Architectural Panels Education Center

Joel McKinley

With his background in architectural cladding, Joel McKinley began Carter Architectural Panels in response to his clients requesting his input and his expertise to become an architectural wall panel fabricator. Through ‘trial by fire’, Carter Panels developed innovative panel systems to address an unmet market need.
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Recent Posts

Meet the New EVO285 Wall Panel System, A First of Its Kind!

Posted by Joel McKinley on Jul 14, 2017 3:07:33 PM

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.

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Topics: ACM Systems

Writing a Proper Specification for Division 07 ACM Wall Panel Systems

Posted by Joel McKinley on Jan 5, 2017 8:20:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Testing, ACM Systems, Designing

How to Design a Cost-Effective Thermally Broken Wall Panel Assembly

Posted by Joel McKinley on Dec 19, 2016 8:52:52 AM
When designing a  thermally broken wall panel system, it is imperative that you look beyond the exterior panel and panel  system components. It is important to consider the entire  building envelope and how the individual products will work together.   ASHRAE 90.1(thermally broken wall assemblies)  is the building code standard that is becoming  a hot topic  and will soon become a required  specification to meet, in almost all wall panel assembly designs.  Moving forward, component solutions that are ASHRAE 90.1 compliant will be sought-after products and most desirable if they are Value Engineered (VE) options. Currently, the most popular way to comply with ASHRAE 90.1 is to add expensive fiberglass or polyethylene isolated, thermally broken clip components, to  the conventional wall assembly construction .
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Topics: Testing, ACM Systems, Designing

The Use of Exposed Fasteners in Composite Panel Systems

Posted by Joel McKinley on Dec 5, 2016 8:21:07 AM
With the composite panel industry ever changing and rapidly becoming more competitive each and every year, the necessity for ACM fabrication companies to attempt to accelerate the manufacturing processes has become a must to remain competitive and profitable. Unfortunately, one of the shortcomings we have found that's been allowed to take place has been the introduction of self-drilling screws or sheet metal screws into the manufacturing process, as opposed to using conventional structural rivets.

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.

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Topics: Insider, ACM Systems, ACM Installation

The First Ever Nationally Recognized ACM Wall Panel System

Posted by Joel McKinley on Nov 21, 2016 8:37:00 AM

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.

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Topics: ACM Systems, ACM, Designing

What Is The Difference Between AAMA 508-07 and AAMA 509-09 Wall Panel System?

Posted by Joel McKinley on Nov 3, 2016 8:12:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Insider, ACM Systems, Designing

Putting the Profit into Aluminum Composite Wall Panel Sales

Posted by Joel McKinley on Oct 20, 2016 8:05:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Insider, ACM Systems, Designing

Turn-Key Solutions for Fabricators and Installers That Want to Manufacturer Aluminum Composite Panel Systems

Posted by Joel McKinley on Oct 4, 2016 8:10:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Insider, ACM Fabrication, Designing

What's the Importance of Specifying a Tested Wall Panel System?

Posted by Joel McKinley on Sep 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Insider, Testing, Designing

About Our Education Center

The purpose of the Education Center is to keep you informed about the important issues and trends in the architectural wall panel industry and how they may impact your building project’s design, fabrication or installation. From changes in standards to new production technology, visit this page often to see regularly updated educational articles, videos and infographics, all created with the intention of keeping you on top of things.

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