When designing and constructing buildings today extreme weather must be taken into consideration.
Just this summer, for example, the United States experienced a sweltering heat wave across the country plus four separate flooding events that each qualify as 1-in-1,000 year rainstorms.
Thermal and moisture protection is more important than ever, especially with inflation spiraling insurance and energy costs.
While insulated metal panels (IMPs) have long been touted for their superior insulating properties, they also provide a stout first line of defense against the elements with their built-in, all-in-on air, water, and vapor barrier.
IMPs are Tested for Thermal and Moisture Properties
IMPs are built to tame the elements and pass many field tests to prove their worth.
“Our insulated metal panels are built by a continuously poured-in-place process binding interior and exterior corrosion-resistant steel facings to a polyisocyanurate insulating foam core,” said Brian N. Jaks, P.E., Green Span Profiles Vice President. “Our standing seam roof profiles lead the industry in weather tightness, and our unique Green-Lock side-joint helps ensure a high-performance vapor seal.”
IMPs such as those manufactured by Green Span Profiles at their Texas facility go through rigorous testing for how they react to such things as fire and wind, as well as thermal and moisture including tests such as:
- ASTM E 283-04 Rate of Air Leakage Through Exterior Walls Under Specified Pressure Differences Across the Specimen
- ASTM E 331-00 Water Penetration of Exterior Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference
IMPs and the Protective Barrier Concept
An upcoming live webinar airing on September 13, 2022, sponsored by the Metal Construction Association explains how IMPs fulfill multiple roles in the building envelope, providing thermal, air, water, and vapor protection.
The objectives for the continuing education course, presented by Tyrone Marshall, Eric Li, and Amanda Karns lays out the protective barrier concept of IMPs:
- Projects have incorporated insulated metal panels to achieve a high level of thermal and moisture protection, including increased insulation and reduced air leakage that ensures a protected building envelope is built for long-term success.
- Performance benefits of IMPs, which are designed as a factory-manufactured system to deliver a water, vapor, air and thermal barrier within one panel that can be installed all at one time.
- Importance of correct fastening and sealing of IMP systems in order to maintain impermeability to the elements.
- IMPs support a comfortable interior for occupants without thermal energy loss and moisture penetration.
“The buildings of today must satisfy a supreme standard; they are called upon to achieve high performance: to be resilient, healthy, and energy efficient,” says the webinar instructors. “Building science has given us a focused modern design emphasis on the building envelope in response to the movement of thermal, air, water, and vapor conditions. These demands elicit dramatic changes to building envelope designs and the components used within.”
The webinar instructors argue that IMP systems provide a safe and economical edge when it comes to protector “4+” barrier concept, meeting the demands of:
- Long-lasting, high performance buildings
- Energy efficiency
- Occupant comfort combined with versatile aesthetic options.
Keeping Moisture Out Key in Cold Storage Market
The demand for large-scaled cold storage is growing at a rapid clip across multiple industries from ports to cities in both retail and industrial space.
Not only is large-scale cold storage in demand in 2022 but the Global Industry Analytics report projects that the cold storage construction global market, estimated at $12.1 billion this year, will grow to $22.9 billion by 2026.
“The demand for cold storage construction is expected to be driven by a rise in demand for online grocery,” said the Global Industry Analytics report. “
When it comes to constructing these cold storage facilities one of the critical requirements is to keep the elements out, especially moisture.
“In cold-storage facilities condensation can turn into frost, which shortens equipment life, and ice buildup, which is both a regulatory concern and a sign of energy waste,” says Manufacturing.Net.
According to the Metal Construction Association (MCA), IMPs shine when it comes to protecting cold storage buildings from thermal and moisture infiltration.
“Insulated Metal Panels are considered the ultimate solution for climate-controlled facilities. Whether the need is for manufacturing, processing, storage, or distribution of perishable food or other materials, an IMP wall has the answer,” said the MCA.
IMPS Ideal for All Commercial and Institutional Projects
While manufacturers like Green Span Profiles have product lines such as MesaLine and ShadowLine ideal for the low temp/cold storage market, the appeal of IMPs extends to all types of commercial and institutional projects.
“IMPs are ideal for all types of commercial and industrial buildings including institutional, recreational, government buildings, and manufacturing facilities,” says the MCA. “Projects from schools to retail centers to power plants, benefit from the unique energy efficient insulation, lightweight construction, durability, and cost-effective, timely installation of single component Insulated Metal Panels. Climate considerations include temperature, humidity, airborne particles, and air movement, among others.”
It appears that IMPs and the construction industry will continue to be put to the test as The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says there is a 93 percent chance that between now and 2026 will be the hottest on record for the planet.
Those building owners that invest in IMPs, with their thermal and moisture protection, will be positioned to better ride out the coming storms.