Fins, Curves, and Color: Design Possibilities with Today’s Insulated Metal Panels


Fins, Curves, and Color: Design Possibilities with Today’s Insulated Metal Panels

A collaborative article written by America Training Solutions (ATS) 

You may know about the performance benefits that insulated metal panels (IMPs) bring to the building envelope. But did you know that IMPs can also deliver design flexibility and even inspiration? 

IMPs are known for exceptional thermal performance, strength, and resistance to moisture, weather, and fire. “In talking with the team at Norbec, I learned that IMPs also offer solutions that provide design versatility, including fins, curves, and color.” – ATS 


Fins are sleek and sophisticated architectural elements that provide depth and texture, creating visually captivating facades for buildings that utilize IMPs. 

Norbec created two unique fin models, FLEXandVERSA, that provide mounting-orientation flexibility. Simply put, these fins are not required to be mounted at the girts (except for the NOROC panel), and they can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on the surface of the panels. See the renderings below. 


The VERSA model is fully customizable which allows you to create any desired shape. Bring your boldest designs with this innovative element, even intricate geometric patterns, dynamic curves, or avant-garde shapes.  

If you prefer a blade in the joint, Norbec offers the ALIGN model. 

Click HEREto learn more about fins. 


If you think IMPs only offer rigid, boxy, and boring buildings, think again. Take a look at the Place Bell Arena in the image below. The bright-white exterior curve mirrors that of the ice rink inside. 

 Curves at the Place Bell Arena

This project’s cylindrical shape was achieved using two different sized Norbec panels. The design included installing the panels and making sure to keep the insulation properties that IMPs promise. 

An article in Steel Design magazine featured the Place Bell Arena’s curved design. The project’s architect, Andrew King, explained “sometimes hockey rinks read as they’re just big square boxes and they could be anything. It’s very clear from the roofs and the steel structure in the roof that this project is a kind of forum... It’s a place to gather, a space in which lots of people can come.” 

Take a look at the Norbec project gallery for more unique designs with IMPs. 

Color, Profiles, and Textures 

The Norbec IMPs come in a variety of colors and finishes, allowing architects to achieve the desired aesthetic for their projects. As seen in the STRUCTUBE project shown below, the color can match a customer’s brand. Additionally, Norbec’s PVDF coatings meet rigorous requirements for aesthetic quality, flexibility, surface strength, and chemical and UV resistance. 

For more versatility, printed film can be added to the panels causing no damage. Aluminum accents are popular additions, whether it be sections, overlay designs, or even wooden accents in order to create a meaningful concept for the building. 

Color Options with IMPs

IMPs are available in different profiles and textures, ranging from smooth surfaces to embossed patterns. Architects can select profiles that complement the overall design scheme of the building, whether it's sleek and modern or traditional and textured. Norbec profiles include Silkline, Micro-Ribbed, and Grooved (available soon). 

Norbec’s innovation involved in these design elements means that an architect can have design flexibility without compromising the durability and thermal performance expected from IMPs. 

Have questions about these design elements? 

In the US, email Jonathon Singleton at 

In Canada, email Dustin Handzy at  

Interested in scheduling a lunch-and-learn for your firm? Click HERE to book an in-person or online presentation valid for one AIA and GBCI CEU. 



Contact us to learn more