Metal Sales' David Stermer Discusses IMPs in Metal Architecture Magazine

The July issue of Metal Architecture magazine features an article by Metal Sales' Director of Engineering, David Stermer. In the article, David explains how Insulated Metal Panels provide thermal performance and design flexibility. You can read the article in its entirety below. It was originally featured on Metal Architecture's website

For more information on Metal Sales' IMPower™ Series insulated metal panels, click here.

Providing Thermal Performance and Design Flexibility in a Single Component
Modern buildings must be built cost effectively with measurable thermal efficiency and design flexibility. Today's architects, contractors and building owners are using insulated metal panels (IMPs) to help meet these building goals and sustainability objectives. 
IMPs consist of foam insulation factory injected between two steel panels to create a single high-strength wall or roof panel. They offer a complete concealed fastener system that contains the vapor barrier, air barrier and water barrier with a high-efficiency insulation system. This reduces the number of building components that need to be field assembled.
Thermal Performance
One of the biggest benefits of IMPs is the insulation value that keeps a building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The measure of the resistance of heat flow is known as the R-value. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Building codes require structures to meet certain R-values to achieve a specific level of energy efficiency. The minimum R-values will differ by region due to the impact of climate zones. The foam core of IMPs provide a high R-value per inch, far superior to traditional insulation materials and require less insulation thickness to comply with building energy efficiency codes.
Thermal bridging reduces the effectiveness of insulation by allowing the transfer of thermal energy through direct metal contact from the exterior to the interior of the building. A benefit of IMPs is that the fastener can be located near the inside face with no metal that extends to the exterior. This kind of solution can be applied to the inside flange of purlins or joints to provide uninterrupted insulation. IMPs create continuous insulation on the exterior of building framing, maximizing thermal efficiency. An IMP with a high R-value, continuous insulation and air barrier results in significant HVAC energy savings.
Design Flexibility
IMPs are available in a wide array of profiles, textures and colors. The panels are ideal for use in any climate and on a variety of building applications such as schools, corporate offices, warehouses, airplane hangars, warehouses and sports complexes.
IMPs are typically prefinished with factory-applied coatings on both the exterior and interior faces. A polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or silicone-modified polyester (SMP) coating is often used on the exterior metal facing for long-lasting performance and durability. The cool pigment technology in high-performance exterior coating systems delivers solar reflectance index (SRI) values that meet steep- and/or low-slope requirements for Energy Star and LEED. The interior metal facing is typically a light reflective white color and requires little or no maintenance.
IMPs offer more useable building floor space in comparison to conventional field assembled walls. For example, the IMPower Series from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp., Louisville, Ky., delivers an R-value of 20 in a 2.5-inch thick wall panel. To achieve the same insulating value using a field assembled glass fiber system would require the system be approximately 7.5 inches thick.
Cost Effective
The lightweight nature of IMPs reduces installation time and minimizes construction delays common in multi-component roof and wall systems projects. According to the Metal Construction Association, IMPs can be erected at a rate of 1,100 square feet per eight-hour shift by a four-man crew on an architectural project. For an industrial project, IMPs can be erected at a rate of 5,000 square feet per eight-hour shift by a four-man crew. 
IMPs have a high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for long building spans and minimal framing requirements. Their strength requires fewer supports, reducing structural and foundation costs. The panels are supplied as a single component, resulting in fewer material resources and easier installation when compared to multi-component systems.
Additional Benefits
IMPs are manufactured and tested for compliance to North American building industry standards and codes. They carry ratings for fire, structural, load capabilities, thermal transmittance, water penetration and air infiltration.

IMPs are ideal for a variety of projects in any region. Their look, reliability, ease of installation and high performance provide time and energy savings that result in cost savings for the installer and building owner.