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Community and Q&A

Add insulated metal faced panels to the exterior walls of a curling rink arena.

user-6788543 | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

Existing 25 yr old building walls are uninsulated painted concrete block without a vapour barrier. Structure is a pre-Eng steel frame with insulated metal roof.
Building located near Toronto Canada.
Building is maintained close to 40f year round.
Owners have installed new dehumidification equipment and now want to upgrade the walls insulation and seal air infiltration.
The preference would be to use metal faced insulated panels of 5″ thickness providing an R of 20.
1) panels could be installed tight to existing block or fastened to metal furring leaving a 1″ space between block and inside metal face of panel.
2) considering that summer months will be the worst conditions of operation (cold inside hot outside). I would elect to caulk the exterior face joints between the panels as well as around the perimeter to create a vapour barrier on the warm face.
Optionally, panels could be left uncaulked and not creat a VB at all.

What is the best scenario here?



  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    1. You never told us whether the plan is to install the panels on the interior side of the concrete block wall or on the exterior side.

    2. Regardless of which side of the block wall you end up putting the panels, an air gap between the metal panels and the block wall is not desirable, since such a gap just introduces opportunities for convection and air leakage.

    3. The metal panels are vapor-impermeable. They are a vapor barrier. Steel is vapor-impermeable. The 5 inches of rigid foam is also (nearly) a vapor barrier, depending on what type of foam is used. So you don't need another vapor barrier.

    4. The trickiest details are at the seams. You want a continuous air barrier for your building. That means that you need a plan to seal the gap between your floor air barrier (presumably, a concrete slab) and your new wall panels. You also need a plan to seal the seam between the top of the wall panels and your ceiling air barrier. I have no idea what type of ceiling air barrier this building has -- but it needs one.

    -- Martin Holladay

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