When it came time to erect a new office building, Kevin Johnson, owner of Rhoads and Johnson, a design/build construction firm in Fenton, Mich., decided to stick to what he does best.
Johnson says the new office and shop, a 12,000 square foot facility, is a showcase for what his company does. The framing is from Butler Manufacturing and the shell of the building consists of 8,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span. “We’ve been around for 119 years, my great-grandfather started the company,” Johnson says. “We’ve been selling Butler buildings for almost 50 years. Insulated metal panels changed the way we design and build. I think we are close to a place we’ll never sell a building without IMPs again.”
Johnson says IMPs provide a cost-effective way to construct offices, shops, recreational storage, industrial facilities or retail shops and restaurants. Rhoads and Johnson has also used metal building framing and IMPs to erect medical facilities and churches.
For the new Rhoads and Johnson office/shop, the exterior and interior of the Metl-Span IMPs is CF Light Mesa, coated in Igloo White. The panels are 42 inches wide and filled with a three-inch urethane insulation.
“Insulated metal panels eliminate the need for interior finishing,” says John Asselin Jr., AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, partner at Asselin McLane Architectural Group (AMAG) in Flint, Mich. “Kevin’s been in the industry a long time and he’s done a number of metal buildings with insulated panels. These panels are smooth and we wanted to stay away from the crinkled barn look.”
Asselin says in addition to providing the desired aesthetic, the IMPs were cost-effective and help meet the energy code.
“Obviously, the look of the product provides us with the aesthetics we were after,” Johnson says. “It’s a smooth surface, as opposed to the corrugated or grooved look of metal or the rough surface of tilt-up concrete. It just looks better. And with the money we saved by using IMPs, we added a little pizzazz in the corner with the glass for our offices. We ran glass from 12 feet right down to the ground.”
Johnson says it’s a look his customers are searching for. When they discover the other benefits of insulated metal panels – cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, durability and speed of construction – the decision becomes easy. Johnson says the new office is a model for customers who can see and feel all that IMPs have to offer.
“It’s the most cost-effective way to get the look that people want,” Johnson says. “Everything we did on our office was a showcase for the things we do, the Metl-Span panels, the glass and even the flooring, which is PrimX jointless concrete.
“We were looking for a new modern statement of style with the metal panels on our building and we think this is that version. It’s high style with high quality.”
The project took nine months to complete – Rhoads and Johnson moved into the facility in March 2021.
“We started erecting in the fall and got it enclosed before it got too cold to work outside,” Johnson says. “That happens with a lot of the buildings we do; we get a couple months of weather that will affect the product and the workmanship. That’s another advantage of IMPs; they go up fast in one step. You don’t have to frame, insulate, drywall and paint. IMPs arrived finished and ready to go.”
Johnson says weather doesn’t affect IMPs the way it can damage other forms of more traditional insulation. The cost of other construction materials, including plywood and steel, also makes IMPs a more cost-effective option.
“We’re very happy with the completed project and proud to put our name on it,” Asselin says. “We look forward to working on more projects like this.”