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  • Kathryn Van Dinh

Material Monday - Polycarbonate Panels

A Deep Dive into MEL/ARCH’s Favorite Materials


At MEL/ARCH we are constantly looking for materials, new or old, that align with the sustainable and green design principles that are at the core of our firm. In this series, we’re excited to share some materials we can’t help but frequently revisit, both for their functional and aesthetic qualities. These materials help achieve our design visions and ideas with a more sustainable and eco-conscious approach.


This week’s focus is on the product, Polycarbonate Panels.



Polycarbonate panels are a thermoplastic polymer that has carbonate groups within their chemical structure. This results in a strong plastic material that allows for translucency. One of the benefits is that polycarbonate panels can be easily worked to fit various uses as interior, exterior, or accent features.


Now there may be a concern about insulation with polycarbonate panels. Using a multi-wall polycarbonate panel system can provide well beyond adequate insulation. Single paned glass has an R-value of 0.95, compared to a two-walled polycarbonate panel system has an R-value of 1.54. The system you use can be designed to fit your needs.



This is a great alternative to glazing. Polycarbonate panels provide the strength and durability to handle more severe weather but also creative opportunities to play with color, opacity, and form.


To learn more information or see examples with polycarbonate panels, visit our local vendor Regal Plastics website or check out this international vendor, Danpal. If you’re excited about using polycarbonate panels, contact us and let’s start talking about your project!

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