It is with great pride and excitement that Carter Architectural Panels Inc. officially introduces EVO285 to the architectural wall panel industry. Through our diligent commitment to bring better solutions to the architectural community, and a focused goal developed together with our trusted partners, we now bring to market, a true game changer. EVO285 is finally available all across North America, through our hand selected EVO manufacturing collective, representing the nation’s first and only nationally recognized ACM system design.
Topics: ACM Systems
As the ACM wall panel industry has grown and continued to gain market share over traditional 1/8” aluminum plate panels, the failure of both the architectural and specification writer community to perform their due diligence, and attempt to educate themselves in gaining a better understanding of the difference between the two products has never been more obvious. To be fair, there are so many options out there to choose from: dry joint systems; wet joint systems; exposed fasteners; concealed fasteners; countless different system depths; pressure equalized rainscreen (PER); or drained back ventilated systems.
To our amazement, these types of fasteners have recently been utilized by many fabricators as a means of cutting down on manufacturing time and increasing production throughput.
Historically, as it pertains to ACM wall panel designs or ACM wall panel systems, one of the biggest challenges that the industry has struggled with is the single-source specification. This is where only one manufacturer is listed or one type of panel design is specified as the desired wall panel, for a project. It becomes very difficult if not impossible to follow these specs, and the result to date is often an open invitation for alternate systems or untested systems to be submitted for a building project. The main problem this causes is injecting multiple system designs, details, fabrication and installation methods into a scenario where budgets need to be met or specific design criteria needs to be met while trying to achieve a competitive price that is not apples to apples. It is not uncommon that the single source design or manufacturer that's been listed could be on the other side of the United States, or up in Canada, and it could be very difficult for a fabricator to service the project that they have been spec’d on - typically by way of cut and paste practices.
There seems to be a large misunderstanding in the architectural community of what represents a pressure equalized rain screen system (PER), particularly when specifying wall panel systems. Far too often the pressure equalized rain screen system, or AAMA 508-07, “Voluntary Test Method and Specification for Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems”, is referenced, however the AAMA 509-09, “Voluntary Test and Classification Method of Drained and Back Ventilated Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems is presented in the specification details, which leads to confusion.
The Aluminum Composite Material or ACM industry has become very competitive both in the US and Canada over the past 15 years. We can likely attribute this to the large influx of new fabricators now on the scene. The law of averages dictates that with the increase in fabricator base we are also likely to see a number of companies who in an effort to win jobs, will attempt to deplete margins and further commoditize a great product like ACM.
More often than not, when we are contacted by construction industry professionals who may be interested in manufacturing aluminum composite (ACM) panel systems for their own projects, there is usually a degree of apprehension about the risk of altering their current businesses model, to add a new product or service. To address that fear, you must first look at the ACM Panel industry overall.
We often get asked this question by people looking to construct a building that will stand the test of time, free from long-term defects. The importance of specifying a tested panel system is that there are standards that exist (AAMA 508-07, NFPA 285, ASTM 283, 330 and 331) to guide architects and specification writers in how to pick appropriate products that are available to them within the master building specification.