The Overachieving Qualities of Metal Composites

A sustainable solution for climate change integrates solar with insulated metal panels
Sponsored by Metal Construction Association

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss how metal panels with solar arrays minimize energy use and construction costs.
  2. Explain how metal building systems can meet or exceed building codes.
  3. Describe how insulated metal panels act as air, water vapor and thermal barriers to achieve sustainability.
  4. List three mainstream solar options that can be integrated with metal panels.


1 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
This test is no longer available for credit

This course is part of the Metal Architecture Academy

Below are a set of links to building type studies from Architectural Record, which are in-depth analyses of particular kinds of buildings, with photos, drawings, specifications, detailed descriptions, and design solutions. Click on each link below, read the article then complete the quiz to earn your credit and certificate of completion.

Insulated metal panels are exterior wall and roof panels with steel skins and an insulating foam core. They provide a multitude of solutions for construction as air, water vapor and thermal barriers. This course looks at how IMPs integrate easily with solar panels and minimize a building’s energy use, which can help reduce costs, gain LEED points, exceed codes and provide important climate change solutions.

Insulated Metal Panels and LEED
Insulated metal panels (IMPs) combine multiple building components into a single product. Available in a variety of thicknesses, IMPs are factory-fabricated with a continuous insulating core that, along with its metal skin, acts as an air, water vapor and thermal barrier. By providing high R-values, IMPs offer a complete package that can be installed quickly, offering highly efficient insulation that minimizes a building’s energy use and minimizes construction costs.
Marcy Marro

Innovative Metal Solutions for the Built Environment: High-performance metal products achieve sustainable, cost-effective results
From exterior building envelope walls and roofing to interior ceiling systems, metal offers a variety of innovative products, composites, and sustainable design solutions suitable for any climate and building type. Metal wall and roofing panels are proven, energy-efficient systems that are constantly updated and refined to meet emerging technology, building codes, sustainability, and project needs.
Barbara A. Nadel

Using Metal Building Systems to Meet and Exceed the Energy Code
The definition of a well-designed building includes the ability to achieve energy performance levels that reduce the need—and associated cost—for purchased energy to operate the building. Achieving building designs that meet targeted energy-performance levels—or exceed them—can be realized using many different construction methods and building systems.
Peter J. Arsenault, AIA

How Solar Power Works for Steel Buildings
Solar panels are one of the fastest-growing energy systems in the United States. Studies completed by the Solar Energy Industries Association show that the solar market is expected to become a 4.5-billion-dollar market by 2023, doubling in size. As solar power has increased in popularity, innovative methods for accessing solar energy have been developed. This article discusses three mainstream solar power options that offer accessible, robust systems with the technology to heat metal buildings efficiently.

Overachieving Metal

Photo courtesy of AWIP


Metal Construction Association The Metal Construction Association brings together a diverse industry for the purpose of expanding the use of metal in construction through marketing, research, technology, and education. MCA member companies gain tremendous benefit from association activities that focus on research, codes and standards, market development, and technical programs.


Originally published in August 2021