The Benefits of Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs)

Posted by , GSP Marketing on October 23, 2023
GSP Marketing

The benefits of insulated metal panels (IMPs) are helping change the landscape of construction projects as these innovative materials are evolving to meet the diverse needs of a wide array of industries.

These panels are designed to provide excellent thermal insulation, weather resistance, and structural integrity, making them ideal for use in construction, especially multi-story structures, where energy efficiency, durability, and aesthetics are crucial to the success of the project.

“Insulated metal panels (IMPs) are one of only a few types of building product that can provide an entire building enclosure in one prefabricated product,” explains a Metal Construction Association (MCA) white paper. “Known for its exceptional aesthetics, envelope performance, spanning abilities, and one-step installation, IMPs are a popular choice for today’s commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities.”

A Primer on Insulated Metal Panels

Insulated Metal Panels or IMPs are a construction material composed of a three-part sandwich-like structure.

This includes two exterior layers made of corrosion-resistant steel or aluminum facings, bonded together with a core of polyisocyanurate insulating foam.

The continuous, poured-in-place manufacturing process ensures a seamless, strong, durable, and highly efficient product.

The metal facings are first cleaned and prepared, and then the insulating core is poured into the space between the two facings. The metal facings are then pressed against the insulating core, and the panel is cured.

IMPs are manufactured in various configurations to meet specific project requirements. Common configurations include flat panels, curved panels, roof panels, and wall panels. The panels are typically produced with interlocking edges or tongue-and-groove systems, ensuring a tight and secure fit when they are installed together.

The Evolution of IMPs

IMPs have come a long way since their inception.

Originally developed in the 1960s for cold storage applications, they have evolved into a versatile construction material used across a wide range of industries.

Today, they are employed not only in low-temp/cold-storage projects but also in architectural and commercial/industrial building construction. IMPs can be found in projects such as:

  • Office buildings
  • Retail stores
  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • And more!

IMPs have proven themselves as a sustainable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective solution, and their applications continue to expand.

“Recent advances in building science and metal cladding manufacture that increase the systems’ attraction, including the use of composite clad metals such as carbon steels bonded to more corrosion-resistant materials like copper and stainless steels, which result in lamellar composites with desirable properties not possible with a single material,” says Building Design + Construction.

The Top 10 Benefits of Using Insulated Metal Panels

IMPs offer many benefits for commercial construction projects, including:

  • Energy Efficiency: IMPs are efficient insulators, with a high R-value. This means they effectively regulate the temperature inside a building, reducing the need for constant heating or cooling. Consequently, energy consumption decreases, which not only lowers utility bills but also reduces the carbon footprint, contributing to a more sustainable future.
  • Sustainability: IMPs are eco-friendly construction materials. They are often made with recyclable materials, and their excellent insulating properties contribute to lower energy usage, making them a green choice for environmentally conscious projects. This not only benefits the environment but also enhances your building's overall sustainability.
  • Rapid Installation: The speed of IMP installation is remarkable. Due to their lightweight design, these panels are easy to transport and handle, resulting in faster construction. Quick installation translates to reduced labor costs, shorter project timelines, and less disruption to your business or daily life.
  • Durability: IMPs are built to last. The combination of corrosion-resistant steel facings and a robust foam core ensures they can withstand the harshest weather conditions, as well as pests and mold. This durability guarantees that your investment in these panels will provide long-term protection for your assets.

    “A metal roof can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather like high winds, heavy snow, hailstorms, and even wildfires. Metal roofing has a 140-mph wind rating, meaning it can withstand wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour,” says the Metal Roofing Alliance.
  • Cost Savings: IMPs offer a range of cost-saving benefits. Their energy-efficient nature leads to reduced heating and cooling expenses. Quick installation cuts down on labor costs and construction time. Plus, their low-maintenance requirements mean fewer ongoing expenses, making them a smart, cost-effective choice over the life of a building.
  • Versatility: IMPs have transcended their original use in cold storage. Today, they are employed in various construction applications, including walls, roofs, and partitions. From warehouses and manufacturing facilities to office buildings and even architectural designs, IMPs are adaptable to a wide range of projects, thanks to their flexibility and customization options.
  • Fire Resistance: Certain IMP products, like INSULROCK, are made with mineral wool and provide exceptional fire resistance, often with an hourly fire rating. This is essential for ensuring the safety of building occupants and the protection of valuable assets, making IMPs a reliable choice for fire-prone areas. Fire-resistant and impact-resistant materials can save lives, reduce property damage, and enhance the structural integrity of buildings.
  • Highly Aesthetic: IMPs are not just about function; they offer visual appeal as well. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and finishes, allowing architects and designers to customize the appearance of a building. This means you can achieve both energy efficiency and aesthetics without compromise.
  • Reduced Maintenance: IMPs require minimal maintenance. Their durable construction and resistance to weather, wear, and corrosion mean you won't have to allocate significant time and resources for upkeep. IMPs are manufactured with interior and exterior finishes that include high-performance coatings such as fluoropolymer, silicone polyester, and polyester. The molecules on the surface of these high-performance coatings are so tightly bound together that it makes them resistant to many elements found in the environment such as air pollution, acid rain, and general airborne dirt. IMPs do not need to be painted or stained, and they can be cleaned with a simple soap and water solution. This not only simplifies building management but also saves money in the long run.
  • Acoustic Performance: IMPs are not only efficient insulators when it comes to temperature but also provide excellent acoustic insulation. Their sandwich-like structure with a polyisocyanurate insulating foam core acts as a sound barrier, reducing external noise pollution. This is especially valuable in commercial and industrial buildings, where a quiet and productive work environment is essential.

It’s clear that IMPs offer a comprehensive set of benefits, from energy efficiency to aesthetic appeal, and from cost savings to fire resistance.

These benefits extend far beyond simple construction considerations, making IMPs a wise choice for those looking for a sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective solution for their building projects.

Topics: Insulated Metal Panels, Energy, Sustainability