Insulated metal panels (IMPs) proved to be an ideal component for the renovation and conversion of a 1940s masonry warehouse to an energy-efficient office facility.

BuildSense, a provider of architectural and construction services in Durham, N.C., specified Metl-Span insulated metal panels for its roof renovation in an effort to reflect the ideals of the company. The goals included converting a one-story former farm equipment and auto repair building into a much more energy-efficient two-story building, achieving a LEED Platinum rating as well as maintaining an appearance that still fit the neighborhood.

“We wanted something which respected the area but was also new and different,” said Erik Mehlman, AIA, CGP, of BuildSense. “We wanted it to maintain a warehouse aesthetic, but also to say, ‘I’m different. I’m a new era of building.’”

Standing-seam insulated metal panels helped BuildSense meet its goals. Most buildings in the warehouse district employ metal roofing, so aesthetically, the panels met the specifications. To help meet the energy efficiency requirements, the IMPs contain a 6-inch urethane core. The outer 24-gauge panel is Polar White to reflect sunlight, greatly reducing cooling loads in the summer. The 26-gauge Snow White inside panels serve as a reflective ceiling above the open-web steel joists, making electrical lighting inside more efficient. They also provide an “industrial-chic” look, according to Mehlman.

The standing seams serve as a place to attach photovoltaic panels to supply electricity within the building. Mehlman said BuildSense likes to use “off-the-shelf” products in unconventional methods to achieve its goals. Metl-Span’s CF42R insulated standing-seam panels are more commonly used on refrigerated buildings.

“We applaud this sort of outside-the-box thinking and use of Metl-Span products,” said Vice President of Marketing Doug Pickens. “Energy conservation is the best selling point of IMPs. Other products used as walls and roofing require the addition of insulation and therefore, more time to install. The driving force behind the installation of IMPs is their ability to provide long-term energy conservation.”

“The LEED certification is definitely important to us,” Mehlman said. “We have a corporate commitment to green certification of all of our work. Additionally, as we consistently talk the talk, we needed to walk the walk on our own project. I think we have. Our building is actually outperforming our design expectations.”

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