Technical Resources

MCA conducts many technical studies and research projects in partnership with member and industry partners. These studies include bulletins, white papers, manuals and reports that ensure that metal is at the forefront of innovation, and proactive with codes and standards.

Metal Roofs

Metal Walls

  • Understanding Rain Screen Wall Systems - Published 11/2014

    This white paper is published to clarify to the architectural and design community the key principles and background information employed in Drained / Back Ventilated or Pressure Equalized Rain Screen wall systems. It is also available as a resource to the General Contractor, Code Official or Owner communities to explain how the design properties of these two systems accomplish water infiltration management and prevention.

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  • Visual Appearance Parameters for Single-Skin Panel Systems - Published 10/2016

    While the building and fire codes are primarily concerned with structural and fire performance of single-skin architectural metal wall panels, there are often other performance indicators used within the construction industry to define an acceptable application. Single-skin architectural metal wall panels are most often defined as those metal sheets and coils that are natural metals (copper, zinc, etc.), stainless steel, or coated-metals that have a surface layer added (painted, dipped, plated, etc.) to a metal substrate. Visual appearance is often defined in architectural specifications that are based on code requirements, architectural requirements, and appearance goals that are beyond the scope of the code. This document states the unified position of the Metal Construction Association and its members with regards to visual acceptance parameters.

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  • Preformed Metal Panel Installation Guide - Published 07/2017

    The truth is that there are any number of combinations for installation and fabrication tolerances for preformed metal used in roofing and wall construction. The basic rule of thumb is:  “Everything should look straight when viewed from a distance of 25'. Particular products or applications might require more stringent tolerances to assure performance.”


    This document will discuss procedures that have been used by a number of MCA members for many years. This information is primarily derived from the Preformed Metal Wall Specification Guidelines that was developed in the 1990’s to address a series of topics important to the preformed metal wall industry.

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Metal Composite Material (MCM) Systems

  • Does Your MCM Actually Meet the Performance Requirements of the Code? - Published 08/2017

    Metal Composite Material (MCM) suppliers, fabricators, and installers must provide assurances that both the MCM and MCM assemblies will meet the requirements defined in the applicable building code. Typically, these requirements are defined in the code through reference to established testing in the areas of structural, fire, energy, and environmental (air and water penetration) performance. The primary question is how can a designer be assured that the MCM supplied to the project meet these performance requirements?

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  • Use of MCM Wall Cladding with Foam Plastic Insulation in Combustible Wall Assemblies - Published 08/2016

    With increased demands in energy conservation, designers are often looking for ways to include additional insulation on the exterior side of the wall assembly, behind the cladding, to meet the requirements of the code. Installation of this “continuous insulation” generally occurs in the free air cavity between the weather barrier and the exterior cladding material.

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  • 4mm MCM Master Specification - Published 03/2016

    The new 4mm MCA MCM Master Specification specifically defines performance criteria for the MCM panels, the installation systems, and the system fabricators in a single document while defining performance criteria for the MCM systems based on the latest IBC and AAMA performance standards.  The Specification also provides specific installation criteria giving direction to the installer and assurances to the designer regarding the quality of the installation.

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  • 6mm MCM Master Specification - Published 03/2016

    The new 6mm MCA MCM Master Specification specifically defines performance criteria for the MCM panels, the installation systems, and the system fabricators in a single document while defining performance criteria for the MCM systems based on the latest IBC and AAMA performance standards.  The Specification also provides specific installation criteria giving direction to the installer and assurances to the designer regarding the quality of the installation.

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  • Visual Acceptance Parameters for Metal Composite Material (MCM) Panels and Panel Systems - Published 01/2013

    Though building and fire codes primarily address structural and fire performance of MCM cladding materials, other performance indicators often are used in the construction industry to define an acceptable application. This document defines the unified position of the Metal Construction Association (MCA) and its members with regards to visual acceptance parameters.

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  • Choosing Between Fire Retardant and Standard Core Metal Composite Material - Published 01/2014

    Metal composite material manufacturers typically provide two types of core products: standard and fire retardant. The Metal Construction Association’s MCM Fabricator Council has developed this paper to clarify the allowable uses for standard and fire retardant MCM in accordance with the 2006-2012 editions of the International Building Code.

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  • Metal Composite Materials - Fire Performance Testing in the United States and Canada - Published 06/2016

    Recent global fire events have heightened the awareness regarding the use of metal composite material (MCM). Safeguards in place in North America help to ensure these types of fire incidents do not take place. By adhering to the performance criteria defined in the International Building Code (IBC) in the United States, the National Building Code (NBC), and the Provincial Building Codes in Canada and working with the experienced MCM Manufacturers and Certified Fabricators, MCM can be used safely and effectively on a variety of construction types. 

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  • MCM and MCM Systems for Building Cladding in North America - Published 06/2016

    The use of metal composite material (MCM) as an exterior cladding on high rise buildings is common throughout the world. There are many positive aspects of MCM, however recently, a number of dramatic fires reported around the globe have heightened concern regarding the use of MCM for exterior applications. The intent of this white paper is to provide information about MCM and MCM systems and the controlling factors in North America to ensure these types of fire incidents do not take place. 

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  • The MCM Team - Published 10/2016

    Metal Composite Material (MCM) cladding systems are an attractive and popular way for architects to present their latest masterpiece. Clean, colorful and tough enough to protect everything inside, from everything outside, MCM is the “cladding of choice” for many of the world’s most beautiful buildings. It is not surprising then, that it takes a team of specialists to produce a high quality finished product.

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Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs)

  • Controlling Air and Rainwater Using Insulated Metal Panel Enclosure Systems - Published 07/2015

    Insulated metal panels (IMPs) are one of only a few types of building products that can provide an entire building enclosure in one prefabricated product. However, despite their use for several decades in North America, there remains confusion about how IMPs manage rain water penetration, control air leakage, and act as continuous insulation.

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  • Insulated Metal Panels and NFPA 285 - Published 11/2013

    IMP panels are required to be tested in accordance with NFPA 285 and specific IMPs have been tested and meet the conditions of acceptance of NFPA 285. Since every variation of a wall system cannot be tested,if the “basic” IMP panel system meets NFPA 285, minor variations in items can be allowed without retesting or an analysis.

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  • Environmental Product Declaration for Insulated Metal Panels

    Environmental Product Declarations provide LCA-based information and details about the products’ environmental aspects and assist purchasers and users in making informed comparisons between products. This industry Insulated Metal Panel EPD contains valuable information about product definition, building physics, the basic material and its origin, product manufacture and processing, in-use conditions, life cycle assessment results, and testing results and verifications.

    Download Executive Summary >   Download Full Report >

  • IMP Structural Loading - Published 10/2016

    Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) perform very well at resisting transversely applied loading. This type of loading is applied normal to the face of the panel and includes wind loading, as well as live/dead/snow loading – for roof panels. Being separated by an insulating core, IMPs also resist thermal loading that can be induced when the face and liner sheet are at different temperatures.

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  • White Paper - Benefits of Retrofit Roofing - Published 08/2016

    The purpose of this white paper is to introduce the various applications for retrofitting roofs with new metal roofing and light-gauge steel framing systems. 

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  • White Paper - Retrofit Stimulus - Published 08/2016

    An Illustrated Method to Stimulate the Economy, Achieve Energy Savings and Sustain the Environment While Modernizing Public School Facilities in the United States.

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  • Life Cycle Assessment Report - Published 04/2012

    The Life Cycle Assessment report calculates the average environmental impact of the processes and the building envelope products manufactured by MCA member companies. The report is ideal for architects, designers, MCA member companies and the buildings and construction community at large to use for environmental benchmarking and decision-making.

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  • Product Category Rule - Published 09/2012

    This Product Category Rule (PCR) document, produced by UL Environment, Marietta, GA,  addresses three products - Insulated Metal Panels, Metal Composite Panels and Metal Cladding: Roof and Wall Panels. It is considered the foundation for creation of Environmental Product Declarations for each of the three product groups.

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  • Environmental Product Declarations

    Click To Review All EPDs >

  • Recycled Content of Metal Roofing and Siding Panels - Published 2013

    Metal roof and wall panels are made with the highest recycled content from the most recyclable materials on earth, making them a great choice not only for today, but also for future generations to use.

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  • Educational Resources


    Building Green with Metal Roofs and Walls

    Understand how metal roofs and walls offer many green benefits and contribute to LEED points. Learn how metal can:

    • reduce energy consumption
    • improve air quality and thermal comfort
    • help comply with energy codes
    • reduce environmental impacts
    • contribute to LEED points



    Metal Roofing: The Perfect Platform for Solar Technologies

    Learn how metal roofs provide a durable integrated system for photovoltaic installations on existing and new roofs. Become familiar with:

    • the basics of metal roofing
    • the basics of photovoltaics
    • the synergy of solar and metal roofing
    • why metal roofs are the most cost-compelling choice for solar
    • retrofitting opportunities.



  • Oil Canning in Metal Roof and Metal Wall Systems - Published 2013

    Many uncontrollable factors contribute to oil-canning and no panel manufacturer, fabricator, or installer can assure the total prevention of oil canning on any given project. With careful attention to the production, material selection, panel design, and installation practice, the tendency for oil canning can be minimized.

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  • Fastener Compatibility with Profiled Metal Roof and Wall Panels - Published 06/2015

    Profiled metal roof or wall panels rely upon mechanical fasteners to secure the components to a structure. It is very important to select the correct type of fastener for metal construction in order to ensure a strong and weather-tight attachment. This Technical Bulletin serves as a guide for the selection of exposed fasteners used with metal roof and wall panels.

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  • Proper Tools for Fastening Metal Panels - Published 12/2013

    This technical bulletin is intended to be a guide to proper fastening of metal panels to wood or metal frame buildings. The selection of the proper tools for the fastening of metal roofing panels is critical for ease of installation, proper watertight sealing of the building, and the integrity of the connection.

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  • A Primer on Diaphragm Design Manual Order Form

    This MCA manual provides the supporting theory, load tables, relevant problems, and illustrations regarding connection details for roof or wall diaphragm assemblies. The scope of the work includes a variety of material connections: elevated side flat fastening, top flat fastening, bottom flat fastening, fastening to wood, aluminum and steel as well as structural members and fastening of exposed cladding. This manual provides an extremely valuable design tool to professionals in the metal construction industry. This edition is for sale through the association at a cost of $68 for members and $118 for nonmembers with shipping and handling included. Please fax or mail the order form below.

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  • Metal Roof and Wall Panel Components in Contact with Preservative-Treated Lumber - Published 06/2014

    The use of copper-containing preservative-treated lumber in direct contact with certain metal products could lead to accelerated corrosion and affect the long-term integrity and performance of a metal roof or wall system. The most effective way to avoid corrosion is to ensure that the treated lumber used is either manufactured using the newer metal-free preservatives, micronized copper treatment or that there is a separation between the metal roof or wall panel and the preservative treated wood with some type of barrier material.

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  • Coating Performance - Not as Simple as it would Appear - Published 10/2016

    When ordering a coating (finish) for the building panels, you would think that the biggest choice would be color. Not true. There are many differences between panel coatings. Characteristics like color and gloss are easily spotted. Others like film thickness, adhesion, and resistance to change are more difficult to identify. It can take a coatings expert to know all of the in’s and out’s of coating performance. Fortunately, there are a number of very good publications available to the public that discuss performance and what to expect from several of the popular levels of panel finish.

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  • Portable Rollformer Best Practices Manual - Published 2012

    The purpose of this manual is to familiarize personnel with the general knowledge, basic operation, safety, and maintenance procedures followed by standard trouble shooting suggestions for standard portable roll-forming processes. It is merely a general guideline. If questions arise about your specific portable roll-forming equipment and solutions cannot be found in this manual, contact the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of your roll former.

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Build Legacies: Metal