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Material Selection

When designing a residence, office or even a factory, how do you decide what building products to use? Is it personal preference of the home or business owner? Are there neighborhood requirements that allow some materials while banning others? Is it your own preference as a designer to use certain products for specific type of projects?

Or, maybe you’re trying to achieve a specific building or construction goal? LEED certification? Net zero energy? Green Globes? Whatever your goal is, there are some products that will help you to get there faster, and provide an overall benefit to the building design and aesthetic.

In this month’s Special Feature, we take a closer look at insulated metal panels, or IMPs. IMPs are an all-in-one metal panel system that includes a continuous insulating core that acts as an air, water vapor and thermal barrier. One of the benefits of IMPs is that they fulfill a number of credits for LEED certification. We examine just some of the areas in which IMPs can help project reach LEED certification faster.

In Constructive Insights, Alan Scott poses the question of "what does a high-performance building look like?" Should it be obvious from the outside that the building is operating at a high performance level, or is what’s inside the building that’s most important? It’s an interesting question, one that architects and designers have to wrestle with regularly.

In this month’s Building Profile, we take a look at what happens when a company that has been designing and constructing highly functional, award-winning, light-industrial facilities throughout Mexico for the past 33 years takes on its new headquarters. Using its own design-build model, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico-based Lintel referenced “desert modernism” for its building, while asserting itself as a new-millennium structure that communicates the power of innovation, the value of transparency and confidence in the future. 

Whatever you are designing, the materials that you use say a lot about a project. From a building's aesthetics to how energy efficient it is, choosing the right building materials are essential to a successful project.

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