According to an article in Metal Construction News, “Insulated metal panels (IMPs) are an ideal option to clad building envelopes due to their superior insulation value, high-performance air barrier, aesthetics, design flexibility and ease of installation. Providing an all-in-one continuous insulation system, IMPs serve as an exterior rainscreen, air and moisture barrier, and thermal insulation that reduces mold and corrosion.”

(Photo Credit: Mandeville High School, Metal Construction Association)

The Fire Protection Association based in the U.K. says, “The term cladding, in its most common usage, refers to the outer skin(s) applied to a high rise building to increase thermal energy efficiency, and/or to improve aesthetics while not adversely affecting weather resistance. The cladding element is non load bearing, which means it is not structurally integral to the building itself. Cladding can either be fitted to an existing building of traditional masonry construction or can be incorporated into the design of a brand new building.”

According to the FPA, “Building regulations were amended in 2018 to implement a ban on combustible building materials on the outside walls of buildings that are taller than 18 metres and contain more than one dwelling. This ban applies to residential housing tower blocks, hospitals, residential care homes, and student accommodation blocks. Fire risk assessments for high-rise tower blocks will also start to include the external walls of a building.”

In a case study presented by the Metal Construction Association, the Mandeville High School, located in Mandeville, Louisiana, utilized BENCHMARK’s Designwall insulated metal panels (IMPs) to create a colorful and bold and modern while still remaining energy efficient and retaining a professional, institutional look. Kingspan’s Designwall 2000 insulated metal panels were critical to help architects meet insulation, space and deadline requirements and provided architects with a solution that encased the building in a thermally efficient, weatherproof skin with R-values of up to 7 per inch. The building was completed in June 2021 and followed the new guidelines for cladding safety.

Photo Credit: MCA; Mandeville High School Case Study

Another influence for selecting these IMPs was the ability for design flexibility. The case study highlighted, “Upon learning that many math and science classes would be taught in the new building, architects incorporated the Fibonacci Sequence into the design. The Designwall 2000 panels in different standard Kingspan colors allowed architects to capture the math formula in an eye-catching pattern and could orient the panels either horizontally or vertically with easy integration into the window systems. The design also made it possible to provide natural light to the classrooms.”

For a detailed look at the MCA Case Study, click HERE.

And, for more on the importance of cladding safety when using IMPs, join us next week, April 20, for METALCON Live! as MCA and and the MCM Alliance present, “Cladding Safety in Light of Global Fires.” An expert panel will provide an understanding of the layer-by-layer parts of the wall assembly being analyzed for approval and compare the information obtained from a successful NFPA 285 test and an engineering evaluation. For more information and to register, click HERE. The webinar is eligible for 1 AIA LU