Canada is on the move. According to a 2019 Statistics Canada survey, 21 percent of all households plan to relocate within the next five years. The country only has only a third of self-storage space per capita, compared to the 25 largest markets in the United States. Companies are rushing to meet that demand, building new facilities in some of the most populous destinations, especially the Greater Toronto Area.

Bluebird Self-Storage needed to build units in Vaughn, Ontario, fast. However, with the rise of storage units, many municipalities are concerned about appearance. Leonardo Romanese Architect Inc. found a way to kill two birds with one stone: a modern-looking facility that is 90 percent insulated metal panels.

“The beauty of the insulated metal panel is not only do you have different textures you can use, but also a variety of colors that highlight the building beautifully,” said Leonardo Romanese, AAA, MAA, OAA.

The 144,000 square foot Bluebird facility, completed in January 2019, was designed to stand out from its surroundings. Positioned off a major highway, the self-storage facility serves as its own beautiful billboard. The design mimics retail properties that are both stylish on the outside and clean-cut on the inside in hopes of attracting self-storage’s majority customer: women.

In order to create the look,  Maple Reinders installed 21,681 square feet of Kingspan KS Micro-Rib panels in dove grey and weathered zinc, as well as 7,159 square feet of KS Microfiber Micro-Rib panels in dove grey.

“The number one reason we use insulated metal panels is the ease of construction,” said Romanese. “The second reason is that you get an excellent R-value.”

High thermal performance was critical for Bluebird Self-Storage. KS Micro-Rib panels deliver approximately 7.2 per inch ASTM C518 @75°F, when equipped with PIR, and are GREENGUARD Gold Certified. When the panels are equipped with Kingspan’s industry leading QuadCore Technology, the panels deliver approximately 8 per inch ASTM C518 @75°F.

While self-storage facilities have careful climate controls on the inside, outside elements were a concern for the project. Ontario’s harsh winters bring road salt – something that could have a long-lasting effect on the metal panels. Romanese chose split face masonry block for the first few feet of the Bluebird facility to solve the problem.

With quick construction and high-performance materials, Bluebird’s Vaugh self-storage facility provides a much-needed service with style.

“It’s become quite the showcase,” said Romanese. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people who like the colors used.”