Storing ice cream requires a reliable cold storage structure, especially when storing that ice cream in Puerto Rico for transport throughout the entire territory. Sterling Merchandising, Dorado, Puerto Rico, keeps its stock at a suitable temperature with the help of insulated metal panels from Metl-Span, Lewisville, Texas.

“I did a lot of reading, and really liked the Metl-Span product,” says John Williams, president of Sterling Merchandising. “I liked the standing seam roof; that was important to me. In our industry, it seems like most buildings have a built-up roof, and typically they leak. The standing seam roof convinced me it wouldn’t leak.”

Sterling Merchandising selected Metl-Span’s CF42 for the roof and wall panel. Both feature a 6-inch core of urethane for insulation, efficiently helping keep Sterling’s ice cream stock at a temperature between -13°F and -22°F. A total of 26,488 square feet of CF42 was installed as wall panel and 14,583 square feet of CF42R serves as the roof. Both are 22-gauge Galvalume in PVDF Polar White.

“We’re in steady sun here, so we wanted the building to be reflective,” Williams says.

The Sterling Merchandising facility, which houses top national brands from all over the United States, measures 23,000 square feet, while the freezer portion is 11,000 square feet. Since opening in October 2009, the facility has endured its share of “testing,” including a small hurricane and a 7.0 earthquake.

“A few years ago, one of the neighboring buildings, a refinery, exploded to the degree that half of the lighting in our building shook off the chains and fell to the ground,” Williams says. “The other half of the lights were off the chain on one end and hanging by the other one. After all of that, still, no leaks anywhere. I’m very happy with the performance of our insulated metal panels.”

Caribbean Cleanroom Products Inc. (CCP), Dorado, Puerto Rico, installed the Metl-Span panels. C.J. Sabol, project manager/pharma consultant for CCP, helped Williams design the facility and oversee the construction.

“The challenge is to construct a stand-alone building that can be 20°F inside when it’s 95-100°F outside with high humidity,” Sabol says. “To efficiently meet those requirements, it has to have no leaks.”

Sabol says many freezer facilities in the Caribbean are “box-in-a-box freezers.” The outer building, or “box,” insulates to keep temperatures at about 40°F, with a smaller freezer building housed inside to reach required lower temperatures.

CCP delivered a crane onsite for almost three months to help lift the panels into place – the wall panels ranged from 40 feet, 6inches at the eaves, to more than 43 feet long from the ground to the ridge. As an accent for the building, CCP installed gutters and downspouts in Aegean Blue.