Marc Dupuis, the builder of this infill on Primrose/Lorne staircase showed me around the inside. There are some “new” construction techniques and features that are worth looking at over the next few posts.
The house consists of a street level entry, kitchen, dining room, and garage. One floor up (the fourth) is the large living room and deck. One floor down (the second) are two bedrooms. The first floor, at the Primrose level, is a studio arrangement of bedroom, studio, bathroom, wet bar (aka kitchen) and separate entrance. All logic and good design suggests that the entrance at this lower level be directly from the adjacent stair landing but instead the city insists that the owners provide a separate, parallel stairs, via an easement over the adjacent property, down to the sidewalk level. I suspect this is so the city retains the right to “remove” the stairs some day in the future and just to complicate that would be reason enough to make the entrance off the stairs even if it wasn’t such obvious good planning for the site, the house, and the sidewalk/stairs. (the previous set of stairs had such an entrance off the landing until they were replaced about 8 years ago…).
These three white boxes mounted on the wall constitute the furnace and hot water supply for the house. The far box houses a tankless water heater. The water travels through a valve system …
(valves are not yet fully hooked up). The hot water from the gas heater is directed through the red pipes buried in the concrete floor. There are four zones on the first floor, so rooms can be kept different temperatures. The concrete is poured on 3″ of high density blue foam and a similar apron extends 3-4′ beyond the foundation.
Only the lowest floor level is concrete. Upper floors are conventional wood frame floors. They are also heated under the floor boards by plastic pipes attached to the subfloor. There are access hatches to valve systems set up on each floor to regulate and control the zones and water flow. Here is what the wood subfloor looks like from below:
The black paper stuff between the pipes and subfloor helps spread the heat so the floor does not feel like a bunch of hot and cold lines. There is no air handling ductwork in the house, saving on bulkheads and chases that are required to move air from one level to another.
In essence, the house has tankless, gas-fueled hot-water in-floor heating.