Bright Idea! Colored Panels Add Design Interest to Metal Buildings

Posted by , GSP Marketing on February 21, 2022
GSP Marketing

Architects and building designers are finding they can make some bold statements with the increasing use of vivid, colored panels in their projects.

“Designing a building with brightly colored metal is not only attention-getting, but it can also make a powerful design statement,” in last month’s Metal Architecture. “More than just a mere element of decoration, using bold and eye-catching colors is a creative way to set a building apart from its surroundings.

In other words, these aren’t your father’s metal buildings being designed in 2022.

“Brightly colored metal panels inspire certain feelings via sensory perception. A brightly colored building changes the entire landscape around it, conveying meaning, evoking emotion, and influencing how people interact in a space,” continued Robins.

Colored Panels Capture Corporate, School Identities

One of the clever ways that colored metal panels can be utilized is to tie in corporate and school identities.

An example of adding pops of color while keeping on brand is the CubeSmart project in Cranston, R.I. where McElroy Metal took advantage of two colors offered by Green Span Profiles insulated metal panels.

“Architects and building owners are taking advantage of IMPs's growing architectural options, aesthetics, structural integrity, energy efficiency, lightweight, and low maintenance for a wide variety of projects ranging from corporate settings to sports facilities to educational buildings,” says the Metal Construction Association (MCA), IMP Funders Group continuing education course material.

In the CubeSmart project, McElroy Metal supplied approximately 30,000 square feet of 24-gauge, 4-inch thick Green Span Profiles WaveLine insulated metal panels for the project – all panels were 42 inches wide.

Plans called for 24,000 square feet of 4-inch thick Ash Gray panels, 5,000 square feet of 2-inch thick Ash Gray panels, 5,000 square feet of 4-inch thick CubeSmart Red panels and 5,000 square feet of 2-inch thick CubeSmart Red panels.

“Lately, people are doing whatever they can to avoid having a big plain-Jane gray building,” says Ed McKean, owner of EKM Construction Inc. in Burlington, N.C. “Staggering the colors in a random pattern is one way of doing just that, that seems to be a new trend. It’s not hard, but you have to pay attention when you’re installing the panels.”

Colored Panels Design Considerations

Adding color with metal panels can open up many design opportunities.

Here are some considerations when designing with colored panels on your metal building:

  • Consider the company or organizational identity, brand and image
  • Examine how the colors will interact with the surrounding environment
  • Consider what type of industry or business is being conducted
  • Make sure the color work with style, shape and design of the building itself

Remember that colors will fade over time so consider the location of the building and its proximity to severe weather elements.

“Panels used closer to the equator will experience more color fade. When it comes to color, organic pigments tend to be exotic and bright, but tend to fade more quickly. On the contrary, inorganic colors are more stable and will still provide the same bright effect over time due to their anti-corrosive properties,” Gary Edgar, national coil and extrusion specification manager at PPG Industries Inc. told Metal Architecture.

Giving Your Colored Metal Panels a Sense of Purpose

Color for color’s sake is rarely the overriding factor in using colored panels in a metal building.

“It’s always important to understand the why behind brightly colored metal panels,” Elizabeth Hurd, AIA, RVK Architecture told Metal Architecture.

In one of Hurd’s projects in San Antonio she utilized colored panels to design a parking garage that mimicked the colors and flow of a nearby creek.

“Brightly colored metal panels may be a custom order. Many metal panel manufacturers don’t stock bright colors. If they do, they may cost more or take longer to deliver,” Hurd told Metal Architecture. “I also can’t stress this enough: always order a sample. What you see online or in a catalog may not reflect how the color will mesh with your overall design.”

It is also important to remember that a colored panel’s finish can have an impact on brightness and color because the finish will affect how the color is viewed when light reflects off it in different ways.

Contact Green Span Profiles today to find out how you can use colored insulated metal panels in your next architectural project.

Topics: Insulated Metal Panels, Metal Roofing