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.

RIMA International Calls for Topics for Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Conference

The 2018 International Reflective Insulation Manufacturers (I-RIM) Conference will take place Spring 2018 in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  The event will be held May 9-10, at the Marriott Los Suenos Resort right on the Costa Rica coast.  This international event is an opportunity for those in the reflective products industries to learn about the latest research, advancements, new technology and uses of reflective products as well as exchange information on how reflectives are being used in various regions of the world.  
 
At this time, the conference host, RIMA International, is inviting you to submit any papers or educational session you would like to present at this conference.  Suggested topics for papers include, but are not limited to, recent studies/simulations; new technologies; advancements/uses; research/studies; economic and government challenges/successes; regional uses and updates and building codes and related issues around the world. 
 
The program slots will fill up quickly, so forward your submissions promptly.  Send your outline and topic to RIMA International via e-mail at rima@rima.net and mark your calendars for May 9-10, 2018, in Costa Rica.  

TPO System Delivers Energy Efficiency for Company Headquarters

TurnKey Corrections constructed a new 115,000-square-foot in facility in River Falls, Wis.

TurnKey Corrections constructed a new 115,000-square-foot in facility in River Falls, Wis.

If you want it done right, do it yourself. Company owners Todd Westby and Tim Westby take a hands-on approach to running TurnKey Corrections, the River Falls, Wisconsin-based company that provides commissary and jail management services to county corrections facilities nationwide. The Westby brothers also take pride in the fact that TurnKey manufactures the kiosks it provides to its clients and develops and owns the proprietary software used to run them.

So, it’s perhaps not surprising that, when building the company’s new headquarters, Todd Westby, the company’s CEO, founder and general manager, served as the general contractor. Or that he had definite ideas regarding the roofing system that would be installed. Or that he was more than willing to get his hands dirty during the installation process.

Founded in 1998, TurnKey Corrections helps corrections facilities streamline and lower the cost of delivering a variety services to inmates, including commissary, email and email-to-text communication, video visitation, law library access, and paperless intra-facility communication and documentation. Following several years of robust growth, the company had outgrown its three existing buildings. So, it constructed a new 115,000-square-foot facility to bring all operations, including 50,000 square feet of office space and a 65,000 square-foot warehouse where commissary items are stored prior to shipment to corrections facilities, under a single roof and accommodate future success.

“We wanted to be involved in the project from beginning to end so we knew what we were getting and how it was built,” Todd Westby says of the decision to keep construction management in-house. “We wanted to know about anything and everything that was being built for the company in this building.”

In planning the project, Westby initially set two key criteria for the roofing system: that the building would be made watertight as quickly as possible so concrete slab pours and other interior work could be completed, and that the roof would be covered by a warranty of at least 20 years. The design-build firm’s initial plans called for a ballasted EPDM roofing system, but Rex Greenwald, president of roofing contractor TEREX Roofing & Sheet Metal LLC of Minneapolis, suggested a white TPO system, noting that it would meet the quick installation and warranty goals while also enhancing the building’s energy efficiency. Westby was intrigued and, after some research, agreed to the recommendation. In addition to helping reduce cooling costs during summer months, the reflective surface would allow a blanket of snow to remain on the roof during winter months to provide additional insulation.

The TPO roofing system was constructed over a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck.

The TPO roofing system was constructed over a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck.

The Roof System

The TPO roofing system included a 22-gauge metal fabricated roof deck; two 2.5-inch-thick layers of Poly ISO insulation from Mule-Hide Products Co., with tapered insulation saddles and crickets to aid drainage; and 811 squares of 60-mil white TPO membrane from Mule-Hide Products Co. The insulation and membrane were mechanically attached using the RhinoBond System from OMG Roofing Products. Cast iron roof drains, designed and installed by a plumber, were used rather than scuppers and downspouts—a practice that the TEREX team strongly recommends to prevent freezing during the cold Upper Midwest winters. Walkways lead to the mechanical units, protecting the membrane from damage when maintenance personnel need to access the equipment.

The TEREX team finds the RhinoBond System to be the most efficient and economical attachment method for TPO systems. Specially coated metal plates are used to fasten the insulation to the roof deck and then an electromagnetic welder is used to attach the membrane to the plates. The membrane is not penetrated, eliminating a potential entry point for moisture. And while other mechanical attachment methods require the crew to seam as they go, the RhinoBond System allows them to lay the entire membrane (a task which must be completed in good weather conditions) at once and go back later to induction weld the seams and plates, which can be done when Mother Nature is slightly less cooperative.

Greenwald estimates that the switch from the originally specified ballasted EPDM system to the TPO roofing system and RhinoBond System shaved at least 10 percent off the installation time and reduced the roof weight by 10 pounds per square foot.

Having Westby on-site as the general contractor also sped up the project considerably, Greenwald notes. “He was a huge asset to all of the subcontractors,” he explains. “We could get construction questions answered quickly and could talk through issues and procedures on a timely basis.”

And the most memorable moment in the project for Greenwald was seeing Westby working side-by-side with his crew. “One day we had a delivery truck show up, and Todd jumped on the forklift and helped us unload the truck.”

As sought from the project’s outset, the roofing system is backed by a 20-year, no-dollar-limit labor and material warranty.

With one winter of use in the rearview mirror, the roofing system has exceeded Westby’s expectations. Warehouse space was doubled, but heating costs have been cut in half. The 10-unit heating system also is able to keep the warehouse a uniform temperature, without the cold spots that were common in the old building.

“It really is a beautiful, very efficient and organized-looking roof,” Greenwald says.

Insulation Alternative Receives Patent

Rich-E-Board provides an insulation alternative for the commercial roofing market.

Rich-E-Board provides an insulation alternative for the commercial roofing market.

Rich-E-Board is an insulated composite panel system created by R-50 Systems to provide an insulation alternative for the commercial roofing market. While conventional insulation requires a thickness of 15 inches to reach an R-value of 50, Rich-E-Board achieves the same result at just 1 1/2-inches thick. Rich-E-Board can be installed on most roof deck types and can support all conventional low-slope roof systems. The product recently received a patent for its proprietary Vacuum Insulated Panel—two polymeric foam cover boards that sandwich the panel—and the adhesive ribbons that bind the boards and panel together. Rich-E-Board is cut-to-spec and lightweight, as well as mold and fire resistant.

Polyiso Insulation Is Environmentally Friendly

Polyiso insulation is environmentally-friendly and requires 85 percent less embodied energy to manufacture.

Polyiso insulation is environmentally-friendly and requires 85 percent less embodied energy to manufacture.

Firestone Building Products Company LLC has introduced its new formulation of polyiso insulation.
 
The formulation is equipped with a high R-value per-inch in cold temperatures. Firestone polyiso outperforms mineral wool and competing polyiso boards when it comes to both R-value and cost savings. Benefits include:

  • Outperforms the industry standard by up to 18 percent
  • Competing polyiso boards require an additional .25 inches to meet an R25 value at 40F
  • Fewer inches of polyiso translates to cost savings for building owners. A 500,000 square-foot roof can equate up to $40,000 in savings.
  • Polyiso is environmentally-friendly and requires 85 percent less embodied energy to manufacture. Polyiso can also be recycled and reused, while mineral wool cannot.

 
 
The Firestone polyiso offering includes ISO 95+ GL Insulation, RESISTA Insulation and ISOGARD HD Cover Board.
 
Secure Bond Technology is a pressure-sensitive adhesive that ensures coverage across the membrane and establishes a strong bond.
 
This technology installs up to five times faster than traditional fully adhered applications and allows installation in temperatures as low as 20 and as high as 120F. Secure Bond Technology’s self-bonding membrane eliminates the need to apply adhesives and wait for flash off.
 
Additionally, Secure Bond Technology has no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making it safe for the contractor, building occupants and the environment. The Secure Bond Technology liner is also non-hazardous and recyclable. Firestone Building Products currently offers UltraPly TPO SA and RubberGard EPDM SA with Secure Bond Technology.
 

 

Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance Announces Excellence Award Winners

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) has announced the winners of the 12th Annual SPFA National Industry Excellence Awards. Winners of the industry awards program represent stand out contractors and projects in the Spray Polyurethane Foam sector in both roofing and insulation, as well as in specialty applications. Awards were announced at the awards luncheon held at the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
“Each year the Industry Excellence Awards allow us to recognize our industry’s contractors and projects,” says Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA). “This year’s entries set the bar in best practices with the contractors showcased helping to set a tone of excellence in the application of spray polyurethane foam.”
 
The awards program recognizes projects in five categories including: Residential Wall; Commercial Wall; SPF Roof Under 40,000 Square Feet; SPF Roof Over 40,000 Square Feet; Specialty Applications, a category formerly known as Tanks & Vessels & Others.
 
The winners and runners up of the 12th Annual SPFA National Industry Excellence Awards include:

  • Elite Insulation & PolyPro LLC for the Blakemore Estate with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (WINNER – Residential Wall Foam)
  • Polyseal and the Mertarvik Sled House with supplier SWD Urethane (Runner up – Residential Wall Foam)
  • West Roofing Systems Inc. for the HyCAL Gibraltar Facility Rehabilitation with supplier Premium Spray Products, an Accella brand (WINNER – Commercial Wall Foam)
  • Tri-County Insulation dba Boss Insulation for the Zinke Dairy Inc. with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (Runner up – Commercial Wall Foam)
  • Wedge Roofing for The Mission Church with supplier Premium Spray Products, an Accella brand (WINNER – SPF Roof Under 40,000 Square Feet)
  • West Roofing Systems Inc. for The Leader Building with supplier Accella and Progressive Materials (Runner up – SPF Roof Under 40,000 Square Feet)
  • Puff Inc. for JFK High School with supplier Covestro (WINNER – SPF Roof Over 40,000 Square Feet)
  • Insulation Solutions for Food Processing and Cold Storage Building with supplier Covestro (Runner up – SPF Roof Over 40,000 Square Feet)
  • Elite Insulation & PolyPro LLC for West Main Street Bridge with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (WINNER – Specialty Applications)
  • Divine Energy Solutions for Turtle Back Zoo Giraffe House Exhibit with supplier Lapolla Industries Inc. (Runner up – Specialty Applications)

 
“This year’s award entries brought in a number of innovative projects and applications,” says John Achille, president of the SPFA. “While we are limited in the number of awards we are able to bestow, this year saw no shortage of projects and work completed by contractors.”
 
The prestigious awards ceremony is one of many offerings at the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo. This year’s agenda included onsite exams and training for the SPFA’s Professional Certification Program; a keynote address by author and Emmy Award winner Steve Thomas of PBS’ “This Old House” fame, who is also a current spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity; a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall showcasing booth displays from over 80 industry organizations, manufacturers, contractors, equipment providers, and many others; a three-day educational program including more than 30 break-out sessions; a general session with Sam Rashkin, chief architect, Building Technologies Office highlighting the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Initiatives; SPFA Annual Member Awards, honoring members who have demonstrated dedication to the betterment of the organization and industry at-large; the Annual Golf Tournament; VIP events; member and contractor-only events; an entertainment filled Close-Out Reception and Networking Party.
 
Attendance for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo exceeded 1,200 individuals representing the complete Spray Polyurethane Foam industry and value chain, as well as the general public.
 
To inquire about event sponsorship for the 2018 event, please contact Michele Riesenberg at Michele@sprayfoam.org. Additional event information is available here.

Insulation Adhesive Application Tool Is Presented to Olsson Roofing

OMG Roofing Products presents PaceCart3 to Olsson Roofing.

OMG Roofing Products presents PaceCart3 to Olsson Roofing.

OMG Roofing Products of Agawam, Mass., has presented the “first” PaceCart3, an application tool for insulation adhesive, to Olsson Roofing of Aurora, Ill. for its feedback and help in improving the cart.

The PaceCart3 is OMG’s patented application tool for applying OlyBond500 and OlyBond500 Green Insulation Adhesives. It features an ergonomically designed manifold, new pump design, color coded adhesive tray, electrical system with volt-meter, and shelves for an on-board generator. The PaceCart3 is capable of dispensing enough OlyBond500 to cover 60 squares in an hour.

“Olsson Roofing was involved in helping us re-design the PaceCart from day one,” says Adam Cincotta, OlyBond product manager for OMG. “Not only were they generous with their time in terms of meetings, reviewing plans, ideas and prototypes, but they also gave us feedback and advice, for which we are very appreciative.”

Shown in the photo from left to right are: Andrew Nehrenz, OMG regional manager, Adam Cincotta, OMG OlyBond product manager, Jeff Thompson, senior vice president of Olsson Roofing, Tim Gorges, lead mechanic at Olsson Roofing, Stan Choiniere, OMG technical director, and Erik Terpstra, OMG field service representative.

OMG Roofing Products is a supplier of commercial roofing products including fasteners, insulation adhesives, drains, pipe supports, emergency repair tape, edge metal systems and productivity tools. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance. For additional information, please contact OMG Roofing Products at (800) 633-3800 or visit OMGRoofing.com.

OMG Roofing Opens Two International Warehouses

To support a goal of accelerating international sales growth in Asia and Europe, OMG Roofing Products has established warehouses in Rotterdam in the Netherlands as well as in Shanghai, China.

The two warehouses are centrally located within their regions to enable OMG to supply products to roofing contractors and OEM partners in each of these markets. Both warehouses will stock a range of products sold locally, including OMG Fasteners and Plates, RhinoBond Tools and Plates, OMG Telescopic Tubes, OlyBond500 insulation adhesives, OlyFlow Drains, and EverSeal Roof Repair Tape.

“OMG Roofing Products has continued to grow and expand beyond U.S. borders,” said Web Shaffer, vice president of marketing. “By adding these warehouses we are building a foundation on which to accelerate our international growth by improving our service and expanding our distribution into new countries throughout Europe and Asia.”

Headquartered in Agawam, Mass., OMG Roofing Products is a global supplier of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, roof drains, pipe supports, emergency roof repair tape as well as productivity tools such as the RhinoBond Induction Welding System. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance.

Kingspan Insulation Installs Additional XPS Insulation Manufacturing Line

Kingspan Insulation is on course to add capacity to its manufacturing site in Winchester, Va. The company recently began a $25 million investment in the plant with the installation of a XPS insulation manufacturing line.
 
“We are pleased to announce that the installation is proceeding on time and on cost,” said Kingspan Insulation North America’s managing director Alswinn Kieboom.
 
Once the project is completed, it will allow Kingspan Insulation to continue to service demand for its GreenGuard line of XPS board products. The products boast moisture resistance, an R-value of 5.0 per inch of thickness and are suitable for a range of applications including cavity walls, continuous insulation, roofs, below-grade perimeter foundation and slab-on-grade.
 
As part of this investment program, Kingspan Insulation has announced its intent to begin production of polyiso insulation in North America.

Kingspan Insulation is currently appraising locations for 3 new manufacturing lines. Locations under consideration are at its existing plant in Virginia, at its sister company sites in California, Florida, Ohio, Ontario and British Columbia as well as sites in Nevada and Texas.

Roof Coating Reduces Energy and Maintenance Costs

Crystal roof coating helps reduce energy costs.

Crystal roof coating helps reduce energy costs.

Using white colored roofs is a way to help reduce heat gain into a building or home in the southern climates where it stays hot most of the time. Just as wearing white or light colored clothes can help you stay cooler on a sunny day, a white roof can help keep a building cooler and lower the load on the air conditioning unit, reducing cooling costs.

Using the cool roof calculator on Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s website, it shows that if you live in Miami, Florida a white “cool” roof can save you approximately 0.185 USD per square foot per year as compared to a black roof. That’s roughly $647.50 per year for a 3500-square-foot home or $9,250 per year for a 50,000-square-foot office building or warehouse.

But what happens when a white roof turns grey?

When doing energy saving calculations, one of the overlooked errors is not factoring in the loss of insulating performance when white roofs get dirty or moldy. When that happens, the “cool roof” impact is less effective because the roof has gone from a reflective white to a grey or green.

For concrete roof tiles, especially, another factor that impacts energy efficiency is moisture. When a roof is wet, it conducts more heat than when it’s dry, making it less energy efficient.  

That’s why Crystal clear insulating and mold resistant roof coating benefits all types of roofs, including white roofs. It not only has its own insulating benefit (in all seasons and climates), it also helps the roof stay clean and resists the growth of mold. Another benefit it provides is a moisture resistant surface, so rain beads up and rolls off (taking dirt along with it) rather than soaking in.

If you tally the stay clean/maintenance benefits (not the energy saving ones), you can estimate saving approximately 25 cents per square feet to have a roof power washed. For a 5,000-square-foot roof that is $1250 per washing, which is usually done every one to two years by most. Product for that same amount of roof, would be approximately $3,000, so with incorporating maintenance savings, payback would be approximately 2.4 years, and your total maintenance savings over the 10-year warranty period would be approximately $12,500 if you previously had to clean the roof each year.

A School Used Crystal Roof Coating to Keep their White Roof Clean & Efficient

A Florida school had a costly issue, their white metal roof grew mold and collected dirt, meaning not only constant maintenance costs to clean it, but also a loss of energy efficiency. They looked to Crystal roof coating to solve the issue and ran a 60-day trial to see how it would help them.

Crystal roof coating applied to a section of the school roof remained clean.

Crystal roof coating applied to a section of the school roof remained clean.

The roof was cleaned and a section of the roof was painted with a coat of white paint and then over-coated with two coats of Crystal clear insulating and mold and UV resistant roof coating.

The photo above was taken 60-days after application. The spots where Crystal was applied stayed clean and white, while the unprotected areas became dingy and less energy efficient once again.

Additionally, the coating provided thermal insulation to lower cooling costs, even when the sun wasn’t shining.

Contact INI Worldwide for a quote for either product only or product and application.