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D.C. Entertainment and Sports Arena

Kingspan Insulated Panels – North America

In September 2018, Washington D.C.’s Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) opened the doors to its new $65 million building. Clad in Kingspan Insulated Panels' Optimo™ wall panel system, this new 120,000-square foot arena is a sleek, yet seamless addition to the nation’s capital.

Located in St. Elizabeths East, a National Historic Landmark in D.C.’s Congress Heights neighborhood, the ESA is surrounded by several red-brick buildings that are in the midst of redevelopment. It was an important goal of Events DC, the design and builder of the project, to have the building blend in with its surroundings, and Kingspan’s panels helped do just that.

An advantage of insulated metal panels (IMPs) is the ability to choose from thousands of colors to meet the needs of any project. Together with the architects, Kingspan came up with the right exterior colors to match the arena with its red-brick neighbors – Colonial Red, Redwood, Sandstone and Bone White (all Kingspan standard colors) and Audubon Russet, a custom Sherwin-Williams color.

“The materiality of the historic buildings will be used for the building’s common spaces to create a unified thread to its environment on the greater St. Elizabeths Campus,” said Events DC in a statement during the design review process.

Another requirement from the owners was a wall assembly that did not utilize any exposed fasteners. With 53,000 square feet of metal panels, this was no easy task, but Kingspan met the challenge by engineering a concealed fastener solution the delivers a flat appearance without the need for exposed trim at the base, corners or openings.

In addition to customization with colors and fasteners, using Kingspan insulated metal panels for this project was also a money saver. Originally, the plan called for terracotta panels, but after seeing the cost, the architects changed the design to use IMPs, saving an estimated $100,000 to $200,000. IMPs also provide a high R-Value with a high level of energy efficiency that will be especially important during D.C.’s cold winters and hot summers.

The arena plans to host concerts, boxing and other events and is expected to attract almost 400,000 spectators annually. It is also the new practice facility for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the home arena for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go.

The expectations for a healthy, efficient, sustainable building were high with this project, and Kingspan worked diligently to help the building owner earn a LEED Silver certification.

About Kingspan Insulated Panels - North America


Kingspan Insulated Panels – North America is a business unit of Kingspan, a global company operating in more than 80 countries, with over 200 manufacturing facilities. Kingspan Insulated Panels – North America manufactures and markets three groups of products at its U.S., Canadian and Mexican facilities: insulated metal wall and roof panel systems for commercial/industrial construction; insulated architectural panel and façade systems for design-driven projects; and controlled environment panels and doors for cold-storage and climate-controlled warehousing. In addition to its commitment to quality and innovation, the company is on the leading edge of the sustainability movement, offering best-of-class products produced in state-of-the-art, eco-friendly facilities. To learn more visit

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