Insulated metal panels were specified to provide a more modern look to the two-story Middlesex Turnpike office building in Bedford, Mass. The owner wanted to escort the facility, erected in the 1970s, into the 21st century.
Metl-Span provided approximately 16,000 square feet of 3-inch CF Architectural insulated metal panels in 24-inch and 36-inch widths. The IMPs, with a 22-gauge exterior skin and a 26-gauge interior skin, were installed over the existing split-face masonry wall using a custom clip, and to metal studs.
“The original building was constructed in two phases,” says Michael Frechette, AIA, of Dacon in Natick, Mass, noting the casual observer could notice the differences in the construction phases. “Insulated metal panels allowed us to pull it all together and provide the updated aesthetic the owner was seeking in an energy-saving system.”
Horizontal IMPs were installed in widths consistent with windows and other design elements of the building. Frechette says the Middlesex Turnpike office building now boasts a clean, consistent look, all around the building.
“The original façade was ripped off and we installed the insulated metal panels,” says Dave McGrath, sales engineer for Controlled Environment Structures (CES) of Mansfield, Mass. “Most of the work we do is from-the-ground-up new construction, because that’s the work that’s out there. We do our share of renovations. On this project, we installed insulated metal panels to metal studs and to the masonry.
“It’s a lot more difficult to do a horizontal renovation than a new vertical installation. We had to line up our seams with the mullions on the storefront
windows. There is a lot of custom field work because we weren’t working off a blueprint; these are field conditions.”
Half of the Metl-Span insulated metal panels were Regal Gray and half were Polar White.
“It was a dramatic transformation,” says Frechette. “The original CMU (concrete masonry unit) was a very rough surface, but CES came up with a clever solution to attach the insulated metal panels to a sub-framing system. Now, you’d never know there was basically a concrete block building under there.”
McGrath says CES developed a clip to attach the IMPs to the masonry. Another challenge was working with panels that have a smooth finish. “The quality of manufacturing has to be right on with smooth panels or it can become problematic,” McGrath says. “Every imperfection shows up; you can’t hide sins in a smooth panel, but the Metl-Span panels were perfect.”
Work on the project was completed in June 2018. McGrath says the owner is extremely happy with the finished project and the building at Middlesex Turnpike is attracting some attention. “They light it up with LED lights at night and it looks great,” he says.
“The smooth finish adds to the crisp geometry the owner wanted,” Frechette says. “It is a clean aesthetic, an upgrade from the typical embossed finish.”