high performance exterior, modern exterior design, high performance details, exterior architectural details, Boral True Exterior

House Building – Revolutionary High-Performance Exterior Modern Detail

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

In this new video post, we take you on a tour of a distinctive house project near Boston, USA. Hosts, Matt Risinger and Steve Baczek, give a detailed account of this house’s architecture, discussing the process of securing a building permit, and explaining the materials used in construction.

The design approach for this house interestingly integrates elements of nature into the architecture. The video offers an in-depth look at the house’s exterior, featuring its open joint rain screen siding and ICF foundation. The hosts also delve into the building science behind the structure, emphasizing the strategy of letting water out of the house, not just keeping it out.

We explore the materials used in the construction, including Boralt true exterior one by boards, Schuco aluminum triple glazed units, and a rice hull recycled product called Resista. The wall assembly, with an R55 insulation range, and the exceptional drying potential of the house, are also discussed.

This video serves as an educational resource for those interested in modern building. A second video will provide a tour of the house’s interiors. Whether you’re looking for ideas for your next project, eager to learn about the latest in building materials, or keen on understanding high-performance houses, this video is for you.

Over to Matt and Steve.

Revolutionary High-Performance Exterior Modern Details

Video Transcript

What’s up guys? I’m Matt Risinger and I’m Steve Baczek. We are outside of Boston visiting some Steve projects. Steve, this house behind us – the setting here – we normally start at the front of the house but look at this river view! Yeah, it – I mean it doesn’t get any better. No, I mean it really doesn’t.

This has to be one of the most gorgeous house sightings I’ve ever seen. Yeah, I mean and you can imagine for us to put the house this close to the river, it took us over two years to get permission to submit a building permit. There were that many people wanting to know what we were doing here. Oh my gosh, that’s crazy!

Now the last time we were here, this house was in framing, mechanicals, and prior to that we got to see the incredible ICF foundation. But look at the house guys – this is absolutely beautiful. Uh, we’re going to do a full exterior rundown and then stay tuned for a second video where we’re going to do an inside view.

But on today’s video we’re going to run through the exterior details, what are some of the material pallets, how did Steve come up with a sighting, and uh a few of the architectural details we’re going to be looking at – a modern really high-performance house by Steve Baczek architect. Let’s get going!

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Steve, you know I love a good durable exterior. What are we looking at over here? So this is true exterior – these are just one by boards. They measure 1×2 through 1×8.

Okay, and they’re in a random pattern. Um, we set it up – we had some minor rules for the siding guy like no two boards of the same width touch, no three board combination is repeated anywhere in the same 48 lines. I mean they were pretty minor, these guys did just a fantastic job.

From a building science perspective this is an open joint rain screen – you can hose this wall down, the water goes right behind it. Okay, and so there’s no caulking then, eh? There’s no caulking. Meverything is an open joint, air free and for those of you that are, oh my, I would never let water and you should! It all – well the idea is that there is probably not a house in America that has better drying potential than this house. I love it!

Uh, you know I’ve said this phrase a million times. You probably know what I’m going to say, but David Nicastro’s uh phrase that I’ve adopted is “It’s not about keeping water out, it’s about letting water out.” Exactly! So there’s no, there’s no issue with letting that water out. How’d you come up with the uh, with the pattern, or how’d you come up with the idea?

So the random pattern – we were talking literally with um, Carl – and Carl’s our homeowner here by the way – we were talking about what kind of – Carl said “You know what, what should we do?” And I said “We should do that.” And if you look into the woods, what do you see, right?

You see a bunch of random widths that filter through a series of lines that are the trees. That’s so cool! So you’re mimicking the tree pattern. If I extrapolate that image to the siding pattern I have a bunch of variable widths. I have the trees which are almost a pretty standard spacing, but I mean there’s some artistic license, but that in this – this is simply mimicking nature. That’s fabulous! See there, I love it!

Now uh, we’ve got a three story house. We looked at the ICF foundation, yeah it’s a walkout. Talk to me about the walkout and the elevation and the sighting that you came up with as the architect of this project.

So we have, we have the stone at the bottom which is – we wanted to give it a really firm base – and that goes all the way around the house everywhere we have that stone. That’s that local granite I’m assuming? Yeah we have a local place called The Stone Yard and they actually cut real stone and they fabricate real corners.

So it’s a thin stone that’s applied to the ICF foundation but it’s not super thick. It’s a, yes it’s a total veneer stone that it probably ranges from about 7/8 to an inch and a quarter. But the thing I love Matt is look at the corners – the corner corers are true because they cut them out. You don’t have that little inch and a quarter edge. It’s actually a real stone corner – that’s absolutely gorgeous!

So Steve, what is this material on these windows down here? This is the same Boralt true exterior one by material that we used on the siding. We just upgraded it to 5 quarter. Gotcha! So old some of the older builders will remember this being called Boral Westlake. Royal Building Products is actually the manufacturer and it’s called True Exteriors and this is a fly as, it’s a fly as material.

So it should have good long durability, it takes paint really well too. Takes paint really well? You can nail into it, there’s no splitting, nothing. And then what’s our window systems over those? Those are our EES, European Architectural Supply.

Those are Schuco aluminum triple glazed units – beautiful! Center glass .10, that’s gorgeous! And I’m seeing this through wall flashing above these windows here and I love how the siding stops quarter inch short or so – everything is a drainable, water, water release system in this house. That’s awesome Steve!

What’s that really pretty chocy brown soft material we’re seeing up there? So that is the same stuff that we used on the side. It’s a like a nickel gap pattern. It’s called Resista – it’s a rice hull recycled product. Okay, um, that they reconstitute into a board form. Interesting! And uh, it’s a true lap siding that has that kind of bar relief.

Okay, it, it looks like wood from down here you can’t tell. You cannot tell! We sent that out, it had third, it had third party um, finishing before we received it so everything went up pre-finished. That’s neat! Um, I think you mentioned that there’s a piece of siding we could actually pull off if go around the side there I can pop one off me check that out and you can see the whole system.

Alright Steve, so you can see that these are actually face nailed. I kind of like that, that’s cool. We’re not hiding that. You don’t see it at all from a distance but when you’re up close you can see those face nails and this is that material that’s on the S2. This is the Resista and you know this one we have the ability to pop off.

So, oh check that out! You can see it’s a channel oriented system so it’s nice and light, highly durable. Like you’re not bending this! Wow, very cool! And it cuts just like, you know, any other material that we put on there but it has so now we can just screw it in on this channel and, and what’s this aluminum bar back – and these are loose just so that this has the ability to move.

So we have the joint and then have their own proprietary aluminum channel for the rain screen. Gotcha! And so now our windows can drain in that pan flashing, just turn down, go down here and it’ll drain out the bottom of that flashing. Fabulous! And it has the drying potential all the way down the side – there’s no, no sealants, nothing’s going to get gummed up. That’s fantastic!

Now I know you made a bunch of videos over here and I’m going to, I’m going to link to his prior videos below. You can go see those on buildonnetwork.com. But give us a quick parameter on what’s the wall assembly over here? What’s the kind of installation range you’re using, that sort of thing?

Yeah, so this is a 2×8 wall with 2×4 staggered studs 24 in on center. So 2 by 8 base plates, yes. Uh, but then 2x4s that are staggered so that interior from almost forms a double wall. Then this forms a double wall completely thermally broken. Um, and then we’re at uh, we’re probably somewhere at around r55.

Wow, in the wall! Holy cow, it’s uh, yeah it’s really good. That’s serious business – that has some close cell foam in it so it’s again sealed up. We’re at 39 on this house, g09 – a crazy stuff! It’s the insulation, the zip on the outside is our primary air barrier. We have zip R9 on actually – we’re probably closer to r65 because I forgot we got zip R9 on the outside of this house too. Jeez, wow it’s uh, it’s there. You got to check out only because it’s, it’s one of those things that you don’t see often.

That top stone measures 54 in by 7 ft. Oh my gosh, wow! And it’s slid in underneath everything underneath the threshold of the door. Oh that’s gorgeous! Um, and I did a really good cool video. It has what’s called horse mat underneath it.

Hemat is what you would put in a stable so that they can walk on it with their uh, uh cleats and uh, shoes. And the horse mat is basically the furring strip underneath that. So all the water, it’s a totally drainable system, system even though it’s a couple thousand pound stone.

And so there’s a poured, uh wall underneath that – it’s all framed and panned, copper panned. Oh interesting! Just like we would treat our window sill pans or door sill pans. And then the stone was set on top of that basically suspended and the water just drains right around it. Wow, Steve what a house man! This is gorgeous.

I wonder if we could, uh, do a second video on some of the interior. I hear the interior is fabulous on this. As great as this is the inside is mind blowing – it’s crazy! Guys, if you want to see, uh, previous videos from this house I’ll put a link in the description. You should be following Steve on Instagram @stephenbasickarchitect. Uh, and we will come back for part two of this video and show you some fabulous, because this is a super high performance house that also has some top of the line craftsmanship, right?

Yeah, and one of the plugs. You know Build Show Network dot com and you, Matt, being one of the contributors – probably half of my videos are this house alone. And you know my videos, we get into the drawings with big red. So you want to see the details of how we detailed that sill pan, how we built this wall – all those details are there and we’re sharing them. Fabulous! Love it!

And one more thing. Uh, you know Steve and I are going to be teaching at Build Show Live in November 2024 in Austin, Texas. You can sign up for updates at buildshowlive.com. Steve and I actually have, it’s not even been announced yet – we’re telling you before anybody knows – a full day of teaching on Thursday where we’re going to be doing “Build Science 301” – really the top level of building science.

We’re going to be getting into the nirvana of product application, climate zones – we’re really going to do that. Plus we’re going to have a tour of two houses that Steve designed that are under construction and you’re going to get a tour of my personal house on that day. So that’s going to be a really fun day. Sign up for buildshowlive.com for updates.

So that being said guys, follow us on TikTok or Instagram. Otherwise we’ll see you next time on the Build Show!

Features to Include in your Next Build

Steven Bacek Riverside Tour

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