Localized repairs had worked to a point, but the owners of a 100+ unit apartment building in London, Ontario, Canada were looking for a permanent solution to the deterioration they were seeing in their structure's exterior. And with the KS Granitstone insulated wall panel system from Kingspan, that's exactly what they got.
Built in the 1970s, 550 Berkshire Drive was showing its age. The wear and tear on its exterior brick prompted the building's owners, Sifton Properties Limited, to develop a revitalization plan. Having already undertaken smaller repairs in the past, new water penetration issues on the upper, west-facing floors where the building is susceptible to driving rains, were cause to go in another direction.
“One of our goals was to not have this property look like so many other buildings this age, which simply have a metal cap on the upper third of the building,” said Peter Neil, Vice President of Residential Management for Sifton.
Home to more than 200 people in 133 suites, a complete tear-down of 550 Berkshire was not even an option. The owners, who built the structure and own the majority of the surrounding neighborhood, were focused on preservation instead. Residents were a top priority and they wanted to ensure not a single occupant would be displaced. With the vision of a more unique and modern exterior, the owners also had a vested interest in keeping the entire area visually pleasing while accomplishing their redevelopment goals.
An exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) was initially considered but repetitive issues with some design aspects of the building shifted the direction. Additionally, there were concerns over the installation’s quality with respect to weather challenges and how that would impact residents.
After learning about the superior insulation properties of insulated metal panels (IMPs), along with the possibility of having an exterior finish that was similar in look and texture to EIFS, a potential EIFS restoration project turned into a retrofit using insulated metal panels.
Chosen for the retrofit project was Kingspan’s KS Granitstone insulated wall panel system. The KS Granitstone system mimics the architectural look of sprayed stucco, making it ideal for the desired aesthetics of this retrofit. The factory-applied acrylic aggregate finish option comes in a variety of colors and two different finish options, Granitstone and Granitstone Quartz, both of which are available on many different Kingspan wall panel systems.
The aesthetic appeal of these IMPs in no way hinders their performance. In fact, because they are highly durable and ready to stand up to the elements, they not only look good, but they will also help extend the overall life of the building. Beyond curb appeal, these IMPs also offer single-component design, which means faster on-site installation, fewer construction delays, and potential saving on labor costs. They also deliver high-energy efficiency through superior air tightness, low thermal bridging, and a high R-value, all of which can result in significant energy savings during the building's lifespan. This level of performance means these panels enhance LEED certification programs and help achieve Net-Zero Energy targets.
The primary focus of this renovation project was to preserve the building, while updating the exterior, all with minimal disruption to residents. Kingspan was able to help achieve these goals with the use of the KS Granitstone wall system, while making the more energy efficient. This has become a significant benefit for residents, especially in the winter months.
The retrofit project at 550 Berkshire was completed in early fall of 2014.
Photographs by Lisa Logan Photography