Expanding into the United States, Australia-based Ecofibre, a global leader in hemp technologies, sought to build a headquarters that aligned with the company’s sustainability goals. Choosing insulated metal panels from Kingspan Insulated Panels - North America helped it achieve those objectives, and contributed to the project's rapid construction.
“Ecofibre’s mission centers around the sustainability of industrial hemp, so we set out to create a building that met that same level of sustainability as we designed the company’s new US headquarters,” said Martin Merkel, AIA
LEED AP of JRA Architects.
In 2020, Ecofibre was the first Hemp Processing Facility in the United States to become LEED platinum certified for its $16 million hemp processing facility warehouse in Georgetown, Kentucky.
When choosing building materials that aligned with the company’s goals, JRA Architects selected Kingspan’s KS Shadowline and KarrierPanel insulated metal panels (IMPs) to achieve a high-performing building envelope while also providing a variety
of unique aesthetic options.
The 50,000 square foot facility used 19,525 square feet of KS Shadowline IMPs and 2,870 square feet of KarrierPanel IMPs, both featuring QuadCore® technology.
“We looked at other manufacturers and the Kingspan QuadCore® is what made the difference for us,” stated Merkel.
Kingspan’s QuadCore® technology may reduce embodied carbon versus other traditional building materials on similar-sized buildings, and QuadCore® insulation foam is even made with upcycled PET plastic water bottles at Kingspan’s Modesto,
California plant. Portions of the panels can also be recycled at the end of their lifecycle.
In addition to its enhanced environmental factors, QuadCore® also provides superior fire protection and advanced thermal performance. IMPs with QuadCore® provide a highly effective barrier against moisture and vapor, all in one product. With an
R-value of R-8.0 per inch, thinner walls meant Ecofibre was able to maximize the space saved.
“Kingspan’s QuadCore® insulation helped us achieve many of our goals for the Ecofibre headquarters, from LEED Platinum certification to implementing Cradle-to-Cradle design. It also allowed us to use a thinner panel and still get
a very high R-value,” said Merkel.
Despite the pandemic, Ecofibre’s new headquarters, also in Georgetown, took only 11 months to build, thanks in part to the speed of build that Kingspan IMPs allow. Because the IMPs have fewer components than traditional wall assemblies, fewer trades are needed and construction
time is greatly reduced.
“Speed of build was a high priority for this project. We needed to design and build a 50,000 square foot building in 16 months -- about twice as fast normal,” Merkel explained. “Using insulated metal panels gave us a huge advantage
when it came to speed of build, as well as meeting our needs for sustainability and performance.”
Not only were the building materials chosen with careful consideration to their environmental impact, Ecofibre’s forward-thinking, sustainable building also features solar panels and 70 light-channeling solar tubes to geothermal and water capture.
Ecofibre also has its own spin on design with its own products: antiviral and antimicrobial hemp-infused furniture and wallpaper. With more than one green initiative in mind from design to operation, Ecofibre quickly met and exceeded its sustainability