Insulated Metal Panels: A Perfect Fit for Retrofits

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Retrofitting is an important strategy for decarbonizing the built environment. That’s because retrofitting provides an opportunity to use newer technologies that incorporate more sustainable manufacturing practices, along with using building materials that have better thermal performance.
 
Retrofitting becomes critical for reducing carbon when you consider that many buildings in the U.S. are past their prime and in need of repair. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over 80% of our commercial buildings are now middle aged, built before the year 2000.
 
These buildings are lagging in energy efficiency and are not meeting increasingly stringent energy codes. In 2017, the International Energy Agency found two-thirds of buildings need to be covered by mandatory building energy codes by 2025 in order to outpace carbon emissions from new builds.
 
Insulated metal panels are an excellent solution to retrofitting aging buildings. These panels facilitate the achievement of green building construction standards and LEED credits and are a quick and easy-to-install solution for breathing new life into buildings and making them more environmentally friendly.
 
Newer insulated metal panel technology includes a higher level of thermal efficiency than ever before. Advanced closed cell insulation core, like QuadCore®, which is manufactured using upcycled PET plastic water bottles in Modesto, California, also contributes to a circular economy. For many commercial and industrial building retrofits, creating high performance building envelopes can increase energy efficiency, save on operational costs and reduce a building’s carbon footprint.
 
Kingspan’s retrofit project for the Daytona International Speedway is an excellent example of how insulated metal panels can make an immediate impact on a building’s aesthetics and sustainability.
 
Built in 1959, the 500-acre, one-mile-long speedway known as the “World Center of Racing” underwent a major renovation in 2013.
 
The International Speedway Corporation chose Kingspan’s insulated metal panels for the retrofit because of their eye-popping designs, high thermal performance and sustainability. The retrofit project used more than 125,000 square feet of Kingspan Optimo panels and BENCHMARK Designwall 2000 architectural wall panels.
 
Retrofitting makes sense for all types of commercial buildings including buildings that need a temperature-controlled interior climate, such as food storage and preparation facilities, breweries, wineries, and more. Once installed, the system of interlocking metal panels provides an uninterrupted barrier against the elements, reducing thermal bridging and preventing moisture damage.
 
The significant benefits of retrofitting with insulated metal panels extend beyond energy savings. Buildings that utilize insulated metal panels can cut costs and construction time, all while improving building aesthetics with virtually unlimited design options that can be tailored to any project. Additionally, because the installation work occurs externally, retrofitting with insulated metal panels causes zero disruption to internal occupancy or building operations. Together, these benefits translate to protecting the financial investment of active and inactive building owners, whether the project is residential multi-family or commercial.
 
The most compelling case for retrofitting with insulated metal panels lies in the vast number of buildings in need of updating and repair. If many of these buildings were retrofitted with insulated metal panels, a significant amount of carbon emissions would be reduced. That alone makes insulated metal panels a better choice for building retrofits; creating a more sustainable built environment.
 

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