Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Publicationnumber42408014
In this Issue
Modular Steel Structures
The House that Amvic Built
Landmark Homes
Building Better...
A b r e a t h o f f r e s h a i r .
MAX SERVICE
All mechanical and electrical components are
accessible from the front of ...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 1
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
2
Alternative Building Systems
and The Three Little Pigs
by J...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20162
I
n the story of The Three Little Pigs, we can all agree the brick
house provid...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 3
This kind of innovation has been
inspiring for residential construction,
inclu...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20164
The GTA is fast growing. It grows
by nearly 100,000 people each year
and all th...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 5
reached new heights in 2015.
The average price per square foot
of new high ris...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20166
industryexpert / GORD COOKE
One outstanding example is the
Landmark Group of Co...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 7
asks. This gracious and open trait
runs deep in Landmark, starting with
CEO Re...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20168
future for the net zero energy
program. They feel that with a little
help from ...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201610
industrynews / CORY McCAMBRIDGE
Typical wind forces exert lateral
forces on st...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201612
2.	 Avoid staples because they offer
less resistance to blow-off than
nails. A...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201614
sitespecific / ALEX NEWMAN
“You could say I went to the school
of hard knocks,...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 15
R50 with cellulose insulation. Spray foam insulation
is used above the garage...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201616
industryexpert / MICHAEL LIO
U
nlike other industries the hous­-
­ing market c...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201618
Many confuse EIFS and stucco,
where in reality the only similarity is
that the...
22 BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016
The House that
D
r. Victor Amend PhD has been actively involved in the constr...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 21
When Amend couldn’t find the
ingredients to build the house he
wanted, he dec...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201622
after seven days. After 28 days it has
100%.) This is the same procedure as
an...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 23
difference is now more in the neigh­bourhood of 3
to 5%. The other benefit to...
26 BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 25
“We’ve created pitch roofs, even.
It really comes down to choice of
material ...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201626
customize only those (few) com­
ponents necessary to suit the design,
Johnson ...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 27
would allow this. Otherwise, the
builder could request that BONE
provide a de...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201628
buildernews / ROB BLACKSTIEN
As a 16-year-old boy, Vella was
“into hot muscle ...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 29
In fact, it was Vella’s commercial
construction experience that first
made hi...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201630
much better” in higher seismic zones
because steel is ductile and tends to
mov...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 31
The City of Hamilton was the first
municipality in Ontario to issue a
buildin...
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201632
or combustion resistant
•	 large concealed spaces such
as attics must have add...
MORE THAN A ROCK
With residential building codes changing across Canada, you need an exterior
insulated sheathing that mea...
Thank you for helping us build a
more energy efficient Ontario.
We look forward to building the future with you in 2016.
F...
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016

247 views

Published on

Better Builder Magazine brings together premium product manufactures and leading builders to create better differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. The magazine is published four times a year.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 17 / Spring 2016

  1. 1. Publicationnumber42408014 In this Issue Modular Steel Structures The House that Amvic Built Landmark Homes Building Better with EIFS Man of Steel Is Wood Good? Part II ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 Alternative Building Structures
  2. 2. A b r e a t h o f f r e s h a i r . MAX SERVICE All mechanical and electrical components are accessible from the front of the unit. Heating coil and fan/motor slide out for easy service. One of the most extensive warranties in the business:1-year parts & labour,2-years on parts only,where applicable. MAX COMFORT With the increased efficiency of this optional Electronically Commuted Motor (ECM), homeowners will be free to cycle air continuously with a minimal increase in electricity cost. Continuous fan operation helps improve filtration,reduce temperature variations,and helps keep the air clear of dust and allergens – making your customers’ homes more comfortable. Mini Ducted Hi-Velocity Air Handling System Optional Prioritizing of Comfort Levels with Energy Savings MAX SPACE SAVER The MAXAIR fan coil is so compact that it fits anywhere:laundry room,attic,crawl space,you can even place it in a closet. It can be installed in new or existing homes. It takes less than 1/3 of the space of a conventional heating and air conditioning unit. MAX ENERGY SAVINGS Energy savings,temperature control and comfort levels are achieved in individual levels of the home by prioritizing the requirements.This is achieved by installing optional space thermostats. If any area calls for heating or cooling, the individual thermostat allows the space it serves to achieve optimum comfort and still maintain continuous air circulation throughout the home. This method of prioritizing is a great energy savings measure while offering an increased comfort level to the home owner. FLEXAIRTM DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM MAX FLEXIBILITY The supply outlets can be placed in the wall, ceiling or floor. Each unit has four choices of locations for the return air connections. The FLEXAIR™ insulated 2½" supply duct will fit in a standard 2"x 4" wall cavity. Can be mounted for vertical or horizontal airflow. Can be combined with humidifiers,high efficiency air cleaners or ERVs / HRVs. Snap-together branch duct and diffuser connections. MAX ELECTRICAL SAVINGS ECMs are ultra-high-efficient programmable brushless DC motors that are more efficient than the permanently split capacitor (PSC) motors used in most residential furnaces.This is especially true at lower speeds used for continuous circulation in many new homes. 1-800-453-6669 905-951-0022519-578-5560613-966-5643 416-213-1555 877-254-4729905-264-1414 For distribution of Air Max Technologies products call www.airmaxtechnologies.com209 Citation Drive, Units 5&6, Concord, ON L4K 2Y8, Canada
  3. 3. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2 Alternative Building Systems and The Three Little Pigs by John Godden THE BADA TEST 3 Why Panelization Is Residential Construction’s Answer to Uber by Lou Bada Industry Expert 4 The GTA Housing Market Is Complex by Bryan Tuckey 6 Landmark Homes – Factory Built and Net Zero Ready by Gord Cooke 16 Spotlight on Leaders: Menkes Developments by Michael Lio INDUSTRY NEWS 10 Stronger Walls, Stronger Structures by Cory McCambridge 25 BONEing Up on Modular Steel Structures by Alex Newman Site Specific 14 Jamie Parton – Graduate of the School of Hard Knocks by Alex Newman Builder News 18 Building Better with Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) by Michael Lio 28 Man of Steel by Rob Blackstien From the Ground Up 31 Is Wood Good? Part II by Doug Tarry FEATURE STORY 20 The House that Amvic Built When Victor Amend PhD couldn’t find the ingredients to build the house he wanted, he decided to engineer them himself. by Alex Newman 6 20 24 31 ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 On our cover: BONE infrastructure of North York prefab steel house. Photo by Eric Johnson
  4. 4. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20162 I n the story of The Three Little Pigs, we can all agree the brick house provided the most safety and durability. The Big Bad Wolf blows down the first two houses made of straw and sticks. What’s helpful for us in this fable are the metaphors for the building industry. The cost of infrastructure, land, labour and building materials is causing us to rethink what we build and how we build it. The third pig is an innovator who invested time and resources to build a more resilient structure. The first and second pigs did not take enough time to think about the what and how, and we all know what happened to their structures. The trend in residential housing is to build “up” rather than “out.” Ten years ago 75% of new homes in the GTA were low rise and 25% were high rise. In 2011 these numbers flipped. Today fewer large square-footage homes are built and new midrise multifamily buildings are emerging. Wood frame construction has limitations for midrise because of structural stability (shrinkage) and combustibility issues. Wood has been the first choice for residential construction because of its availability and versatility. Steel as an alternative is explored in our article on Joe Vella. He helped Fifthshire Homes create an R-2000-certified steel frame residential building. Über is a German word meaning above or better. If we want to continue using wood for structure, we need to rethink or devise a better way. Lou Bada in his column talks about an über way of doing this – panelization. In this issue Gord Cooke profiles Landmark Homes, who are leading a revolution in industrializing factory-built wood homes. Michael Lio discusses the importance of builder mentoring. Michael’s other article examines the application of alternative exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS). Doug Tarry discusses some limitations of six-storey wood frame construction in his column “Is Wood Good?” The third pig used brick, which really suggests something totally different from straw or sticks. The feature article captures the brick metaphor completely – a strong, stackable building system perfectly suited for attached or multiunit midrise buildings. Dr. Victor Amend embodies the moral of The Three Little Pigs story. Not every story has a happy ending, but The Three Little Pigs does. After the first two pigs were saved from the wolf, they felt sorry for being lazy. They both built brick houses and lived happily ever after. If the wolf were to come to town, the three pigs might be bunking at the house that Amvic built. BB Alternative Building Systems and The Three Little Pigs PUBLISHER Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 416-481-4218 | fax 416-481-4695 sales@betterbuilder.ca Better Builder Magazine is a sponsor of PUBLISHING EDITOR John B. Godden MANAGING EDITOR Wendy Shami editorial@betterbuilder.ca To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact sales@betterbuilder.ca FEATURE WRITERS Tracy Hanes, Alex Newman PROOFREADING Janet Dimond CREATIVE Wallflower Design www.wallflowerdesign.com This magazine brings together premium product manufacturers and leading builders to create better, differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine cannot be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. UNDELIVERABLE MAIL Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 Better Builder Magazine is published four times a year. publisher’snote / JOHN GODDEN John Godden Alex Newman Gord Cooke Michael Lio Lou Bada Doug Tarry CONTRIBUTORS
  5. 5. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 3 This kind of innovation has been inspiring for residential construction, including a prominent GTA-based builders’ association. The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) has created its own Building Innovation Group (BIG) to bring together builders and industry stakeholders to educate and build capacity around panelized housing construction – the next big game changer for new housing. It will answer many of our industry’s needs and help address our challenges on climate change. Panelization has not been an immediately disruptive technology. It has been introduced gradually and gone through a process of evolution. It has evolved to an even higher level with the use of another technological innovation – building information modelling (BIM), a form of 3-D architecture and design. The members of the BIG group should be commended for being creative and courageous. Panelization reduces energy consumption, waste and emissions during construction while improving quality and productivity. A 2014 Construction Research Congress report calculates there is almost a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to conventional stick framing. Taking the framing off the building site and into a factory setting is addressing a skills gap that has plagued our industry for many years. Much of the heavier, labour-intensive and at times back- breaking work has become automated and mechanized. The workmanship on wood floors and walls is impeccable. Our customers, building officials and warranty program (Tarion) will have greater peace of mind with a panelized home. The three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) have become an art form in a panel plant. Innovation for our industry doesn’t end there. Advanced (or inline) framing methods are made much easier and likely using BIM and panelization. That would mean even more reductions in material use and GHG emissions. Six-storey wood framing, now recognized in the Ontario Building Code (OBC), is made much more achievable with panelized floors and walls. Six-storey wood buildings address many planning and municipal concerns. It’s also not difficult to see a day when even more work is brought into a warm and dry panel plant and off the site. I am excited about this innovation in our business. Innovation is one of the few tools in our toolbox in con­ fronting the onslaught of regulation, bureaucracy and other requirements. Our industry has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. No one is protesting at City Hall. This is all done without one new government regula­ tion or ongoing government subsidy adding to the cost of your new home or condo, your taxes or utility bill. It’s amazing how a little innovation can provide so much momentum for an industry’s future. BB Lou Bada is an executive with the Starlane Home Corporation in Vaughan as well as a member of RESCON’s technical council. Why Panelization Is Residential Construction’s Answer to Uber thebadatest / LOU BADA W hen someone mentions disruptive technologies, we often think about a new app like Uber, a gadget like a 3-D printer, or a digital product like music and video streaming. Disruption can turn industries on their heads and often produces winners and losers in the marketplace. It can adversely affect people’s livelihoods. Rather than use this term, I prefer “innovation.” Innovation in industry translates into productivity – greater output per unit of input. Every so often a technology and process come along that produce benefits that permeate an industry with little downside, and great potential for the environment and consumers alike. I would say that’s a big idea. Panelized housing construction will answer many of our needs and help address challenges on climate change.
  6. 6. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20164 The GTA is fast growing. It grows by nearly 100,000 people each year and all those people need homes. The land development and homebuilding industries build new homes to meet the housing needs growth creates. While the number of homes built has remained pretty constant – about 35,000 new homes per year – what has shifted in the past ten years are the types of homes being built. A decade ago about 75% of the new homes sold in the GTA were low rise and 25% were high rise. By 2011 the markets had flipped. Of the new homes purchased that year, 75% were in high rise condominiums. Since then the two markets have levelled out. Ten years ago the provincial gov­ ernment introduced policies intended to protect significant agricultural land and green space, and shape how and where our region grows. These policies require more development to occur within established areas such as downtowns, and they mandate new developments use less land to accommodate more people and jobs. The new home industry has met the challenges of these provincial pol­icies and is building up instead of out. Today the industry is building more high rise condominiums and fewer low rise homes than it did ten years ago. However, the demand for townhomes, detached and semidetached homes has not diminished and is outpacing supply. In 2015 there were 41,295 new homes purchased in the GTA according to RealNet Canada Inc., BILD’s official source for new home market intelli­ gence. That is a 2% increase from 2014 when 40,324 new homes were purchased. Of those purchased last year, 21,658 were high rise homes and 19,637 were low rise. Total new home sales in 2015 were up 13% from the ten-year average of 36,543. Over the last decade only 2011 and 2007 recorded more new home sales. In 2011 there were 46,304 new homes purchased and in 2007 there were 43,391. Prices of new homes in the GTA The GTA Housing Market Is Complex industryexpert / BRYAN TUCKEY T he GTA housing market is complex and dynamic, and it really is a tale of two markets – the low rise and the high rise. Both markets are robust in the GTA, but over the last decade they have been affected by provincial land use policy in different ways. 45,000 40,000 10-YEAR AVERAGE = 36,543 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 YEAR TO DATE SALES INFORMEDADVANTAGE/WWW.REALNET.CA Yearly New Home Sales by Year and Project Type – Greater Toronto Area  High Rise  Low Rise 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
  7. 7. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 5 reached new heights in 2015. The average price per square foot of new high rise homes hit a record- breaking high of $584 at the end of 2015, a 5% increase from December 2014 when the average was $557 per sq ft. The average price of a new high rise condo unit in the GTA was $453,083 at the end of 2015, down from $454,476 the year prior. However, the slight price decrease was due to the size of units getting smaller. In December 2015 the average size of a new condo suite was 775 sq ft, compared to the December 2014 average of 816 sq ft. The growth of prices for town­ homes, detached and semidetached homes is a simple case of supply and demand. There is consumer demand for these types of homes, but supply is limited, which is driving up prices. The constraint in supply is due to a lack of serviced land designated for development. The industry continues to innovate and provide consumers with afford­ able choices. Developers building condominiums in the GTA have been finding creative ways to maximize living space and reduce the suite size to make them more affordable for new homebuyers. BB Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), and is a land use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook (/bildgta) and at www.bildblogs.ca. Dow’s full house of insulation, air sealants and adhesives work together to create an airtight, moisture resistant structure from roof to foundation, helping builders and contractors meet or exceed building codes, reduce callbacks and create a comfortable, durable, energy efficient structure for their customers. Dow BuilDing SolutionS 1-866-583-BluE (2583) www.insulateyourhome.ca ®™The DOW Diamond Logo is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company © 2014 Whole-House SolutionstHAt HElP BuilDERS AnD ContRACtoRS outPERFoRM While the number of homes built has remained pretty constant … what has shifted in the past ten years are the types of homes being built.
  8. 8. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20166 industryexpert / GORD COOKE One outstanding example is the Landmark Group of Companies based in Edmonton, Alta. Landmark has built one of North America’s most successful homebuilding companies. Since 1977 they have built over 15,000 homes and now build upwards of a thousand homes per year. Their corporate vision embraces the two trends noted earlier: “To be a major North American housing solutions provider recognized for sustainability and for leading a revolution in the industrialization of housing construction.” The corporate goal is for all homes to be net zero ready as of 2016–2017. Landmark has partnered in a manufacturing facility called ACQBUILT Inc. since 2004 to build pre-engineered wall and structural components. Every process and product is developed and applied using rigorous lean thinking, the end goal being to deliver the most cost-effective, durable, healthy and efficient homes in North America. Moreover, Landmark has a unique characteristic whereby they openly share their successes, failures, practices and vision with anyone who Landmark Homes I t’s a healthy practice for any professional to take time to look out across the next three, five and ten years in their related industry. In the homebuilding industry you might agree there are two compelling trends to consider – the drive to zero energy homes and the integration of manufacturing processes to our traditional site building practices. An explosion of new materials, processes and building codes, carbon emission concerns, energy security, and most importantly purchaser expectations will drive our industry forward. It is incredible to see and learn from how some of our industry members are embracing the coming changes.
  9. 9. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 7 asks. This gracious and open trait runs deep in Landmark, starting with CEO Reza Nasseri. From a history of local philanthropy to supporting the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s (CHBA) Net Zero Energy Housing Council (NZC), Reza and his team dedicate their time, vision, knowledge and resources to improving our industry. Recently working with the Landmark team, we had a chance to ask a few questions as to where Landmark sees the industry headed. They shared with us that while they continue to see Edmonton and Calgary homebuilding as important markets for their manufactured components, they are seeing an appetite from commercial clients as well. For example, manufactured components are already being used in their high rise construction. Moreover they are building homes in the Phoenix area and see great opportunities for manufacturing there. And while Ontario hasn’t been on their immediate radar, Toronto builders have expressed interest in exploring the opportunities nearby. The ACQBUILT manufacturing facility is accessible to the building industry as a whole and not just Landmark Homes. Similarly, Landmark sees a bright Landmark sees a bright future for the net zero energy program. They feel that with a little help from the federal and provincial governments, it’s quite possible for net zero to be the norm. Factory Built and Net Zero Ready ANDREWBATIUK
  10. 10. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 20168 future for the net zero energy program. They feel that with a little help from the federal and provincial governments, it’s quite possible for net zero to be the norm by the end of 2017, and certainly by 2020. It should be no surprise they feel the strengths of a manufacturing process to optimize costs and implement new technologies more easily than site building allows will really help the numbers for net zero make economic sense for homeowners. Reza suggested, “The technology and the know-how are here. We just need that little push. With a little government support, net zero will cross the tipping point and become the norm.” Like many regular readers of this magazine, Landmark feels there’s an appetite among builders to push the boundaries of energy efficiency, and if the economics support it, which they will with a little support, we’ll see a rapid shift in the efficiency of new homes. Implementing more of a manufacturing process in our industry can only stretch and accelerate us along that path of continual improvement. BB Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. Foamed-in-place walls have high R-value and structural stability. SUPPLIEDPHOTOS
  11. 11. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201610 industrynews / CORY McCAMBRIDGE Typical wind forces exert lateral forces on structures which can’t be resisted by framing alone. Wood structural panels are commonly added to the framing to help resist these racking forces. During a high wind event, a building’s walls and roof bear the brunt of the storm’s fury. High winds can exert significant lateral force on structures. When wind speeds exceed design-level wind forces, damages can run the gamut from just superficial to long-term performance difficulties – or in the worst case scenario, total structural failure. Walls continuously sheathed with wood structural panels, and properly connected to the foundation below and roof above, form a strong barrier that resists the persistent forces of wind and earthquakes. Wood sheathing is a critical aspect of a building’s structural integrity. Laboratory tests and field evaluations show sheathing with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) significantly increases the structure’s ability to withstand high winds and earthquakes. Used with or without exterior continuous insulation, wood structural panels add shear (racking) strength that helps resist natural forces. Continuous wood structural sheathing also functions as an excellent nail base for attaching siding and trim. Wind-Resistant Construction A structure functions best as a cohesive system. Connections are especially important. Poor connections are one of the most common reasons for failure during extreme wind events. Building a wind-resistant structure does not require significant labour or cost increase over conventional construction. Load path continuity is critical – using fasteners in the right places and lapping structural wall sheathing over joints and other critical framing components goes a long way toward improving wind resistance. Ten Techniques for Wind Resistance 1. Nail wall sheathing with 8d common (0.131 in x 2½ in) nails at 4 in (100 mm) on centre at all edges of plywood or OSB wall sheathing, and at 6 in (150 mm) on centre in intermediate framing for enhanced resistance to negative wind pressure. Stronger Walls, Stronger Structures W hile energy efficiency is an important consideration in building design, structural resiliency is most critical. What makes for a strong building? A building’s resilience and strength depends on its structural soundness. While strong foundations, floors, walls and roofs are essential, these components don’t stand alone. The strength of a structure is contingent on how well these components are integrated to form a cohesive unit. Wood sheathing provides superior racking strength. APA–THEENGINEEREDWOODASSOCIATION
  12. 12. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201612 2. Avoid staples because they offer less resistance to blow-off than nails. A larger number of staples is required to achieve a level of wind resistance offered by using nails. 3. Use deformed shank nails to improve the resistance of sheathing to negative pressure. 4. Sheath gable end walls with plywood or OSB. Tie gable end walls back to the structure. 5. For roof framing-to-wall connec­ tion, use a light gauge metal uplift connector attached on the exterior (sheathing side) of the exterior walls. 6. Nail roof sheathing with 8d ring shank or deformed shank (0.131 in x 2½ in) nails at 4 in (100 mm) on centre along the edges of plywood or OSB roof sheathing, and 6 in (150 mm) on centre along the intermediate roof framing. 7. Nail upper and lower storey sheath­ ing into common wood structural panel Rim Board. The most effective way to provide lateral and, in some cases, uplift load continuity is to attach adjacent wall sheathing panels to one another over common framing. 8. Continuously sheath all walls with plywood or OSB, including areas around openings for windows and doors. 9. Extend wood structural sheathing at the bottom of the wall to lap the sill plate. The connection of the wall sheathing to the sill plate is important because this is where the uplift forces are transferred into the sill plate and the foundation through the anchor bolts. 10. Space ½ in anchor bolts 32 to 48 in (800 to 1200 mm) on centre with 0.229 in x 3 in x 3 in (5.8 mm x 75 mm x 75 mm) slotted square plate washers at the wall-to-sill-plate intersection. For more information on wind- resistant design, consult Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction, Form M310, available from www.apawood.org/ resource-library. Sheathing as a Nail Base for Siding and Trim In addition to adding strength and resilience to the building envelope, using wood structural panel sheathing creates a convenient and continuous base which allows for the attachment of siding and trim in scenarios where framing members are not conveniently situated, such as advanced framing where studs are placed at 24 in (600 mm) on centre. When the correct number and type of fasteners are used, full-scale wind tunnel tests at the Insurance Institute for Business Home Safety (IBHS) show that siding attached directly to continuously sheathed plywood or OSB walls is able to withstand the same wind forces as siding attached directly to framing, even when attached through a layer of continuous insulation. Please see the recommended fastening schedule on p. 6 of Nail-Base Sheathing for Siding and Trim Attachment, Form Q250, available from www.apawood. org/resource-library. Continuous wood structural panel sheathing lends structural integrity to the complete building system and boasts not only strength, but sustainability. Wood has the highest life cycle assessment ratings for any structural building material. Continuously sheathed wood walls simplify siding attachment and result in a strong, resilient structure using a renewable, sustainable and readily available resource. BB Cory McCambridge is an engineered wood specialist at APA – The Engineered Wood Association, www.apawood.org
  13. 13. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201614 sitespecific / ALEX NEWMAN “You could say I went to the school of hard knocks,” laughs the 35-year- old, now a vice-president at Menkes. “But it was great. I worked my way through the ranks, and had the pleasure of working for some great builders before coming to Menkes almost nine years ago.” Parton started out at Menkes as site superintendent, quickly moved up to general superintendent, then construction manager, general manager, and eventually VP of low rise/midrise construction. He says his specialty is “multitasking” as well as design and constructability of low and midrise housing. Many of the companies Parton worked for in the past – Mattamy, Coscorp, Great Gulf and Daniels – built green, but he wasn’t involved in those projects. But since coming to Menkes, which he says is “big on lessening its carbon footprint and being innovative with green initiatives,” he’s been involved in green building. And this most recent project in the town of Halton Hills – The Enclaves of Upper Canada – has raised the green stakes considerably. “As we know the current codes change all the time and so does ENERGY STAR,” Parton says. “The margin for leakage in these homes was almost zero and all parties (builder/trades) had to be vigilant in order for us to achieve a positive door blower test and receive ENERGY STAR certification. We keep on top of the ENERGY STAR programs by working with reputable people like John Godden to keep us up to speed on upcoming code changes.” Partly the building code bar is continually being raised, but a large part is builders starting to see the long-term benefits of reducing energy consumption, especially since purchasers are starting to ask. Menkes, Parton says, has built ENERGY STAR before – about four years ago – but this initiative was a “big leap forward.” At The Enclaves, all 200 or so homes are ENERGY STAR, which is an energy efficiency distinction. There is also a Leadership in Energy and Environ­ mental Design (LEED) Silver-certified home at the site called the Discovery Home. This is a sustainability distinc­ tion and its energy component is better than ENERGY STAR. In the 200 or so ENERGY STAR homes, they’ve used Excel, an exterior structural insulated sheathing, which has an R-value of about 2. When coupled with standard R22 fibreglass insulation batts, the exterior walls have an R-value of 24, bumping them into ENERGY STAR territory. Excel also acts as an exterior air barrier system, eliminating the need for interior air barrier detailing. The result is an airtight envelope that is more cost effective and structurally sound. They also spent more effort on “sealing penetrations to ensure the envelope had no air penetration,” Parton says. ENERGY STAR has rigorous requirements for airtightness. For example, attics are insulated to Jamie Parton Graduate of the School of Hard Knocks J amie Parton is one of those rare exceptions to the rule – after high school, instead of going to university as he’d intended and dreamed about, he took a summer job in construction, loved it and decided to stay. Jamie Parton points out this Menkes house is 26% BTC (Better Than Code). PHOTOSBYBETTERBUILDERSTAFF Menkes LEED Silver home.
  14. 14. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 15 R50 with cellulose insulation. Spray foam insulation is used above the garage and porch to improve the comfort of these living areas. Basements are insulated with an R20 blanket that comes within 10 in of the floor, basement ductwork is sealed and windows are ENERGY STAR as well. Inside, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) also works to improve performance and comfort, Parton says. The house provides continuous ventilation with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) for air exchange. In addition, a drainwater heat recovery system transfers heat from the outgoing greywater to help heat incoming municipal water, which actually saves 25% on hot water heating. The furnace is high efficiency, forced air gas, but more importantly it’s been right sized, Parton says. It has a two-stage burner with an electronically commu­ tated motor (ECM). This keeps the house more comfort­ able as the furnace is running longer on its first stage. Clearsphere spent a lot of time helping design and test the HVAC system in the ENERGY STAR homes as well as fully commissioning the Discovery Home’s HVAC, says Parton. “We opted for a 96% efficient Polaris hot water tank, which performs better than a tankless hot water heater.” Water conservation is led by low flow toilets and faucets, the reuse of greywater to help heat incoming municipal water, and rainbarrels outside for landscape use. The LEED Silver Discovery Home is a major feature of the project, built on-site as a model for purchasers to see what can be done. It’s the first LEED Silver-certified home in Halton Hills, and has higher efficiency air conditioning and an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) instead of an HRV, which controls and retains humidity in the home when needed. Parton says the Discovery Home was an informa­ tional tool for prospective purchasers. “We wanted to push the bar on energy efficiency and sustainability. We built the LEED Silver [Discovery Home] to gauge what the response would be to future projects. We’re using the Discovery Home as a marketing platform, to test the market and see how well it will be received in future. It gives purchasers yet another opportunity to be as efficient as they want.” BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at www.alexnewmanwriter.com. Roof truss and wood sill connection. Simpson Strong Tie MGT system shown Drywall screwed into amvic polypropylene webs as per building code Electrical outlet Wood sub-floor installed as per local building Simpson strong tie ICFLC and wood floor joists connection Amvic insulating concrete forms Amdeck floor roof system Exterior wood siding installed as per local building code Amvic high impact polypropylene webs Acrylic, standard ptucco or eifs applied to exterior face of Amvic ICF Brick veneer Parge face of exposed brick ledge Grade Peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane (or equivalent) as per local building code Perforated weeping tile INSULATED CONCRETEFORMS FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: AMVIC.COM
  15. 15. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201616 industryexpert / MICHAEL LIO U nlike other industries the hous­- ­ing market can take decades to adopt new building practices. The structure of the new housing market impedes the uptake of inno­ vation. To drive innovation a forward- thinking builder needs to have a strategy to lower the barriers to change. buildABILITY Corporation and Clearsphere worked with Menkes Developments to bring a change strategy to its Georgetown new home site. The strategy addresses key impediments to change including: • revising designs and drawings to incorporate new methods • building trade capacity to adopt new practices and deliver a defect- free home • working with municipalities to ensure changes are well under­ stood to prevent approval delays. Menkes Developments enrolled in the Union Gas Optimum Home Program and committed to build its entire Georgetown site to meet the ENERGY STAR for New Homes specification. The company is currently building 184 semilinks and fully detached ENERGY STAR homes in The Enclaves of Upper Canada, a new subdivision in Halton Hills. The Optimum Home Program involves top builders designing and building high performance homes that exceed the energy efficiency requirements of the Ontario Building Code (OBC). Optimum Homes are independently verified by a third party to be at least 20% more energy efficient than the 2012 OBC. The Optimum Home process included benchmarking construction, devel­ oping a construction specification tailored to the builder’s goals, building a Discovery House and Discovery Site. Menkes chose to use a new exterior sheathing as their air barrier. They used BP’s Excel board, a structural wood fibre insulation panel that has a nonwoven polypropylene air barrier. Excel sheathing allows a builder to move the air barrier to the exterior of the building. For the builder this means the poly on the interior no longer has to be sealed, saving time and money. In some cases the builder might also be able to exclude builder paper, saving more time and money. A number of details were developed and considered to simplify construct­ ing the exterior air barrier system. These were reviewed and revised by construction personnel to ensure they could be easily built and inspected. Spotlight on Leaders: Menkes Developments Trades were able to experience the new construction on a discovery house and were able to provide feedback to the builder. Without the buy-in and participation from trades, it becomes very difficult if not impossible to suc­ cessfully achieve all the ENERGY STAR requirements. The construction was reviewed by Clearsphere to identify any deficiencies. Trades were informed of the issues and adjustments were made to ensure deficiencies did not reoccur. Menkes created a culture on-site with the trades to work toward the goals. Homeowner outreach was also an important part of the change strategy that allowed Menkes to differentiate itself as a builder. Menkes held a very successful homeowner orientation session for homebuyers. They had an industry expert walk their customers through the benefits of their homes. The implementation of the change strategy allowed Menkes to success­ fully build Canada’s newest LEED Silver home in the same development. The LEED home includes a balanced energy recovery ventilator (ERV) with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) fan. The furnace in the LEED home has 95% efficiency and a two- stage motor. The house achieved an airtightness level of less than 2 ACH (air changes per hour). The garage included a 150 cfm exhaust fan with motion sensor. The LEED Canada certification identifies this home as a pioneering example of sustainable design and demonstrates Menkes’ leadership in transforming the building industry. BB Michael Lio is president of buildABILITY Corporation. michael@buildability.ca Left to right : Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills; Steven Menkes, president of Menkes Developments; Adam Menkes, development manager, Menkes Developments. BETTERBUILDERSTAFF
  16. 16. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201618 Many confuse EIFS and stucco, where in reality the only similarity is that they are both trowel applied to the exterior wall. Stucco is a cladding traditionally made from Portland cement-based plaster applied to a wall in multiple coats over mechanically attached (thermally bridging) reinforcing lath. Stucco cladding is difficult to install over continuous insulation. Unlike stucco EIFS is more than a cladding. Aside from its insulating properties, EIFS also provides air leakage control. EIFS is an engineered system designed, produced and installed in a highly prescribed fashion. EIFS was first introduced in North America in 1969 with the first installations in Canada taking place in 1972. Today, there are three EIFS standards in Canada developed by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (UL) that describe materials, installation and design. buildernews / MICHAEL LIO EIFS includes a continuous insu- lation layer that can help the assembly comply with the most demanding energy codes anywhere in Canada. EIFS cladding includes a fluid- applied, water-resistive air barrier that protects the rough openings and sheathing from outside water. Flashings are easily integrated with the protection. The continuous insulation layer – up to 6 in (R24) – is bonded adhesively to the water barrier without thermal bridging (as shown in Figure 1). A reinforced base coat and finish are applied over the insulation. EIFS come in a wide variety of architectural finishes that can be applied in an infinite range of colours. Today’s EIFS can replicate almost any other cladding such as brick masonry, limestone, granite and other natural rock, metal and tile. Decorative accents such as cornices, arches, columns and keystones are available. They are produced by computer- controlled cutting equipment to create precise finishes (see Figure 2). EIFS is recognized within the Ontario Building Code (OBC) in both Part 5.10 and Part 9. For Part 9, Section 9.27 covers requirements for EIFS including enhanced drainage profiles. The drainage cavity can have a variety of patterns (see Figure 3). In Canada the EIFS Council of Canada (ECC) represents all EIFS manufacturers. The EIFS Practice Manual, published by the ECC, is available at no cost to all builders and EIFS installers from the ECC website: www.eifscouncil.org/eifs-practice- manual. It is a complete design and installation manual that, coupled with the system manufacturer’s instructions, covers all the require­ ments for compliance with the standards in the OBC. The ECC is in the process of unveil­ ing two new courses – one tailored to architects, designers and builders, and the other to building officials. For more information on the building officials’ course, check out the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) website at www.oboa.on.ca. For more information on the architect, designer and builder course, check out buildABILITY’s web- site at www.buildability.ca or contact Edith Yu at edith@buildability.ca. BB Building Better with Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) B uyers of premium homes today expect their houses to express their personal aesthetic and deliver high levels of energy efficiency. Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) provide both high levels of energy efficiency and the flexibility to give the homebuyer the specific aesthetic they might want. Figure 2 Figure 1 Sum of groove width ≥ 13% Width of EIFS panel groove width groove width EIFS panel width Figure 3 Decorative accents are produced by computer-controlled cutting equipment. SUPPLIEDPHOTO
  17. 17. 22 BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 The House that D r. Victor Amend PhD has been actively involved in the construction industry since getting his undergraduate degree in civil engineering in 1981. For several years, he worked as a project manager for a large construction company where he oversaw the development of multifamily, industrial and commercial structures. Following this he decided to return to school to get his PhD in building science and become a lecturer. After a couple of years, he decided to enter the construction industry again after discovering an energy-efficient homebuilding process using insulated concrete forms (ICF), and started his own environmentally friendly, green building material manufacturing facility, the Amvic Building System. featurestory / ALEX NEWMAN COURTESYAMVICBUILDINGSYSTEM
  18. 18. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 21 When Amend couldn’t find the ingredients to build the house he wanted, he decided to engineer them himself. Amend, who left his native Russia for Canada in 1998, had become familiar with concrete as a building material from seeing it at trade shows, and also in European homes built with concrete. He was sold on its energy efficiency and structural strength. At the time he was a university lecturer with a degree in civil engineering, and a PhD in building science. But when he immigrated to Canada, and his search to buy a concrete home yielded nothing, he decided to leave academia and return to the construction industry to manufacture the components. Since then he has supplied “thous­ ands of homes” with energy-efficient ICF. And now he’s building his own. “They’re energy efficient, sustain­ able and very strong. Concrete won’t weaken with time. In fact, it gets stronger and also provides a very airtight envelope,” he says. What he discovered after research­ ing the North American building industry, and specifically the ICF market, was that ICF wasn’t popular, in spite of its obvious advantages, because no system offered easy assembly and construction. So Amend set out to resolve this by designing a concrete form that could be assembled quickly and easily on site, was less wasteful, yet still ensured excellent performance. And so Amvic was born, a system that offers ICF block for walls and AmDeck ICF blocks for floors and roofs. An Amvic ICF block combines expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation and concrete thermal mass, thus minimizing temperature fluctuations by absorbing and storing heat – and can effectively reduce energy con­ sumption for heating and cooling by up to 30%. As well, its manufacturing methods are clean. Using steam and cold water to produce the forms means no chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), hydro­ chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), formal­ dehyde or other chemicals, and thus no off-gassing. One of ICF’s biggest benefits, Amend says, is concrete’s thermal mass, which offers all sorts of energy efficiencies from strength and durability to being impervious to moisture and leaking air. Another benefit is soundproofing. ICF has a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 51, whereas a standard single-family home is perhaps half that rating, Amend says. A higher STC is used in all semidetached and town­ homes, but in single-family homes it’s not required. However, it is appreciated in any home when you live near an airport or busy main street with buses and streetcars rumbling past because the masonry shields from noise pollution and sound vibration. The Process Building with ICF is a little like “building with blocks,” Amend says. “You put your footings in first, then start placing blocks on top of each other, then pour concrete.” Imagine stacking up the 4x16 blocks like LEGO. ICF are stay-in-place blocks with two panels of EPS held together with 100% recycled plastic webs. Once the walls have been placed with concrete, the AmDeck floor blocks can be installed. The AmDeck floor system sits on 10 in steel C-channels spanning one side of the ICF wall to the other. When many channels are placed side by side, they become a reinforced beam form for the concrete slab poured on top. The concrete floor requires seven days to dry fully and strengthen (or cure). (Concrete has 75% of its strength Amvic Built ICF wasn’t popular, in spite of its obvious advantages, because no system offered easy construction.
  19. 19. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201622 after seven days. After 28 days it has 100%.) This is the same procedure as an ICF form, but is horizontal rather than vertical. The Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) deems Amvic the strongest ICF block form on the market (Forming Capacity Strength Test, Technical Guide 03131, at 865 lbs/sq ft). It has the highest- forming ICF capacity in the industry, and is easier to install because of the unique patented FormLock interlock design. Coupled with the EPS and its web connectors, there’s less taping, tying or gluing during installation, saving on labour compared to other systems (see photo, top left). The wall blocks are fully reversible, so there’s less than 1% waste on the forming system. The system can withstand internal vibration, which ensures a superior wall for wind and earthquake resistance. The system is being used in the North York home Amend is now building for himself, which he calls the High-Performing Insulated Concrete Home. Walls are ICF block and floors are AmDeck, and triple- glazed windows boast an R-value of just over 5. The home’s ventilation system is provided by an ECOAIR ground air heat exchange system and an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). An earth tube draws in fresh air, which is prewarmed with ground heat in the winter (up to 16°F or 9°C). In the summer this air is precooled by the soil temperature. The ECOAIR’s intake tube draws air from outside down 6 ft into the earth using an 8 in pipe coated with silver ion lining (silver is antimicrobial and will not allow any mould or mildew to form). This air is then drawn into the home through an ERV where it’s distributed through an air distribution system (see below). Because the ICF walls have insu­ lated forms and EPS on either side of the ICF block, this provides the insulation. The only spaces requiring extra insulation are the attic and under the basement floor slab. In the attic Amend has used spray foam on top of the traditional wood floor trusses, and silver board rigid sheet insulation (see photo, top right). Under the basement slab Amend used his own creation – the PEX Panel, which is a real time and money saver. It’s not only insulation, but also a tracking system for installing the radiant floor tubing. Normally for radiant floors instal­ ling requires light gauge steel mesh, and lots of labour, to tie down the tubing. This just snaps into place (see photo, facing page). As expected ICF is not less expen­ sive than traditional wood framing, but demand is starting to drive costs down, says Gary Brown, Amvic’s VP of marketing. “ICF used to cost 8 to 10% more than traditional 2x6 and fibreglass construction. Because building codes are now requiring more outboard insulation on walls, and catching up to Amvic, the cost Heat Exchange in Winter Intake Air Temperature 14ºF (-10ºC) Output Air Temperature 30ºF (-1ºC) Soil Temperature 50ºF (10ºC) Pouring Amvic ICF walls. AmDeck floor system for radiant heat distribution.
  20. 20. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 23 difference is now more in the neigh­bourhood of 3 to 5%. The other benefit to Amvic is a tighter, more efficient home, which allows for reducing the size of the mechanical system.” For the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), Amend had initially thought to use solar photovoltaic (PV) roof panels in his aim for a net zero home, but decided instead to use cheap, clean natural gas with a central boiler and radiant floor heating. Electricity costs ten times that of natural gas and can’t heat houses from what electric panels generate. The condensing boiler sends water through the basement and main concrete floors, and radiates heat to every surface instead of blowing hot air around, so the whole room is warm. With the view onto parkland, the large high performance windows at the rear of the house and radiant floor heating were the best approaches to maximize comfort. The radiant floors are installed over the AmDeck insulated floor system. Concrete floors allow for mass, which holds the heat and radiates it throughout the house, keeping it very comfortable. Typically in new homes the room over the garage is a challenge to keep comfortable. The AmDeck floor at R18 has additional silver board insulation added to the underside to bring it to R40. It’s not often that someone – out of frustration – will actually design and create the elements to build their own home. What’s better is when they manufacture the elements so others can benefit too. BB PHOTOSCOURTESYAMVICBUILDINGSYSTEM PEX floor panels save time on basement floor installations with radiant tubing.
  21. 21. 26 BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016
  22. 22. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 25 “We’ve created pitch roofs, even. It really comes down to choice of material put on the outside,” says Johnson. “Many of the traditional styles we’re familiar with had their roots in some sort of system. Frank Lloyd Wright and others built with a sort of interior logic, and developed a system for circulation and construc­ tion. It pretty much comes down to stylizing and choice of materials.” Enviro-friendly The steel structure is environmentally friendly for a few reasons, Johnson says. “Steel is mostly recycled and lasts a long time, probably about 200 years. Because it’s galvanized it’s protected from the elements, so there’s no worry about rust. This is important especially if you’re build­ ing in an ocean region where salt is carried in the air and corrodes steel.” The other thing is the system is “extremely robust, and has a balloon- frame structure so it can accommo­ date multiple layers of insulation.” And yes, the steel frame is more costly. Johnson figures it could be 30 to 40% more costly. “But the market paying these kinds of prices isn’t the suburban tract house, but custom builders. It’s not a drop in the bucket, but in the overall budget with all the custom finishes of a luxury home, it actually is. “You can’t compete with wood frame,” Johnson says, “which is the de facto standard and the least expensive form of building.” In Canada, we keep building in wood because it’s relatively available since we have timber resources. In many other parts of the world, Johnson says, they’re building with more permanent materials. Wood has its virtues, but also its problems, such as its reliability and durability. The BONE structure works well in any setting – for urban infill as long as the 5 ft spans are considered, although Johnson says it would sometimes require “some shoehorning or some wasted space. It’s fine in suburban settings because the lots are so large, and you’re not likely to exceed the maximum gross floor area (GFA) or get too close to property lines.” But the sweet spot, Johnson says, is rural properties. “It’s really taken off, and a majority of these projects were rural, usually second homes or vacation properties. One reason is you don’t have so many restrictions in these areas, and fewer regulations, so it makes it easier to build with and get approvals for. Plus these rural properties are ones that people are inclined to live in for a long time, and not move after five years, so they’re invested in spending for a durable long-lasting structure. In North York the lots are generally large enough to accommodate a standard BONE structure. At the Tottenham home they designed, where they also used the steel framework, BONE was able to manufacture to a half-module (30 in instead of 60 in) to address a few unique conditions. Since then, they have gone further and will size specific components to 1 or 2 in increments allowing for their system to be used on narrower urban (or downtown) lots. They’ve also developed their own series of homes called the Infill Collection (www.bonestructure.ca/en/models/ collections/infill-collection/).  BONE will adapt their system to your design using mostly standard components on a 60 in grid, then S napping together like a giant LEGO set, the BONE prefab steel house frame is quick to assemble – five days for a 4,000 sq ft house – is environmentally friendly and lasts about 200 years. You can even add onto it easily long after the house is built. In fact, there’s no real downside, says Eric Johnson, architect for E2, the firm that recently designed a North York house using the BONE infrastructure. Mostly the system is well suited to a modern style, but he says it’s possible to create any style. industrynews / ALEX NEWMAN BONEing Up on Modular Steel Structures PHOTOSBYERICJOHNSON
  23. 23. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201626 customize only those (few) com­ ponents necessary to suit the design, Johnson adds. The 11 gauge galvanized steel components used in a BONE structure home can be anchored to any type of foundation – concrete slab, insulated concrete forms (ICF) or pillars using BONE’s Ankle System. Exterior columns placed at 5 ft intervals allow for spans of up to 25 ft without having to break up the space with intermediate columns or load-bearing walls. The structure is reinforced by steel bracings, and then metal supports are added for interior and exterior furring. The roof is made of structural insulated panels (SIP) and ZBARs are used for attaching exterior finishes. Because the home is designed before the steel system is ordered, windows and doors are easy to install. Type II expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation boards fit snugly with the steel frame, and 2.5 in soy-based polyurethane foam sprayed in creates a thermal envelope that helps keep a house warm in winter and cool in summer. It makes for R-values in the wall of R28.5 minimum, and in the At the North York house, Johnson says the ceramic panel exterior cladding worked well with the BONE structure. “We saw it as a brick alternative. We’re trying to eliminate wet trades, those that rely on water, such as mixing mortar for bricks, so that we can build in the winter as well.” The ceramic panels are thin and durable, like vitrified clay, Johnson says. “They have fairly unique properties, like being self-cleaning, with coatings that absorb nitrates. Rain then washes away the pollutants.” For insulation, Johnson says they’ve used spray foam for its high R-value and airtightness. Joist panels in recycled polystyrene are designed to fit between the steel columns, and exterior cladding support is a ZBAR that attaches to the columns by a thermal brig or clip, which has a plastic spacer to break thermal conductance. To thermally protect the steel, foam is on the outside. Once the rigid panels are installed, spray foam insulation applied on the exterior will bring walls up to the required R-value. If you wanted to increase the insulation, Johnson says, you could add to the inside because there is a 2 in space that roof R56 or higher. The only challenge is once the steel frame is fabricated and delivered, there’s no way to make alterations unless you’re prepared to reorder some- thing and that takes time, Johnson says. Wood has a certain amount of flexibility. If something isn’t quite working, you take a saw and cut it. And because we’re not familiar with the material there’s a learning curve, but Johnson figures by the third house built this way, it becomes very easy and you’ll be “sold on all its virtues.” One of those virtues is that openings can be ordered with exact dimensions, so windows and doors can be onsite waiting for the frame, which makes assembly very fast. Also, the precision means “The house comes exactly as we envisioned it. It’s also ideally suitable where the architect wants to eliminate all trim,” Johnson says. “Trim can hide a multitude of imperfections. With this system we run drywall right into the window, which you can’t do with wood. When it’s very cold out, or the materials have issues, these are things that can’t be resolved easily without using precise materials.” PHOTOSBYERICJOHNSON Left to right: Walls erected on 60 in grid. Exterior cladding attached to ZBAR, which carries an additional R15 insulation from soy-based foam.
  24. 24. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 27 would allow this. Otherwise, the builder could request that BONE provide a deeper ZBAR construction, and maybe even a deeper rigid panel, which would allow for more insula­ tion on the outside of the panels. The final R-values of R50 for the roof and R30 for the walls of a typical BONE structure are achieved using three products, Johnson explains. The first are the SIPs installed on top of the roof joists. Then recycled EPS panels designed specifically for BONE structures are fitted between the columns and in all other wall openings. Finally, 2 lb spray foam is applied over the EPS wall panels from the outside and to the underside of the roof SIPs from the inside.   Johnson says they coupled the insulation with an effective heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system – radiant floor heat and an air handler for forced air. The reason radiant heat is good, Johnson explains, is that BONE doesn’t have a lot of thermal mass. There’s a column every 5 ft and the rest is steel BONE. And the more insulation you put, the better it performs, he adds. Because the BONE system is essen- tially a shell without interior divisions, you are “getting an open box,” Johnson says. “So it’s easy to create any kind of interior design and layout that you want. Because the system supplies a vertical bar with a cutout every 16 in that matches the profile of a furring channel used to attach drywall, you can create the layout you want. “Because the joists have large pene- trations, it’s possible to run all ductwork and electrical without having to cut anything, which speeds up the process as well,” Johnson points out. BB vanee.ca All these products meet ENERGY STAR’s higher standards For more information or to order, contact your local distributor. vänEE 100H vänEE 200HvänEE 60H vänEE 60H-V+ vänEE 90H-V ECMvänEE 40H+vänEE 90H-V+ vänEE 60H+ vänEE 50H1001 HRV vänEE Gold Series 2001 HRV vänEE Gold Series vänEE air exchangers: improved line-up meets ENERGY STAR® standards Superior Energy Efficiency Ideal for LEED homes and new building codes 5-year warranty* FRESH AIR JUST GOT GREENER *ON MOST MODELS. Because we’re not familiar with the material there’s a learning curve, but … it becomes very easy and you’ll be “sold on all its virtues.”
  25. 25. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201628 buildernews / ROB BLACKSTIEN As a 16-year-old boy, Vella was “into hot muscle cars of the late ’60s,” which led to studying mechanics, but he soon decided that wasn’t where his future lay. So when his brother-in-law – who had begun Fifthshire in 1977 – asked him to come work with him, Vella jumped at the opportunity. Vella connected to homebuilding in a way he never did with auto mechanics. “I got very interested, very quickly,” he says. He sucked up knowledge like a sponge, taking courses to learn how to read building plans and architectural drawings. It was the start of a lifelong passion that saw the certified construction superintendent take many accredited courses over the years from schools like George Brown, Seneca and Humber including project management, architecture and building science. In addition to residential construc­ tion, Vella’s path took him into com­ mercial building, helping to craft mall stores, offices, restaurants, and even a 26,000 sq ft head office for a food company. “I pretty well do everything, so I’ve got my expertise in just about every part of construction,” he says. Man of Steel J oe Vella has been blazing a trail in the Ontario homebuilding industry for nearly three and a half decades. However, if not for a fateful phone call in 1982 from his brother-in-law, Vella might have been making his mark in the world of auto mechanics instead of pioneering residential steel frame construction in Canada as the vice-president of Concord, Ont.-based Fifthshire Homes Ltd. Joe Vella helped Fifthshire Homes develop a cutting-edge reputation as the first Canadian builder to create an R-2000-certified steel frame residential building. Precut steel components minimize waste.
  26. 26. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 29 In fact, it was Vella’s commercial construction experience that first made him wonder if steel framing could be applied in a residential environment. “I was tired of hearing the carpenters complain about how the wood was crooked and warped, or complaining about the difficulty in cutting the studs when drywall was put in and trying to straighten the walls, put the drywall on, and then the walls were crooked again,” he says. At this time Fifthshire was building more high end custom homes, originally in Nobleton, ultimately working in Schomberg, Maple, Richmond Hill and Sharon. “I was thinking to myself, How can we build this for a clientele when we’re supposed to be building a high quality product with an inferior product?” Vella then approached a metal manufacturer and got an engineer involved, because by using a steel frame he had to build homes under Part 9 instead of Part 4 of the building code. “And then we said, ‘Let’s do it.’” Among the concerns at the outset was that steel has thermal bridges. However, Vella says that was a simple obstacle to overcome as the building code calls for insulated sheathing on the outside of a steel stud wall – a minimum of 25% of the cavity. “So I said, ‘Well, we’ll put more. We’ll put 50 or 100%.’” Fifthshire built its inaugural steel- framed home in 1991 – the first such R-2000-certified house in Canadian history. They’ve now built around 80 R-2000 all-steel houses and, more recently, several others that are ENERGY STAR certified. Yes, steel adds about 15 to 20% to the framing costs, Vella estimates, but when you factor in the waste reduction, it’s probably only 1 or 2% more. There is also a learning curve invol­ ved here, and he speculates this is likely a barrier to entry for most builders. But the advantages of steel framing far outweigh the disadvantages, Vella assures. Higher cavity insulation and non­ combustibility are huge bonuses. “But the biggest one is that you don’t get nail pops, you don’t get shrinkage, therefore the corner beads don’t move,” he says. That will really cut into a builder’s callbacks. The eco-friendly factor of steel can’t be overstated. Vella estimates 99% of the house is precut, which means there is low waste. “Any waste we have doesn’t go to landfill – 100% goes back to recycling.” Considering waste factors in wood homes are around 25% whereas it’s less than 2% in their homes, that’s a massive advantage which helps offset the higher costs. In fact, the steel Fifthshire uses is so green (an average of 87% recycled material in Ontario) that “We actually get LEED points for our steel studs,” he says. Walls tend to be much straighter with steel framing and because steel is inert, it’s mould-free, he adds. There are also myriad geographic- specific benefits – it’s termite-free; in high wind zones, steel framing is less of a risk because it’s stronger; and Vella says his frames are “much, PHOTOSBYJOEVELLA Steel floor joists have webs which house mechanicals and eliminate bulkheads.
  27. 27. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201630 much better” in higher seismic zones because steel is ductile and tends to move more without breaking. One of the reasons steel framing has not caught on more – besides the cost and learning curve – is that there are many negative preconceptions about this building technique. Some of these myths about steel frames include: • Noisier: “The less mass you have, the less vibration you have. So steel studs are actually quieter,” Vella refutes, as evidenced by sound transmission class testing. • More likely to be struck by lightning: Vella discounts this, but adds that because the entire steel frame is grounded with straps into the foundation, even if struck, there’s no fire, whereas wood frames are prone to igniting if electrical wires burst and cause sparks. • Will contract and expand with temperature changes: He says that happens sometimes, but is no different than with wood trusses. • Will interfere with radio, TV and Wi-Fi signals: This is not an issue, Vella maintains. “Between the studs it’s the same thing.” • Will rust: Not true, he says. It’s fully galvanized aluminium with a zinc coating, so when you cut the steel, it’s self-healing and no rust forms. Despite all the advantages steel framing offers, Vella doesn’t see this trend becoming widespread anytime soon because of the misconceived stumbling blocks. Still, Fifthshire forges ahead with steely determination. “Not only are we pioneers, but we still continue to sell our homes in steel. We are very proud of the product and all of our customers have been very happy with it.” BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca
  28. 28. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 2016 31 The City of Hamilton was the first municipality in Ontario to issue a building permit for a six-storey wood frame building in March of 2015. Interestingly enough, this project was a 209-unit Sandman Hotel property and includes an indoor pool and two restaurants. Since then there has been a great deal of activity throughout the province, with more buildings being designed and built. Within the OBC requirements, there are some additional safety measures needed for six-storey wood frame construction v. four storey, including: • enhanced automatic sprinkler systems • all balconies over 610 mm (2 ft) deep must also have sprinklers • exit stairwells must have a 1.5 hour fire resistance rating and be of noncombustible construction • the building height is limited to the top floor being no more than 18 m above the first floor and 20 m above the required fire access route • all exterior cladding and roof coverings must be noncombustible Is Wood Good? Part II fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY I n a previous article I wrote about six-storey wood frame construction coming to a community near you. As most readers will know, the Ontario Building Code (OBC) was revised as of January 1, 2015 to allow wood frame residential and office building construction up to six storeys, with additional fire safeguards such as noncombustible stairwell materials and combustion-resistant roofs. Prior to January 1, 2015, the limit was four storeys. Six-storey wood frame construction requires extra safety measures. WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
  29. 29. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 17 | SPRING 201632 or combustion resistant • large concealed spaces such as attics must have additional compartmentalization, even when sprinklers are installed • plumbing must be combustion resistant • at least 10% of the building perimeter must have a fire access route within 15 m of the building exterior. So there are some serious consi­ derations for fire protection to protect the occupants of these buildings. However, there are also some challenges to the processes of con­ structing midrise buildings. So I thought it would be of interest to share a few of our experiences so far. As a Part 9 low rise residential builder, I have to admit that going in I did not have a lot of experience with everything involved in constructing a midrise building. For this reason we sought to put together a strong team of professionals including an architect, engineer, site engineer, legal, marketing and general contractor, so we could reduce the size of our learning curve. I have to be honest. It has still been a pretty big learning curve. While we settled on the overall building concept fairly early, there is a great deal of back and forthing over a variety of details that a year later we are still finalizing. In addition, we had no idea going in how challenging the legal documentation would be, let alone the Tarion requirements. One particularly daunting issue is not being able to presell units without having a site plan agreement in place. Now there may be other builders out there who don’t wait for a site plan agreement, and it would not appear to be an issue if you were building a rental residential building. However, our legal representation strongly recommended against this. We did find the inability to do presales a major challenge to momentum, and if we had known this issue going in, we would have likely marketed the building as a rental residence. Another major issue was getting the site plan agreement completed. We were amazed this process took more than a year. So site plan preparation and process is definitely an area we will be looking at moving forward. Even bringing a sales trailer on-site turned into a monthlong adventure. Ultimately to get approvals, we were required to get a building permit that required engineering costing thous­ ands of dollars for how we were going to support the trailer on-site. I don’t know what other builders’ experiences have been, but I have not yet found any that had to meet this level of require­ ment for a prefabricated building. Nonetheless, we now have our sales trailer about to open and our site plan in place, our legal paperwork appears in order and after a year and a half of work, we are finally in a position to sell units in our building, so we can actu- ally build it. I’ll keep you posted. BB Doug Tarry Jr is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ont.
  30. 30. MORE THAN A ROCK With residential building codes changing across Canada, you need an exterior insulated sheathing that measures up. In the move from nominal to effective R-values, ROXUL® COMFORTBOARD™ IS provides a stable solution. Vapour permeable, it dries easily even if the framing gets wet, guarding against mould and mildew all while delivering an extra layer of thermal protection. roxul.com Find comfort in a world of change.
  31. 31. Thank you for helping us build a more energy efficient Ontario. We look forward to building the future with you in 2016. From early design to construction, Enbridge is here to support and reward you with performance incentives for constructing energy efficient, healthy and sustainable homes beyond code requirements. Learn more at build.savingsbydesign.ca Alliance Homes Andrin Homes Arista Homes Aspen Ridge Homes Ballantry Homes Ballymore Homes Branthaven Homes Brentwood Developments Briarwood Homes Brookfield Residential Campanale Homes Cardel Homes Centro Homes Corvinelli Homes Coughlan Homes CountryWide Homes Delta-Rae Homes Eldora Homes Empire Communities EQ Homes Fandor Homes Fernbrook (Castlemore) Fieldgate Developments Construction Flato Developments Fourteen Estates Geranium Homes Great Gulf Homes Greenpark Greystone Homes Habitat for Humanity Halminen Homes Heathwood Homes Jeffery Homes Ltd. Lakeside Developments Lakeview Homes Lancaster Homes Landmart Homes Laurier Homes Lindvest Lormel Homes Lucchetta Homes Madison Homes Marshall Homes Mason Homes Mattamy Homes Midhaven Homes Minto Monarch Corporation Mosaik Homes Orchard Ridge Phelps Homes Parkview Homes Reid’s Heritage Homes Remington Homes Rinaldi Homes Royalpark Homes San Diego Homes Sean Mason Homes Signature Homes Solmar Starlane Tamarack Homes Tartan Homes Thornhill North Thornridge Homes Times Group Townwood Homes Treasure Hill Homes Urbandale Vogue Homes Wycliffe Yorkwood Homes Zancor Homes

×