaking). Vandals and wild animals are greatly restricted; at the same time, authorized personnel can unlock the gate and gain entry as needed.
  • Abiding by civil codes. The installation of architectural screens is further encouraged by the fact that most progressive ordinances today require it. Failure to screen out dumpsters, HVACs, etc., leaving them exposed to public view, might get you fined!

As the United States’s leading contractor, PalmSHIELD knows—from serving thousands of clients nationwide over two-plus decades—that building exteriors come in various colors and aesthetics. As such, the client’s choice of equipment screen style will vary, depending on their environment. (A louvered infill option that works perfectly for an industrial setting won’t fit in a garden setting.) In this article, we’ll cover some of the signature screen types that PalmSHIELD manufactures and who they’re ideal for.

Already have an idea which screen style you want? Our sales team is ready to answer your questions.

Architectural Louvers

PalmSHIELD’s signature infill completely seals off enclosed items (both physically and visibility-wise) while permitting airflow to the other side. This makes it essential for situations where ventilation’s needed. Because we manufacture everything custom (from design to fabrication—we don’t sell premade panels), we fabricate your louvers to be installed at the right angle for visual seclusion. The louvers fit into slots carved into the posts, and these slots can be carved at whatever angle’s necessary so that the louvers, when installed in full, screen out what’s on the other side. PalmSHIELD’s designers determine the right angle for each project, including those designed to obscure rooftop equipment.

Who benefits? We discussed this in another article, but any equipment featuring vents, fans, or pipes (anything that expels air, fumes, etc.) needs ventilation. Louvered infill provides this while keeping mechanical items out of sight. Browse our selection of louver styles, such as Atlas, Aria, and Ajax.


Semi-private equipment screening’s infill is composed of horizontal slats. The slats (five inches wide) are spaced far apart enough (standard of two inches) to provide limited visibility into an enclosed space. (Not to mention increased airflow!) Semi-private makes for a visually attractive alternative to louvered infill, as the wider gaps break up the panels’ overall appearance. Not as solid and mechanical in their outward appearance as other infill options, they contribute to your building’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Who benefits? Semi-private screens are commonly used to contain equipment that requires ventilation. Commercial outlets that don’t desire an imposing appearance will benefit from installing these around their outdoor equipment.


There exist situations where visibility and ventilation are not important. In these situations, we recommend PalmSHIELD’s solid screens. Total visual seclusion with zero airflow.

Who benefits? Solid screens are commonly installed as dumpster enclosures. (Passersby don’t need visibility to trash receptacles and certainly not to their contents.) Another common function of solid screens is storage: stow away valuable items and equipment in a convenient outdoor location until they’re needed again. Solid screening is great, for example, as a pool equipment storage venue. Stash items near the pool without taking them indoors, and access them just as quickly.


Featuring planks in an offsetting pattern, these panels provide 100% visual blockage—with style! The planks are stitched together, creating a shadow-like appearance in the infill. These “shadows” can be horizontal (as found in the Palisade Horizon and Mercury Eco options) or vertical (Palisade Fortress). Panels with staggered infill are great for commercial facilities wanting to actively attract customers (such as stores and restaurants). They’re more appealing to look at and more inviting to passersby.

Who benefits? Much like our last two options, staggered screens are great for obscuring items while boasting an attractive exterior appearance.

Brick & Stone

One of the advantages of working with PalmSHIELD is that we fabricate equipment screens aesthetically compatible with brick-and-mortar. Obviously, clients with buildings composed of red brick don’t want metal screens clashing with the look of their exterior walls. The best solution is panels that match the brick aesthetic. PalmSHIELD has partnered with Texture Plus to create screens with lightweight infill that resembles masonry. Of course, our options don’t stop there. Infill options for the Brick & Stone collection include faux concrete, faux stones, and faux bricks. All constructed from polymer that’s been carefully crafted to resemble stones and bricks—without the cumbersome weight, of course!

Who benefits? Property managers with traditional, old-fashioned architecture. Our more intricate infill designs (like river stone) suit outdoorsy venues such as nature centers.

Artistic Laser Cut

Do you manage a school and want an HVAC enclosure brandishing your mascot? How about a storefront featuring rooftop mounted panels that block off equipment while simultaneously casting LED lights to attract customers? PalmSHIELD’s fabrication team uses high-tech laser cut machines to intricately and accurately carve unique patterns, images, lettering, etc. into our various artistic laser cut panels. We have numerous products available under this category, including but not limited to: Artistic Laser Cut, for showcasing patterns, Symbol for brandishing logos, and LED Backlit for the ultimate color display!

Who benefits? In addition to stores and stores, these attractive panels benefit community centers.


Sometimes visual seclusion of mechanical equipment isn’t desired—or even required by local ordinances. For these situations, we recommend our Architectural Open screens. Perforated screens and wire mesh maintain perimeter security while providing optimum airflow and visibility.

Who benefits? Open Architectural screening is great for storing unmovable equipment such as propane tanks.


Imagine mechanical equipment screens that safely support and display greenery. That’s a precise description of PalmSHIELD’s trellis panels. Use these panels to create walls rife with lush green vegetation. If you manage a nature-centric area, you need trellis for screening out mechanical equipment. Unsightly fixtures shouldn’t obstruct natural views, and nor should the barriers that hide them.

Who benefits? Greenhouses, public gardens, parks, nature centers, zoos, and any other venue with an outdoorsy quality.

Have questions on any of the mechanical equipment screens we specialize in? Already have one in mind and ready to move the ball? Our sales team is ready to begin a conversation!