Inside the Staircase House (ii)

It looks weird from the Lorne Street sidewalk level (third floor of the house) to see huge windows facing the escarpment. It seems, from the outside, that little light would get in. How wrong that is … the huge windows flood the house with light. The two windows on the cliff side might need to be covered in shears or with window film for privacy. The main staircase runs up past the windows through a multi-storey light well:

The stair stringer is a single steel box beam, with metal supports for each tread. The treads themselves will be wider wood boards screwed in from below. Light will flow through the stair treads and up each side of the staircase. A similar stair system was used at 37 Eccles. Here is a close up of the treads supports onto which the wood treads will be attached:

Visible in the background are the lego-block walls. They are hollow foam blocks. The void in the centre was filled with cement, making a very structural and airtight wall. Plastic ties run through the cement. To install electrical wiring, a saw makes horizontal grooves through the foam, the wire is pushed in, foamed-over with insulation, and presto, no drilling studs, no nailing or clips required, and no air movement along the electrical cables. On the interior room side the plastic strips are wide enough that sheets of drywall are simply put against the insulation and drywall screwed to the plastic ties.

The insulation value of this wall is R50.

5 thoughts on “Inside the Staircase House (ii)

  1. I would be interested to know how much more (or less) expensive the house is – The Tyee just ran a series on the passivhaus movement, and they claim that it is actually cheaper to build one, both initially and in the long run.

    R50! We spent $2500 on our old house to get it up to (I think) R15. You could heat that house with a computer hard drive.

  2. Love the insight into this house! It looks like they are using some really high-end products in this house. The staircase and the ICF systems are wonderful.

    Although, I’m not sure why they are using so much wood around that large window with doubled-up trim studs and doubld-up king studs. The only thing that does is create a huge thermal break around the window which will make for a very cold or hot wall.

    1. its called “bucking” for installation of an ICF window or door openings . With proper insullation around perimeter of window you will eliminate thermal break.

  3. I love the idea of these concrete/styrofoam lego blocks.

    Do you have any information on the supplier for them so that I could get more technical details?

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