Builder Success Story
The Bridge Road House
The Key Players Involved in This Project
Zane McKinnon and his team at Red North Carpentry and Structure of Headingley, Manitoba
Red North provides carpentry services for residential and small commercial projects. Restoration, renovation, and new construction.
They have an education in passive house construction, net zero ready and low/negative embodied carbon homes. This allows them to construct incredibly efficient, healthy, durable buildings. There is always an examined thoughtful approach to every project they are involved with.
Zane and his team specialize in ground up custom home builds that, once completed, stand out from the rest. By working closely with the architects, designers and clients they are able to achieve beautifully crafted, meticulously designed home builds. The focus at Red North is to provide high quality work, with a transparent and open invoicing structure.
Their Goals and Challenges
This success story features a 2,300ft2 residential home in Headingley, Manitoba. The home doesn’t dazzle with architectural complexity — it’s a simple rectangle, but that is beauty of it from an efficiency standpoint. Its location, however, has a punishing climate. The wind-battered rural community outside Winnipeg sits in one of Canada’s chilliest climate zones (7A).
The challenge of building an energy-efficient home in this location went to Zane McKinnon and his team at Red North Carpentry and Structure. Wishing to not only build a comfortable home, but also one that has exceptional energy performance, Zane opted for ICF construction. ICFs are generally a no-brainer for high-performance homes.
That’s because ICF homes are airtight, inherently insulated by two (or more!) layers of continuous insulation and have high thermal lag — factors that significantly inhibit heat loss and thus reduce energy use.
To this end, Zane partnered with AMC Foam, which supplied the project with Logix ICF blocks.
How We Helped
Exceptionally High R-values
The most commonly used Logix ICF blocks (Logix Pro) offer a robust typical wall assembly R-value of R-25. And while that’s an impressive level of thermal resistance, especially with the amplifying “ICF Effect”, Zane knew he needed more R-values out of his ICF walls at the Bridge Road House. So, he went with the Logix Platinum series, which delivers R-28 thanks to its graphite Neopor foam panels.
But they didn’t stop at choosing an ultra-high-performance ICF block, either. The Bridge Road House walls pack an additional 4 inches of Graphite Polystyrene (GPS) insulation packed into a 10-inch core with a 6-inch concrete wall.
This simple detail allowed these ICF walls to achieve a remarkable R-value of R-46. Together with an R-100 attic, this performance metric means that heat loss is going to be an issue even on the coldest of winter days.
High-Performance, Airtight Window & Door Opening Detailing
The Bridge Road House is built with passive-house rated windows and a prominent south-facing facade. These features allow for plenty of passive heating throughout the winter months, further curbing the home’s reliance on mechanical conditioning systems.
However, no matter how great a window is at blocking heat transfer, the window opening can be a real weak point in an otherwise airtight ICF wall assembly. Not wishing to compromise the hard-earned thermal performance of the home’s walls and attic, Zane’s team used Logix Pro Buck at the window openings.
But since the 8-inch bucks weren’t designed to interface with the additional foam insert, Zane had to get creative with the bucking detail. So, his team installed the bucks flush to the exterior, and finished the two leftover inches on the interior with a wood board and flashing.
The use of Logix Pro Buck and the effective flashing techniques gave the house an exceptional airtightness of 0.29 ACH50.
The Outcomes and Lessons Learned
The Bridge Road House was designed to be 54.4% more energy-efficient than the average modern code-compliant home, and the result didn’t disappoint. Under Zane’s masterful guidance and with his commitment to high-quality building components, the Bridge Road House boasts the following impressive statistics:
- Above-grade R-value: R-46 — that’s higher than most Canadian Net-Zero-Ready homes built under the CHBA’s NZ Homes program
- Airtightness: 29 ACH50, which is a 50% improvement over the passive house standard (0.60 ACH50)
What’s more, the little waste the ICF construction generated during the project was recycled back at the Logix ICF plant.
As Zane said himself:
“With new stringent building codes pushing towards net-zero ready homes by 2030, this will prove to be a good model.”