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Food and Sustainability

Insulated metal roof panels follow company’s sustainable philosophy

Centria Case Study Sept18 1

Located in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) Food Innovation Building was constructed in response to the rising popularity of food growing simulations, and it stands to promote technological advances in food growth and wellness.


The KVCC needed to house four critical features for training: Food education areas, a flexible indoor growing space, processing areas, and outdoor growing areas—all with ample space for hands-on greenhouse work and research. Construction of the facility was executed in collaboration with the City of Kalamazoo, Bronson Healthcare Group, the Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, so the architect, TowerPinkster, Kalamazoo, was required to specify building materials that provided state-of-the-art sustainability features. In addition, the façade had to account for the aesthetic traits of the surrounding environment including city parks, residential properties, walkways, bus routes, hospitals and rivers.


It was only natural that the structure of the building followed the sustainability philosophy of its occupants, and 5,750 square feet of Moon Township, Pa.-based CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series panels were the ideal fit. All Formawall products include a standard halogen-free foam core, enabling the architectural community to push the envelope further and create a more sustainable building environment.

As such, these panels adorn the façade of the building. Installed horizontally, they offer unmatched weather resistance by utilizing pressure equalization along the length of the horizontal joinery. Inherent advanced thermal and moisture protection (ATMP) technology grants these panels a superior air barrier, ample thermal insulation and moisture protection. The length of the panels provides wide swaths of smooth space, occasionally broken by windows, and melds into the asymmetrical design of the adjacent panels.

Additionally, 18,634 square feet of CENTRIA’s Versapanel insulated metal roofing panels were installed to create the building’s overall silhouette, with the added bonus of thermal and moisture efficiency. The panels have strong steel skins which increase span capability and cut costs on support steel. The interior liner works with the face sheet to improve structural strength. The lightweight, simplistic design offers fast and efficient installation, which allowed construction to conclude before December’s heavy snowfall. In addition to its performance features, Versapanel provides unique, uneven sightlines, and its embossed finish allows for a striated surface.


The 16,000-square-foot building satisfied all the client’s requirements, with additional sustainable features, such as a green roof area and geothermal heating and cooling system, incorporated by TowerPinkster.

Andrew Hardman is a marketing communications specialist at CENTRIA, Moon Township, Pa. To learn more, visit