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UAA Alaska Airlines Center

Kingspan Insulated Panels – North America

Mother Nature has a big influence on construction scheduling, especially in Alaska. With the cold months of winter approaching fast, the general contractor charged with keeping the University of Alaska at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center project on schedule wanted the building envelope to be closed-in as quickly as possible. By utilizing KarrierPanel and KarrierRailsystems from Kingspan Insulated Panels, that goal was met quickly and easily.

The University of Alaska at Anchorage (UAA) commissioned architectural firm McCool Carlson Green of Anchorage to design a dynamic arena worthy of the future vision for its athletic programs. The resulting Alaska Airlines Center is a 5,600-seat multi-tiered performance arena that will host sporting events, graduation ceremonies and concerts, as well as university and community activities.

Cornerstone General Contractors of Anchorage began construction of UAA's $109 million sports arena in the summer of 2012, with a grand opening slated for September 5, 2014. Cornerstone has been involved with UAA for more than 15 years and helped develop the UAA Construction Management Program. The company has sponsored many student interns, hired graduates, and then mentored them into leadership positions in the Alaska construction industry. In fact, several UAA alumni served on the Alaska Airlines Center project.

The 196,000 square foot facility has a primary gym that can be divided into three courts, plus an auxiliary gym that can be divided into two courts for intramural sports. It also has space for training rooms, offices for coaches and administration staff, a laundry, and locker rooms for seven team programs.

Over 100,000 square feet of KarrierPanel was installed to form a building envelope that provides a vapor barrier and high R-value insulation. “This was the biggest installation of KarrierPanel products in the Northwest in the last decade,” said Bill Sandahl, regional sales manager for Kingspan Insulated Panels North America. “That made it feasible for the general contractor to begin interior work before the weather turned frigid.” Carve Construction of Anchorage was the job’s Kingspan product installer.

The primary challenge facing all design-construction teams is reduction of build time. When a structure is urgently needed to be operational, the team must make use of materials that can quickly enclose the building envelope. Installation was achieved quicker and easier than multi-part built-up methods because the KarrierPanel is secured in a one-step procedure.

With the KarrierRail system, Kingspan KarrierPanels, and many other products can be used to create unlimited possibilities for rainscreen cladding. This is a stable and secure structural rail upon which many types of cladding can be hung.

KarrierRail safely transmits positive loads from multiple façade elements to the structural supports behind the insulated panels. Expansion fasteners, called Fab-Loks, secure the exposed rail edge and ensure that the system safely handles negative loads too. The standard rail configuration is 16 gauge Galvalume®, 50-KSI steel and is available in various lengths with a 1-, 2- and 3-inch bearing surface.

The cladding materials that were placed on the Alaska Airlines Center included Morin Single Element metal wall panels. These panels are 100 percent recyclable and meet the requirements for the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System. Morin’s nationwide sales network and in-house technical service teams provide innovative solutions for today’s progressive architecture.

Approximately 22,400 square feet of MORIN’s U-12 single element box rib panels were specified for the project. The 0.050-inch aluminum concealed fastener wall panels were treated with a clear anodized Class I finish system. The maximum length of the panels was 25 feet, so any longer panels were connected with splice plates. The same material was finished and installed as 8,100 square feet of soffit panels.

“We chose the box rib panel with a vertical rib,” says Michael Carlson, AIA, CCS, REFP, of McCool Carlson Green. “It’s a big structure so for the tall space we selected a profile that had some depth. It brought some strength to the project. The box rib was a good choice because of the deep shadow lines and it provides a noticeable contrast with the darker zinc (roofing) panels.”

Uriah Rolando of Carve Construction  headed up the installation of the MORIN products. “The clear anodized panels provided an organic look and they look great with the zinc,” Rolando says. “They wanted a 100-year product that wouldn’t change much over time and that’s what we installed.”

Carlson says the clear anodized finish system offered the natural look he was seeking, as opposed to painted metal panels, and the system will hold its look over time. “The clear anodized finish enhances the durability and gives the aluminum character,” he says. “It was interesting going through the finishing process because we expected much more consistency in the look of each panel. With the contrast, we were able to work with the installers to mix up the shades to give the walls some character. That would not have happened if it were not anodized.”

Regardless of the materials used as a facing, Sandahl believes KarrierPanel will become even more popular as a cladding material on commercial buildings in the Northwest. “There is no better building envelope than one made with insulated metal panels,” he said. “Kingspan KarrierPanel is recognized as one of the best enclosure options available today, and in the future will increasingly be specified for commercial buildings.”

Photographs by Ken Graham Photography

About Morin - A Kingspan Group Company


Morin, a Kingspan Group Company, is one of the industry's most versatile manufacturers of single element metal wall and roof panel systems. With production facilities in Bristol, CT, Deland, FL and Fontana, CA, MORIN has a combined production capacity of over 50 million square feet, fabricating metal panels in more than 75 different profiles. MORIN Single Element panels are 100% recyclable and meet the requirements for the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System. MORIN's nationwide sales network and in-house technical service teams are dedicated to providing innovative solutions for today’s progressive architecture. Visit to access profiles, specifications, CAD details, load span charts and technical manuals.

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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