Cumberland Farms, operating in 10 Northeastern states, is one of the largest regional convenience store chains in the U.S. Like many successful service businesses from the Northeast, tapping the Florida market became an important goal for the company. It would allow the company to take advantage of name recognition, as well as the size and steady growth of Florida.

Since 2009, Cumberland Farms has been rebranding by updating legacy stores and building new ones. The company experimented with several new exterior styles to build around their updated corporate colors of green and blue. They wanted a better looking image to characterize their facilities. But the primary need was for the new facilities to be constructed quickly and with the quality needed to perform well for years to come.

To prepare for adding new facilities in South Florida, Cumberland Farms commissioned Building Envelope Systems (BES), a Massachusetts-based construction firm, to assist in designing a structure format that could be quickly built and efficiently functional. BES, a structural steel design/build specialist created a structural steel frame store enclosed with insulated metal panel assemblies manufactured by Kingspan Insulated Panels.

BES constructed the new design store at a Cumberland Farms in West Palm Beach, Florida. This new design utilizes Kingspan KarrierPanel, which presents distinct advantages for the construction process in terms of initial cost and also for long lasting energy performance.

Design and Build Speed

The primary objective for the BES designers was to standardize a building that could be reproduced quickly and efficiently. However, it had to have a stable, airtight internal environment that would be able to perform economically for Cumberland Farms.

Kingspan’s product was specified because it serves a variety of functions at once, which aid and assist build speed in the short-term, as well as serve to keep the building operating efficiently over time. In a single pass, the wall panel becomes the mounting for the exterior façade, and also becomes the finished interior wall. This enabled the building crew to enclose the job sooner and allow work to begin on the interior installation of the large amount of refrigeration and wiring needed to operate a convenience store.


For the new Cumberland Farms store model, structural steel was cut to dimension off site and all wall panels were sized correctly as part of the manufacturing process. The exterior of the building was approximately 4,000 square feet. However, once the steel was erected on the job site, it only took four days to get the job enclosed. “We really created this design for speed of build,” said Brett Miller of Building Envelope Systems. “KarrierPanel is easy to put up for a fast enclosure. It’s roof ready and you can really put anything you want over it.”

The store in West Palm Beach was covered with a plate rainscreen, which gave the building a very versatile finish and the ability to repel moisture. The rainscreen design is a dry fit that allows no weather to penetrate the joints.

At each new Cumberland Farms, the panel system covered with plate rainscreen proved to be a very cost effective alternative to a multi-component wall panel system built on site using non-integrated components and claddings. One wall system contains the interior wall, the insulation, the moisture and air barrier systems, and the exterior claddings.

One of the many benefits of this off-site manufactured system is how it helps the indoor environment remain stable due to the tight seal at the joints and the hidden fasteners. Energy efficiency is enhanced due to the R-value provided by the polyiso foam core inside the KarrierPanel, because polyiso provides the highest R-value per inch of thickness among available commercial insulation materials.

For a convenience store model, such as the one utilized for the Cumberland Farms stores, using the panel’s components also has lifecycle benefits. Once a store is placed at a location, there should be no need to refurbish or remodel throughout the life of the facility. In the case of the system put together by Building Envelope Solutions, using a steel infrastructure with high performance insulated metal panels, the structure should easily outlast the usual 50-year life span of a commercial facility.

Although performance factors are critical for profitability in a commercial structure, such as the one designed for Cumberland Farms, aesthetics also are a key priority. The beauty and appearance of the plate rainscreen exterior give the building a modern, clean look, yet also gives it a timeless appearance that fits well into the surrounding environment.