construction methods

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construction methods
F1-HOMETRENDS.may07F
4/3/2007
2:37 PM
Page 32
TRENDS IN
CONSTRUCTION METHODS
Three trends are stealing the spotlight in construction.
■
In locations prone to severe weather, homes are being built better through the use of
new technologies and materials, such as aerated autoclaved concrete blocks that stay
cooler during hot summers and can withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour. ■ Higher
construction costs and busier lives are spurring manufacturers to develop more durable,
lower-maintenance materials. Jay Irwin, with Irwin Design and Build in Potomac, Md.,
looks for materials, paints, and furnishings that won’t fade or discolor in summer’s strong
ultraviolet light. Although the initial cost of some items may be greater, it’s fairly minimal
in “the grand scheme of an entire house,” Irwin says, “and it helps owners avoid paying
certain expenses 10–15 years down the road.” ■ Because buyers disagree about the pros
and cons of man–made versus natural materials, manufacturers are offering a range of
options. “Many of the newer man–made materials are more environmentally friendly, and
some incorporate imperfections to make them look less man–made,” Irwin says.
For buyers determined to stick with natural materials, manufacturers are
introducing new takes on old favorites. Orren Pickell Designers &
Builders in Lincolnshire, Ill., favors zinc instead of copper
on exteriors for a cooler yet still traditional look,
says Beth Lindahl, interior design manager.
[THIS PAGE]
TOP: Log homes can be built
today using a post-and-beam
construction system that’s easier
than stacking logs. The newer
method offers insulated walls
and lower maintenance, says Rob
Livingston of RL Construction &
Design in Hill City, S.D.
INSETS: Logs are hand-peeled
before they arrive on the site,
where they can be quickly
assembled. www.blackhills
4u.com.
BOTTOM: The exterior walls of
this house were built with the
same goal that has inspired
generations of adobe homes—
keeping the home cool or warm,
depending on the season. The
Navajo FlexCrete, an aerated
block made from recycled
products, provides better
insulation than wood framing
and is lighter weight.
www.navajoflexcrete.com.
[FACING PAGE]
company.com.
BOTTOM LEFT: In humid,
stormy Florida, cement-block
homes can have mold problems,
cracks, and poor insulation. A
hurricane-resistant alternative is
a waterproof fiber rock board
made from recycled materials
and able to withstand winds up
to 242 miles an hour. Wall sections are placed on a traditional
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■
R E A LTO R ® M a g a z i n e
LOGS
STARDUST CENTER, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY ©2007
TOP: MiraTEC Treated Exterior
Composite trim affordably complements a mix of siding, shakes,
board and batten, and stone on
a home built by Hanson Builders
Inc., Minneapolis/St. Paul.
INSETS: Because it’s moisture,
rot, and termite resistant,
MiraTEC trim is a good choice
for architectural ornamentation
such as a plinth block base,
fascia board, window and door
trim, and more. www.cmi
ADOBE
May 2007
w w w. R E A LTO R . o rg /r e a l t o r m a g
F1-HOMETRENDS.may07F
4/3/2007
2:38 PM
Page 33
slab that’s braced. Then concrete
is poured between the outside
fiber rock board and the inside
of the steel-framed wall.
www.E-Wall.info.
BOTTOM CENTER: The I’On
development near Charleston,
S.C., used autoclaved aerated
concrete blocks. They stay cooler
in summer, withstand major
winds, can be cut and laid with
less labor, and have a high fire
rating. www.aerconaac.com.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Steel framing
offers builders and architects the
option to design larger and taller
open spaces. Steel has become a
more popular residential material
because of its consistent quality,
ease of handling, and declining
cost. www.steelframing.org.
COMPOSITE
CONCRETE
w w w. R E A LTO R . o rg /r e a l t o r m a g
May 2007
COURTESY STEEL FRAMING ALLIANCE ©2007
PREFAB
STEEL
R E A LTO R ® M a g a z i n e ■
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