Massachusetts Office Building Goes Retro to Retrofit

Standing since the 1970’s, the West Middlesex Turnpike building has served as a home to local businesses of all kinds in Bedford, Mass.

Yet, after more than four decades of an aging brick exterior, the building owner wanted to bring the facility’s facade into the 21st century.

Metl-Span insulated metal panels (IMPs) were selected for the renovation because they provide superior insulation values and a crisp, contemporary façade.

“The original building was constructed in two phases,” said Dacon Corporation’s Michael Frechette, AIA. “Insulated metal panels allowed us to pull it all together and provide the updated aesthetic the owner was seeking in an energy-saving system.

“It was a dramatic transformation,” he added. “The original CMU [concrete masonry unit] was a very rough surface, but CES [Controlled Environment Structures, LLC] 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.”


Metl-Span provided approximately 16,000 square feet of 3-inch CF Architectural IMPs in 24-inch and 36-inch widths. IMPs were installed over the existing split-face masonry wall using a custom clip to metal studs, while horizontal IMPs were installed in widths consistent with windows and other design elements of the building.

“The original façade was ripped off and we installed the insulated metal panels,” said Dave McGrath, CES sales engineer. “Most of the work we do is from-the-ground-up new construction because that’s the work that’s out there, though 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,” he added. “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.”

Working with metal panels that have a smooth finish can be challenging, but Metl-Span’s CF Architectural Smooth panels made a potentially daunting task easy.

“The quality of manufacturing has to be right on with smooth panels or it can become problematic,” McGrath said. “Every imperfection shows up; you can’t hide sins in a smooth panel, but the Metl-Span panels were perfect.”

Ideal for high-profile facades, the CF Architectural IMPs provided 54 Middlesex Turnpike with a flat, monolithic look. Half of the installed IMPs were Regal Gray, while the other half were Polar White, creating a clean, consistent look around the entire building.

According to McGrath, the building owner is very happy with the finished project and the building is even attracting some attention. “They light it up with LED lights at night and it looks great,” he said.

“The smooth finish adds to the crisp geometry the owner wanted,” Frechette said. “It is a clean aesthetic, an upgrade from the typical embossed finish.”

For more information on Metl-Span’s sustainable and aesthetically-pleasing products, visit metlspan.com/performance. Call 877.585.9969 or email info@metlspan.com to discuss your next project.

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