IMPs Are Key to Construction of New Warehouse at Manufacturing Complex

The new warehouse at the Komatsu manufacturing complex in Longview, Texas, features insulated metal panels from Metl-Span in both the roof and wall systems. Photos: LMCurbs

When a warehouse at the Komatsu manufacturing complex in Longview, Texas, sustained extensive tornado damage, the company decided to build a new, state-of-the-art warehouse in its place.

Komatsu turned to a trusted business partner, Transet Co., a Longview-based design-build contractor, to demolish the old structure and construct its 81,438-square-foot replacement. The new warehouse features insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span in both the roof and wall systems, as well as a permanent rooftop walkway system from LMCurbs, which was installed to facilitate ongoing maintenance of the rooftop HVAC units.

According to Dale Pickard, project manager for Transet Co., the IMPs not only made for smooth construction, but they helped the warehouse meet building envelope energy requirements.

Challenges on the project included a tight schedule, unseasonably rainy weather and accommodating nearby manufacturing facilities that were continuously operational.

The LMCurbs Roofwalk System was installed to facilitate ongoing maintenance of the rooftop HVAC units and protect the roof.

The scope of work included the removal of the previous structure and subgrade remediation. After the footings and slab were in place, the Pre-Engineered Metal Building (PEMB) was erected. The system was supplied by Houston-based Mid-West Steel Building Co. and erected by Cannon Steel Erection Co., located in Tyler, Texas.

After the metal frame and roof purlins were in place, Cannon Steel Erection installed the IMPs to complete the wall and roof systems. “You basically go in sequence from left to right with the IMP roofing panels,” Pickard explains. “You just start at one end, work to the other end, and then come back and install the panels on the other side. It’s basically a straight line process from one end to the other.”

The roofing panels were 42 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches thick and incorporated a standing seam. “The panels attach at the purlin with a concealed fastener clip,” says Pickard. “The IMP has a finished skin on the upper and lower sides.”

The seams were hand crimped and then mechanically seamed. At the eave, a gutter system was installed after the roof and wall panels were tied in together.

Workers on the roof were tied off with personal fall arrest systems and retractable lifelines attached to non-penetrating temporary anchor points. “All facets of construction safety were of paramount importance to Transet Co.,” Pickard states. “Safety was and is the first order of business for everybody.”

Completing the Roof Installation

The roof system features Kingspan skylights, which were installed using custom curbs supplied by LMCurbs, headquartered in Longview, Texas. LMCurbs also supplied curbs for the HVAC units, as well as the rooftop walkway system.

The LMCurbs Roofwalk System was installed using H90 clamps from S-5!

The walkway was installed after all of the HVAC equipment was in place and the roof system was completed. The LMCurbs Roofwalk System was designed to provide a safe way to access HVAC equipment while protecting the roof. “It’s basically a roof access area for the maintenance personnel to enter,” Pickard says. “It’s a railed walkway gated at one corner of the building for access, and it goes to each one of the rooftop units (RTUs). In all, there is more than 1,400 linear feet of walkway.”

The system was mounted using S-5! H90 clamps. “There were no penetrations in the roof,” Pickard points out. “It’s a durable system that will protect the owner’s investment in the roof.”

According to Aaron Combs, product manager at LMCurbs, the project was one of the first to use the company’s redesigned LMCurbs Roofwalk System with upgraded handrails. “It was designed to be both a better looking, more professional end product for the building owner, and a more user-friendly system for the installers in the field,” Combs says. “The new handrail assembly utilizes Speed-Rail fitting by Hollaender and is now down to four pieces — from 28— so the number of man-hours needed to install the system is drastically reduced. It also streamlined the warehousing and distribution process because the redesigned support plates eliminated multiple manufacturing processes. With this redesign and stackable plates, we are able to maintain better stocking levels and provide our customers with a faster shipping timeframe.”

Field installations often present unique and unforeseen obstacles. On this project, when the location of some HVAC units was adjusted from the initial layout, Combs was ready to help ensure the walkway would be installed correctly. “We are always available to offer advice and technical support, and that can be especially important with a first-time installer,” Combs says. “They can contact us any time and we can help walk them through it and assist with any issues that might arise.”

Work began in April 2019 and wrapped up February 2020. “We had a wet start, which made soil remediation difficult,” notes Pickard. “In the latter part of our project, we had an extremely wet January and February, and that presented challenges in erection and finish out. Despite the bad weather, the building came together ahead of schedule.”

Coordinating all phases of the project at an active manufacturing campus also posed some logistical hurdles. “The existing plant, of course, was in operation the entire time,” recalls Pickard. “The site where the new warehouse was being built was where the old warehouse facility was, and the existing loading dock had to remain in operation until they were in the new building. That encroached on the footprint of the new facility.”

Final touches included new loading docks, interior offices and restrooms. “This project shows our ability to deliver an outcome that meets the client’s needs from design to finished product — safely, under budget, and ahead of schedule,” notes Pickard.

“It demonstrates our ability to provide a first-class warehouse facility for the owner. We’ve been doing it a long time. Our company has been in business for 38 years. We are a safety-oriented company with vast experience in most phases of commercial, industrial, and institutional construction, and we are there for our customers.”

TEAM

Design Builder: Transet Co., Longview, Texas, www.transetco.com

Engineer: Johnson & Pace Inc.,Longview, Texas, www.johnsonpace.com

Steel Erector: Cannon Steel Erection Co., Tyler, Texas, www.cannonsteel.com

PEMB Supplier: Mid-West Steel Building Co., Houston, Texas, www.mid-weststeel.com

Rooftop Curb and Walkway Supplier: LMCurbs, Longview, Texas, www.lmcurbs.com

MATERIALS

Roof and Wall Panels: Insulated Metal Panels, Metl-Span, www.metlspan.com

Rooftop Curbs: LMCurbs, www.lmcurbs.com

Rooftop Walkway: LMCurbs Roofwalk System

Rooftop Walkway Clamps: H90 Clamps, S-5!, www.s-5.com

Skylights: Kingspan, www.kingspanlightandair.us

IMPs Provide Aesthetics, Durability for Houston Renovation

A 70-year-old manufacturing facility in West Houston was transformed into The Cannon, an entrepreneurial hub, office complex and event space. Photos: Metl-Span

Renovating and transforming a 70-year-old manufacturing facility into a contemporary office building with impressive amenities requires some imagination, careful planning and a lot of communication. The Cannon, an entrepreneurial hub in west Houston, also called for more than 90,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) for walls and roofing.

The Cannon, a 120,000-square-foot modern, flexible workspace, provides innovators with everything they need to establish a home base for their companies. Home to more than 500 of Greater Houston’s most talented and accomplished entrepreneurs, creatives and small business owners, The Cannon includes 131 offices, 300 open and dedicated desks, a movie theatre, game room, event space, full-service kitchen, a health and wellness room, and a courtyard with outdoor seating. The facility is marketed as “a citywide ecosystem for Houston’s entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers and creatives.”

The renovation incorporated more than 90,000 square feet of insulated metal panels for walls and roofing.

Insulated metal panels from Metl-Span helped achieve the desired appearance, inside and outside. “We could have gone the conventional route, with insulation and drywall, but we really wanted to maintain some of the original look of the building,” says Ken R. Harry, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Principal of Abel Design Group of Houston. “With the insulated metal panels, we were able to leave the interior beams and columns exposed. Plus, we got the levels of insulation that were required for the roof and walls. Right from the start, it seemed like the logical way to go.”

The original building was stripped down to the steel structure. Some of the 70-year-old purlins and cross members had to be replaced. “We had to verify every dimension of all the beams so shop drawings could be accurate,” says David Baldwin, Sales Manager at FSR Services of Houston. “The beams were painted, and the insulated metal panels were installed. The bright blue beams against the white interior finish of the insulated metal panel is a very modern and clean look.”

The project called for approximately 67,775 square feet of Metl-Span’s CF42R insulated metal roofing panels, with 4 inches of urethane insulation, in the color of Burnished Slate. The exterior panels were 24-gauge Galvalume. The wall panels were two profiles and colors: 37,858 square feet of CF7.2 InsulRib in Burnished Slate and 9,437 square feet of CF36A in Chestnut, both with 22-gauge Galvalume exterior panels. All interior panels were 24-gauge Galvalume in Igloo White.

Baldwin says FSR needed 180 working days to install the IMPs, but crews ran into weather delays during the rainy Houston summer of 2019, which pushed back the original completion date approximately 90 days. The project was completed in August 2019.

“We were basically working in a mudhole all summer,” Baldwin says. “There were a lot of days we couldn’t get anything done. Our equipment was buried in the mud.”

The Cannon is the largest IMP project completed by FSR Services. Baldwin says his team, led by owner Steve Seibert and project manager Tommy Pavlicek, did its best to keep the project moving along. Seibert says it was a challenging project, retrofitting an existing structure, but the end product turned out amazing.

“Insulated metal panels are easy and quick to install,” Baldwin says. “The larger panels cover a lot of space in a single pass. It’s a lot easier than making several passes for the exterior system, interior system and insulation.”

TEAM

Architect: Abel Design Group, Houston, Texas, www.abeldesigngroup.com

IMP Installer: FSR Services, Houston, Texas, www.fsrservices.com

MATERIALS

Roof Panels: CF42R in Burnished Slate, Metl-Span, www.metlspan.com

Wall Panels: CF7.2 InsulRib in Burnished Slate and CF36A in Chestnut, Metl-Span

Metl-Span Features Top Projects in 2020 Calendar

Metl-Span has compiled its annual list of Projects of the Month and is featuring them in its 2020 calendar. The Project of the Year, featured on the cover, is the 54 Middlesex office building renovation in Bedford, Massachusetts. Metl-Span provided approximately 16,000 square feet of 3-inch CF Architectural insulated metal panels in 24-inch and 36-inch widths. The IMPs, with a 22-gauge exterior skin and 26-gauge interior skin, were installed over an existing split-face masonry wall with a custom clip, to metal studs. Half of the panels were Regal Gray and half were Polar White. IMPs provided a fresh look to a dated office building which is now a source of pride for the employees and surrounding area.

“Architects and installers continue to use Metl-Span insulated metal panels to construct what turn out to be their signature projects, which rejuvenate communities,” said Amanda Storer, Director Brand Marketing at Metl-Span. “Insulated metal panels are becoming more and more popular in a variety of construction markets, from schools to offices to recreational facilities. Durability, aesthetic variety and performance are a few of the reasons IMP usage is growing.”

Other winning projects featured in the 2020 Metl-Span calendar include the EFI Inkjet office in Londonderry, New Hampshire; Home2Suites by Hilton in Chicago; Boston Sports Institute in Wellesley, Massachusetts; Zialena Winery in Geyserville, California; Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Amazon in Spokane, Washington; North Star Academy in Newark, New Jersey; Sofidel America in Circleville, Ohio; Boston Medflight Hangar in Bedford, Massachusetts; High Point Climbing and Fitness in Memphis, Tennessee; and Atlantic Aviation PDK in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more detailed information on these projects, please visit www.metlspan.com.

Morin Names New Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Keith Spurlin is joining Morin, A Kingspan Group Company, in the role of Vice President of Sales and Marketing effective immediately. Spurlin will oversee and manage Morin regional sales managers and independent representative groups across the USA.

Keith states: “At Morin, I will leverage my sales, technical design and metal façade expertise to grow our market share of the single element metal wall and roof panel industry in North America.”

Keith has a history with Kingspan, both in sales and business development while at Kingspan Insulated Panels. There he executed sales strategy and promoted high performance insulated metal panel (IMP) roof and wall systems to customers, building owners, contractors and design professionals.

Overall, Keith’s career has included high performance building envelope sales leadership, over a decade practicing as an architectural designer on regional and international projects, and tangent experience in metal façade documentation and construction. He will be based out of Charlotte, NC.

For more information, visit www.morincorp.com.

Understanding and Installing Insulated Metal Panels

IMP installation

IMP installation typically occurs once the steel frame is in place. The more common vertical installation allows for faster close-in for interior trade work. Photos: Metl-Span

Insulated metal panels, or IMPs, incorporate a composite design with foam insulation sandwiched between a metal face and liner. IMPs form an all-in-one-system, with a single component serving as the exterior rainscreen, air and moisture barrier, and thermal insulation. Panels can be installed vertically or horizontally, are ideal for all climates, and can be coated with a number of high-performance coating systems that offer minimal maintenance and dynamic aesthetic options.

The Benefits of IMPs

At the crux of the IMP system is thermal performance in the form of polyurethane insulation. Panel thicknesses generally range from 2 to 6 inches, with the widest panels often reserved for cold storage or food processing applications. IMPs provide roughly three times the insulation value of field-assembled glass fiber systems, and panel thickness and coating options can be tailored to meet most R-value requirements.

IMPs offer a sealed interior panel face to create a continuous weather barrier, and the materials used are not conducive to water retention. Metal—typically galvanized steel, stainless steel or aluminum—coupled with closed-cell insulation creates an envelope solution impervious to vapor diffusion. Closed-cell insulation has a much denser and more compact structure than most other insulation materials creating an advantage in air and vapor barrier designs.

Time, budget and design can all be looming expectations for any building project. A valuable characteristic of IMPs is their ability to keep you on time and on budget while providing design flexibility to meet even the toughest building codes. The unique single-source composition of insulated metal panels allows for a single team to accomplish quick and complete enclosure of the building so interior trades can begin. This expedites the timeline and streamlines the budget by eliminating the need for additional teams to complete the exterior envelope and insulation.

Minimizing Moisture

The seams function both as barrier and pressure-equalized joint, providing long-term protection that requires minimal maintenance. Multiple component systems often rely on the accurate and consistent placement of sealant and may also require periodic maintenance. In addition, with IMPS a vented horizontal joint is designed for pressure equalization, and, even in the presence of an imperfect air barrier, the pressure-equalized joinery maintains the system’s performance integrity. With multi component systems, imperfections can lead to moisture infiltration.

The real damage occurs when water enters through a wall and into a building becoming entrapped—which leads to corrosion, mold, rot, or delaminating. Unlike IMPs, some multi-component wall systems include a variety of different assembly materials that may hold water, like glass fiber or paper-faced gypsum. When those materials get wet, they can retain water, which can result in mold and degradation.

Installation

Typically, IMP installation is handled by crews of 2-4 people. Very little equipment is needed other than standard construction tools including hand drills, band and circular saws, sealant guns, and other materials. The panels can be installed via the ground or from a lift, and materials can be staged on interior floors or on the ground level. Panel installation typically occurs once the steel frame is in place and prior to interior fit out. The more common vertical installation allows for faster close-in for interior trade work.

Metl-Span CFR insulated metal standing seam roof panels

Metl-Span CFR insulated metal standing seam roof panels combine durable interior and exterior faces with exceptional thermal performance. Photos: Metl-Span

IMPs are often installed using concealed clips and fasteners that are attached to the structural supports (16 gauge minimum wall thickness tubes or stud framing). The panels are typically installed bottom to top and left to right, directly over the steel framing. No exterior gypsum or weather barriers are required, as these panels act as the building’s weather barriers.

The product’s high strength-to-weight ratio allows for longer installation spans and reduced structural costs. The metal skins act as the flange of a beam, resisting bending stress, while the foam core acts as the web of the beam, resisting shear stress. This important aspect also contributes to a long product life cycle.

Design Flexibility

IMPs offer a unique combination of aesthetic design options, including mitered panel edges, and a vast array of profiles, textures and reveal configurations. Flat wall profiles are ideally suited for designers seeking a monolithic architectural façade without sacrificing performance elements. The beautiful, flush panels have become a mainstay in projects in a number of high-end architectural markets.

The 35,000-square-foot AgroChem manufacturing facility in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The 35,000-square-foot AgroChem manufacturing facility in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., showcases vertically installed Metl-Span CF36 insulated metal panels. Photos: Metl-Span

Striated or ribbed wall profiles are more common in commercial and industrial applications. The products offer bold vertical lines for a distinctive blend of modern and utilitarian design, while continuing flawless symmetry from facade to facade, or room to room on exposed interior faces. Ribbed panels also work in tandem with natural lighting to create impactful designs. Different textures, such as embossed or simulated stucco finish, add dimensional nuance and contrast to projects of all shapes and sizes.

IMPs are offered in an unlimited palette of standard and custom colors to meet any aesthetic requirement, as well as energy-efficient solar reflectivity standards. Panels are typically painted with a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coating with optional pearlescent and metallic effects, and can even simulate expensive wood grains and natural metals. PVDF finishes offer exceptional performance characteristics that can be tailored to meet most any project needs, including saltwater environments and extreme weather conditions.

Roof Configurations

For all the above reasons, IMPs have also become a popular building product for roofing applications. Insulated metal standing seam roof panels provide the desired aesthetic of traditional single-skin metal standing seem roofs with added thermal performance. Standing seam roof panels feature a raised lip at the panel joinery, which not only enhances overall weather resistance but provides the desired clean, sleek sightlines.

IMP installation

IMP installation typically occurs once the steel frame is in place. The more common vertical installation allows for faster close-in for interior trade work Photos: Metl-Span

The systems typically feature field-seamed, concealed fasteners that are not exposed to the elements. Just like their wall panel counterparts, insulated metal standing seam roof panels are available in a variety of thicknesses and exterior finishes.

Another popular insulated metal roof application showcases overlapping profile panels. The product’s overlapping, through-fastened joinery allows for quick installation in roof applications, resulting in reduced labor costs and faster close-in.

Finally, insulated metal roof deck panel systems combine the standard steel deck, insulation, and substrate necessary for single-ply membranes or non-structural standing seam roof coverings. The multi-faceted advantages of this system include longer spans between supports, superior deflection resistance, and a working platform during installation.

Insulated metal wall and roof panels offer an exceptional level of value when compared to traditional multi-component wall systems. The product’s unique single-component construction combines outstanding performance with simple and quick installation, a diverse array of aesthetic options, and the quality assurance of a single provider.

Project Profiles: Retail/Mixed-use

Outlet Collection at Niagara Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Team

DEVELOPER: Ivanhoé Cambridge, Montreal

The largest open-air outlet mall in Canada features approximately 23,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies.

The largest open-air outlet mall in Canada features approximately 23,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies. PHOTO: Birdair

Roof Materials

The largest open-air outlet mall in Canada features approximately 23,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies. The membrane canopies exhibit a flying-mast cone design that provides relief from the elements and creates a signature look for the shopping center.

PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is durable and weather-resistant. PTFE fiberglass membranes can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years.

PTFE fiberglass coating is chemically inert, and the low-surface free energy of the material results in an electrical-grade fabric membrane that is readily rinsed by rain-water. It is also immune to UV radiation. This combination makes PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring weather endurance and fire resistance.

PTFE fiberglass is ENERGY STAR- and Cool Roof Rating Council-certified. During scientific tests of its solar properties, it was discovered that PTFE fiberglass membranes reflect as much as 73 percent of the sun’s energy while holding just 7 percent on its exterior surface. Certain grades of PTFE fiberglass can absorb 14 percent of the sun’s energy while allowing 13 percent of natural daylight and 7 percent of reradiated energy (solar heat) to transmit through.

PTFE FIBERGLASS MEMBRANE DESIGNER, FABRICATOR, INSTALLER: Birdair

Roof Report

Located beside the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, less than 20 kilometers from the U.S. border, the 520,000-square-foot shopping center features 102 retailers, including Canada’s first Pandora outlet, White House Black Market outlet and Bass Pro Shops Outpost. Other sought-after brands at the center include a Kate Spade Outlet, NIKE Factory Store, Calvin Klein Outlet and Michael Kors Outlet.

The Niagara Outlet Collection was developed to attract shoppers and visitors who might have otherwise crossed the U.S. border to shop in the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, the Walden Galleria or the Boulevard Mall. David Baffa, Ivanhoé Cambridge senior vice president of retail development, said the developer wants the new outlet collection to be part of the Niagara experience.

Outlet Collection at Niagara is committed to corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability and has a number of design features throughout the property to raise awareness of its green initiatives. Its canopies make the open-air concept possible, reducing energy consumption because the common areas do not need to be heated or cooled. Some of the public buildings, like guest services and the eatery, have been designed so that they can be opened to the outdoors in favorable weather, thus saving energy and connecting people to the outdoors.

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