You may have seen our BONE Structure banner rotating on our home page. We have done some great projects with BONE Structure since their inception in 2005 because continuous insulation – in the form of Spray Foam – is an integral part of their incredible air tightness and energy efficiency. So, it was great to get a chance to drop in on their open houses this past month in Creemore and Toronto.
Note – scroll down for photo galleries.
Both homes were still under construction, allowing us to view the modular nature of the build prior to finishing. We also had a chance to talk to the builders, architect and sales people involved in the projects and get some first hand answers to some questions we had.
First: an overview of what a BONE Structure home is…
BONE Structure has patented a steel construction system for residential and commercial buildings that includes an integrated thermal envelope (that is where Eco Insulation comes in).
This is an innovative and high-tech building process that inspires some of the brightness minds in sustainability – but don’t let that scare you away. I had a chance to chat with one of the other attendees who was evaluating BONE Structure for his home. Originally attracted to the company due to Energy Efficiency and Air Quality benefits, Michael Longworth, a professor at Seneca College, was also pleasantly surprised by the design options. His key takeaway? “You can build charm, warmth and character into a very advanced technology home.” He further advises: “Don’t put this type of home in a box!” Pun intended?
You can be as creative as you desire with custom design and elevations, huge range of style and finishes, a BONE Structure home can look cutting edge or country charm.
View more about the technology and partners in this video. The advantages of this type of build are plentiful.
BONE Structure homes can easily meet or exceed LEED, PassiveHaus or Net Zero Energy Certifications. Many of the new homes reach ACH levels of 1.0 or below. To put that in context, a home built well, to today’s building code, should be able to reach 2.5 ACH. The energy savings of heating and cooling this type of home are very low compared to standard construction.
Little waste. The basic structure of the home consists of a shipment of panels and materials ALL of which are used in the construction – down to the last screw. No cutting, scrap or other waste to worry about.
Spans of up to 25 feet between load bearing walls mean a truly open concept home with large expanses of windows is a reality. The home in Creemore perches on top of a hill overlooking beautiful Ontario countryside – the windows take full advantage of this view – as pictured above.
Air-Tightness and Comfort
Continuous exterior spray foam insulation is the ultimate in custom home comfort. Walls are the same temperature as the internal room temperature for comfort year round with no drafts. With no dew point in the wall system, moisture does not build up in the all assembly which prevents mould and breakdown of materials. This is a home that will last… and last… and last.
The BONE Structure process is even more important than the basic materials from which it is built. The modular format of the materials reduces the need for skilled labourers in the build creating an “idiot-proof” build. In fact, while their initial “kit” was impressive at 3000 pieces required to assemble a home, they have applied continuous improvement in their package and that same 3000 piece home today only requires 300 pieces.
This is key in custom home builds because we do not live in a perfect world where every construction worker has the skills and consistency to build high quality day in, day out. And these ARE custom homes of quality.
While more expensive in materials, a BONE Structure home can go up fast which can reduce other costs and be very convenient. For Charlton Skuce of Caledon Building & Design, this is his third BONE build (including his own home!). The Creemore home took a crew of 8 only 4 days to erect the core structure.
Is it perfect? Of course not. But BONE is part of an evolving field of better builds. If you are considering a BONE Structure home, be very involved in the process so that you have a home that matches your needs. Think about spray foaming under the foundation for added insulation and Radon prevention. Look at the size and orientation of your windows and invest in window quality and coverings that reduce the impact of Solar Gain. Right size your HVAC.
Leslieville Build in Toronto (Spray Foam by Eco Insulation – York Region. Good job Francois!)
An in-build project that maximizes floor space!
Creemore Open House