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IMP Versatility Is Changing The Landscape Of The Building Industry

Karim Muri

By Karim Muri, Vice President of Marketing Services and Strategy, Kingspan

DeLand, FL - Insulated metal panels, commonly known as IMPs, are gaining popularity in various construction projects due to their sustainability, durability and aesthetic benefits. These panels serve as an all-in-one barrier solution for air, water and vapor, providing a lightweight, cost-effective and thermally efficient alternative to traditional building materials like tilt up concrete and exterior finishing systems.

According to Architecture 2030, embodied carbon emissions from the building sector produce 11% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG). Cement, a key ingredient in concrete, accounts for about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Efforts must be made across the industry to reduce the environmental impact of these traditional building materials.

IMPs provide a significant advantage in thermal efficiency over traditional materials. The insulation built into the metal panels creates an excellent barrier against heat transfer, reducing energy costs and creating a comfortable environment.

IMPs consist of an outer skin that serves as either metal wall siding or metal roofing, and an inner face that serves as a metal interior finish or liner, with insulation sandwiched between these metal skins. The metal and insulation used to produce these panels can be made from recyclable materials, reducing waste, and increasing circularity while creating a highly energy-efficient product. IMP usage in large scale projects can contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

Additionally, they are cost-effective, speeding up the build process due to their pre-fabrication and ease of installation. With various customizable design options including colors, textures and finishes, they can fit any project's aesthetic needs.

Due to their versatility, IMPs are being utilized in construction projects ranging from tiny homes to massive commerce centers. These benefits are highlighted in the following projects.


Thermally Efficient Tiny Homes For The Homeless

QuickHaven develops tiny homes for the homeless and utilizes IMPs for their durability, ease of installation and thermal efficiency. The panels provide a quick and effective solution for erecting the many tiny homes needed to house the unsheltered population. Homes can be erected by four people in less than an hour using simple tools and a ladder. An added benefit of utilizing IMPs for this purpose is their fire resistance, as fires are a common threat to traditional homeless camps.

Currently, there is a village in Petaluma, California, with another two in progress. To construct these 72 square-foot homes in California, QuickHaven used IMPs and a roof panel system, which served as an all-in-one solution to close each individual building envelope. The customization of panels allowed each tiny home in the community to have a unique appearance with different textures and colors. Moreover, the use of recycled steel in the IMPs added to QuickHaven's sustainable approach to building shelters.


Pictured above is the Bluegrass Harley Davidson dealership in Louisville. Below is AutoNation DRV PNK stadium in Miami.


Aesthetic Flexibility for Branding

The endless design possibilities offered by IMPs today mean that architects do not have to sacrifice style for durability, practicality and performance. Taking advantage of this flexibility, building and design professionals are increasingly specifying IMPs on commercial buildings in every sector to help companies highlight their brand. Examples of this design flexibility and brand building can be found in the Bluegrass Harley Davidson dealership in Louisville and the AutoNation DRV PNK stadium in Miami.

Orange and black custom-colored IMPs were used to help create the iconic and instantly recognizable Harley Davidson look at its 43,000 square-foot dealership in Louisville. Opened in January of 2022, the dealership required a striking design to stand out as it relocated to a more visible location. IMPs met the need for fast construction while increasing the building envelope's efficiency by reducing the need for multiple trades to erect the exterior walls. The panels maintain the building envelope's high thermal performance while adding a distinctive appearance that is instantly recognizable with Harley Davidson.

IMPs are also ideal for sports venues and stadiums by meeting the demand for lower environmental impacts, while improving speed-of-build and allowing for creative design. The AutoNation DRV PNK stadium, with a capacity of 18,000 seats, features 40,000 square feet of IMPs in the Miami CF team's signature black and pink colors. The panels were custom ordered to kick off the team's first home season in style, making DRV PNK Stadium a standout venue in South Florida.


Energy Efficient Distribution Centers

IMPs play a crucial role in helping large companies achieve their sustainability and decarbonization targets by providing airtight, moisture-resistant and continuous insulation. These panels offer high R-values and superior thermal performance, resulting in improved energy efficiency which lowers energy costs and GHG emissions, all of which play a valuable role in achieving net-zero energy and carbon-neutral targets.

The significance of IMPs is evident in their use in some of the world's largest e-commerce distribution centers, including a recent build in Tracy, California. Over 223,000 square feet of IMPs were used in the 3.2 million square-foot facility. By maintaining optimal temperature levels and reducing stress on HVAC systems, IMPs make it possible for the center to operate comfortably, even during the hot California summers.

As we look toward the future, the construction industry must implement alternative products and materials into building designs. IMPs are a modern building product that offer exceptional insulation and significant energy savings, making them a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional materials for a variety of projects.

Structurally, IMPs are versatile enough to be used in a wide range of projects, from tiny homes to massive distribution centers. With built-in insulation, they serve to decrease energy expenditure by increasing thermal efficiency. As a premier building product, IMPs are at the forefront of innovation and provide an adaptable, sustainable and cost-effective solution for construction projects of all types and sizes.

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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