Stadiums and Arenas: Designing for the Win with Insulated Metal Panels

Architecture on a large scale, especially stadium and arena projects, require a winning combination of functionality, design aesthetics, economy and sustainability that can scale right along with these projects. That’s where insulated metal panels hit it out of the park. Insulated metal panels are the preferred choice of architects in sports venue design because of their performance, durability, ease of installation, versatility and lower carbon footprint.
Here we’ll get the ball rolling on a closer look at the benefits of integrating insulated metal panels in the design of sports stadiums and arenas.

Front Runner in Performance

Energy code requirements are increasing for sports facilities. Meeting these requirements can be a challenge for large scale buildings.
That’s a critical reason why these structures need the weather barrier and high thermal performance provided by insulated metal panels. With a core of continuous, rigid insulation, Kingspan’s KS Series and BENCHMARK Designwall insulated panels offer some of the industry’s highest R-values, with superior airtightness performance that helps reduce thermal bridging typical of built-up wall systems, making them a top choice for stadiums and arenas.
The new DRV PNK Inter Miami CF Stadium and Training Facility is an example of this thermal performance in action. The stadium and training facility features 40,000 sq. ft. of Kingspan's BENCHMARK Designwall 4000 panels with QuadCore® technology. QuadCore® closed cell insulation core provides R-values of up to 8 per inch, which improves energy efficiency and stands up to South Florida’s heat and humidity.

Built To Go the Distance

Commercial buildings like stadiums and arenas need building materials that protect against the elements, meet wind load requirements, and have a long lifespan, all while maintaining a like new-looking appearance.
Many event venues across the globe can be seen sporting Kingspan’s insulated metal panels. Designed to last the lifetime of the building and offering long-lasting colors, textures, and finishes, architects are designing stadiums and arenas with Kingspan insulated metal panels to achieve successful project outcomes that meet the highest standards for longevity, color stability and thermal and fire performance.

No Sweat In The Race Against Time

Quick and easy installation is another major benefit of using insulated metal panels in stadium and arena designs. Single-component Kingspan insulated metal panels allow faster on-site installation than other building envelope solutions such as tilt-up, precast, or block that usually require cranes and other heavy equipment to be set in place. Lightweight insulated metal panels are often installed with forklifts or even a simple pulley system which saves time and money.
Compared to traditional wall assemblies, the metal wall panels require fewer trades onsite to install, helping reduce scheduling issues and allowing commercial buildings like stadiums and arenas to be completed under tight construction deadlines.
The need for speed was key in the construction of the Inter Miami CF major league soccer stadium which experienced years of delays that accelerated the construction timeline to only 10 months. The fast install time of the 40,000 sq. ft. of Kingspan's BENCHMARK Designwall 4000 panels used on the project ensured that the stadium would be completed in under 10 months, a record-breaking construction time frame unheard of in the world of professional sports stadiums.

In a League of Its Own For Versatility

Versatility in design capabilities and finishes also make insulated metal panels a popular choice for event venues. Kingspan insulated panels offer architects unlimited creative possibilities in stadium and arena design with a wide range of standard and custom colors as well as various widths and finishes.
The Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C. is one of the area’s hottest event venues and sports complexes.  Hosting the practice facility for the NBA’s Washing Wizards, this 120,000 sq. ft., 4,200-seat public arena also provides community events and concerts, too.
The Kingspan Optimo panels provide both the aesthetic looks and the energy efficiency that ROESSETTI and Marshal Moya Design needed to build a stadium that blended in with the neighborhood architecture but also achieved LEED Silver as well.
In addition to sustainable design, Kingspan panels provide a wide variety of exterior profiles and embossing textures. All those options make it possible for metal panels to respond to the context of surrounding architecture – a very important feature in the design of MLS facility Exploria Stadium, home base for Orlando City Soccer. In this project, Kingspan Designwall 4000 metal panels were key to making the stadium contextually responsive to the architecture of the surrounding neighborhood. The design reflected the neighboring buildings of the Church Street corridor and the nearby Amway Center, which features metal panels.

Sustainability in Full Swing

Like many sectors today, the sports industry is moving toward sustainability, prioritizing greener design of stadiums and facilities.  
Insulated metal panels can be a major contributor to the sustainability of venues like these. According to a KieranTimberlake study of different commercial and industrial building wall assemblies, these panels can reduce embodied carbon by up to 28%, compared to tilt-up concrete wall assemblies.
Durable Kingspan insulated metal panels reduce operational costs for energy and maintenance and offer multiple end-of-life reuse options. In fact, the exterior skins contain a substantial amount of recycled content, and each insulated metal panel is recyclable. Because these panels weigh only 3 pounds per square foot, less energy is needed for transport and installation. These panels also contribute to LEED certification programs and Path to Net-Zero Energy targets.
In an effort to integrate sustainable design practices for a greener, healthier and more resilient stadium, Kingspan’s KS Micro-Rib panels were used in the design of Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario, a stadium for both FIFA and the Canadian Football League. These panels helped the facility achieve LEED Silver Certification, exceeding government sustainability requirements.
Maximizing sustainable building practices was also critical in the selection of Kingspan’s Morin perforated, single element panelsOptimo Embossed and BENCHMARK Designwall 2000 Embossed insulated panels in the transformation of the Daytona International Speedway. Kingspan’s commitment to built environments that are more energy efficient, attractive, adaptable, environmentally sensitive and productive, aligned with Daytona International Speedway’s commitment to sustainability.
These are just some of the many reasons insulated metal panels are a major win when they are integrated in the design of stadiums and arenas.

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