Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) are a versatile design choice thanks to their energy efficiency, durability, flexibility, sustainability, and quick installation.
IMPs have come a long way from their beginnings in purely industrial settings and are no longer niche products confined to market segments such as cold storage.
Today, IMPs can be found across almost any market segment, providing a building envelope that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
“When you envision distinctive, notable, and award-winning buildings, do insulated metal panels come to mind? They should. Some of the most interesting and iconic architecture built today—from the Chase Center in San Francisco to Hilton’s 123 Carnack Hotel in Chicago, to Austin Community College—stand out precisely because of the artful deployment of insulated metal panels,” writes Kathy Price-Robinson in “Architectural Excellence with Insulated Metal Panels” for the Metal Construction Association’s Insulated Metal Panel Alliance.
Guide to Insulated Metal Panels Market Segments
It is hard to precisely design the market segments for insulated metal panels (IMPs) because in 2023 there is no limit to their applications from innovative hospitals to exciting sports arenas to award-winning office buildings to state-of-the-art fire stations to community-centered religious facilities.
“From their humble beginning as a cost-effective and easy-to-install building assembly, insulated metal panels have evolved into one of the most innovative and exciting building systems that architects can specify,” wrote Price-Robinson. “When the same products are used for such a vast range of applications—from the grandest entertainment venues to landmark commercial hubs to the most modest structure—it’s obvious a shift has entered the artful field of architectural design. It’s likely that the use of insulated metal panels will continue this trajectory into the future.”
Here are some of the market segments that can take advantage of Green Span Profiles built-in-America IMPs:
- Agriculture and Grow Rooms: IMPs have long been a staple of agricultural buildings because they are durable, economical, and attractive. The legalization of marijuana across many states has led to a boom in the construction of grow and cultivation facilities, extraction facilities, and dispensaries.
- Amusement, Entertainment, and Social: IMPs help everything from concert halls to community centers to casinos offer an inviting façade while making sure that no matter what fun is taking place inside, the patrons will be protected from the elements.
- Athletic Facilities, Arenas, and Stadiums: Americans take their sports seriously and IMPs are being designed into the latest recreational facilities and sports stadiums. From Friday Night Lights high school football to professional sports, IMPs are on the winning team.
- Automotive: America is a nation on the move which explains why the country’s 16,676 franchised light-vehicle dealers sold 14.9 million light-duty vehicles last year. Automotive building architects utilize IMPs in large assembly plants where the vehicles are made and in the showrooms across the U.S. where they are sold, including nearly 150,000 used car businesses.
- Aviation: You can argue that airports are today’s cathedrals with their soaring architecture and status as community hubs. IMPs can be focal points for new airports and airport retrofits. IMPs also play a huge role in keeping aviation hangars and facilities across the world safe and dry.
- Cold Storage: There is a reason that the cold storage market embraced IMPs from the start as the superior insulating values of IMPs make them a cost-effective option for refrigerated and low-temperature-controlled building environments.
- Communications and Telecom: These buildings need durable and insulated shelter from hot and cold temperatures to protect their equipment inside so IMPs are a great option.
- Convention Centers: When it comes to convention centers, the Holy Grail of convention sites – the Las Vegas Convention Center – is a gleaming example of how IMPs can achieve both style and substance.
- Data Centers and IT Facilities: We live in a digital-first world and that has fueled the rapid growth of data centers across the U.S. to keep up with the data demand. IMPs can be factored into buildings that span long distances without interior columns or trusses, allowing for infrastructure floor space.
- Healthcare and Medical: The aging Baby Boom generation continues to put greater demands on healthcare facilities as the nation requires more hospitals, urgent care centers, long-term care facilities, and other medical buildings.
- Higher education and K-12 Education: IMPs appeal to school districts, colleges, and universities as they can help keep projects on budget with their ease of installation and their sustainability is a big bonus.
- Hospitality, Hotels, Motels, and Restaurants: The hospitality industry took a hit when the pandemic first hit but travel is bouncing back, and new projects are taking advantage of IMPs.
- Labs and Research Facilities: The pandemic shone a light on the importance of labs and research facilities with the development of COVID-19 vaccinations. Many of these buildings also have cold storage needs which makes IMPs ideal.
- Manufacturing and Industrial Plants: Green Span Profiles IMPs are proudly made in the USA and more companies are opting to return manufacturing to the U.S. with General Motors, Intel, and US Steel all announcing new factories opening in America last year. IMPs have always been a staple of industrial building design.
- Municipal and Government Services: The United States continues to pour funds into infrastructure for municipal and government services from new firehouses to courthouses.
- Multi-Residential and Multi-Use Projects: Many of the most exciting projects in American cities are multi-use areas where residents can live, work and play all on the same block, and sometimes in the same building. IMPs can bridge the gap between all these functions in a modern presentation.
- Museums, Libraries, and Other Cultural Venues: Communities are no longer content with boxy, boring institutional designs for their libraries, museums, and other cultural gathering spots. IMPs, with color and design choices, give architects a chance to dream big.
- Offices and Banks: In the last several years we have had to rethink how we view office buildings and banks. When it comes to banks, they are now turning into coffee shop settings with community store vibes, and office buildings, in a bid to coax, workers back from their stay-at-home offices are redesigning what the space should be.
- Oil and Gas and Power Plants: IMPs, with their design options, allow oil and gas facilities and other power-generating plants the ability to blend into their locations while providing important protection from weather events.
- Religious Facilities and Churches: Today’s religious facilities may look more like world-class music venues or cutting-edge conference centers than traditional churches. IMPs are popular choices for the latest worship building designs.
- Retail and Stores: Margins are thin in retail and so IMPs are an economic solution to help make sure stores can stay open from the largest Wall Street retailers to the Main Street merchants.
- Retrofit: One of the advantages of retrofitting is that when a building is remodeled and updated it can take advantage of the latest developments in construction, such as the use of IMPs for walls and roofs.
- Self-Storage: The days of flimsy self-storage units that blew away in any heavy winds are long gone as self-storage is now big business and many facilities, such as this project in Rhode Island, are taking full advantage of IMPs.
- Transportation Facilities: Train stations, bus depots, rental car facilities, and other transportation hubs need the protection of building envelope materials such as IMPs.
- Warehouses: Another ramification of the pandemic was the boom in warehouse construction in the U.S. to support new consumer habits. Some $72 billion in warehouse sales were made in 2022 and projects that need completion ASAP can rely on IMPs for quick installation.
- Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries: Move over Napa Valley, the rest of America is embracing wineries, breweries, and distilleries as destinations for day trips and memorable event venues.