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Thread: Facade materials

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Facade materials

    Well thanks for all the input previously on the metal building thread. Staff has sketched an ordinance that P&Z is comfortable with, probably 60-70% brick/stone/textured concrete requirement. Beyond this "primary material" would allow for other materials outside of those specifically prohibited. I'm interested on materials that should be prohibited, such as-

    vinyl siding, non-architectural metal, asphaltic materials, etc...

    There are questions about EIFS (drive-it), stucco, masonite, etc...

    From what I've seen of masonite, I'd say it is not acceptable long term. Any input on that would be great, as well as any other materials you think should be specifically prohibited...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The old-fashioned masonite - really just a form of particle board - was a horrible material that tended to buckle and rot withing a few years of being installed. The new materials made of cement are excellent. They do have the look of wood (much better than vinyl), lay very nicely, and will last for decades. I would not hesitate to use them. In fact, I put it on my old house, and have it on the new one too. I am much more hesitant to use vinyl, as even the good quality material still has a fake look to it. If I remember, I will try to dig up a couple photos.

    Don't forget about glass. I include it as an accepted material on facades in all of the covenants I have written, and even require it as a minimum percentage of the first floor facades in commercial or downtown design guidelines.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    I don't care for that T-111 (Texture-111) siding, which is plywood with grooves meant to make it look like vertical boards, for anything other than temporary structures. It warps and splits along the plies over time.

    EIFS can be OK. They can easily do interesting patterns with it. The problems with it came about when it was applied to wood structures and sealed moisture inside the walls, creating mold and rot problems. They can make it about any color, so you might want to develop a color pallette for it and for paints.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  4. #4

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    Sorry, but Drivit will be the bane of us all. I think it's fine when it's used on cornice work; too high to descern just what it is with the naked eye. Put it at street level, horriffic. Precast concrete or split block is the way to go.

    From personal experience at my home, cement fiber board is a great material. Stands up to weather, virtually fire-proof, doesn't rot, can be stained like wood or painted and comes in every shape and size. You can even get a decent shadow line using it as clap board now, as it comes in many different thicknesses. If memory serves me right, it was initally designed as a residential roofing material for fire-prone areas.

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I would definitely include a color pallette, maybe use a pantone range or something like that. This is especially important for your stuccos and EIFS. I don't know how comfortable your City is with design standards/review, but that might be a good addition to this ordinance. We have some real stinkers around here that while their building is made of the proper materials, it still looks like crap.

    Oh yeah, masonite sucks. Keep that out of there if you can. Also, we are considering adding the concrete siding type stuff as an acceptable material. Many of the old houses around here used lapboard wood siding, so we want to add some kind of equivalent that will allow that style but with more durability.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

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  6. #6
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Well thanks for all the input previously on the metal building thread. Staff has sketched an ordinance that P&Z is comfortable with, probably 60-70% brick/stone/textured concrete requirement. Beyond this "primary material" would allow for other materials outside of those specifically prohibited. I'm interested on materials that should be prohibited, such as-

    vinyl siding, non-architectural metal, asphaltic materials, etc...

    There are questions about EIFS (drive-it), stucco, masonite, etc...

    From what I've seen of masonite, I'd say it is not acceptable long term. Any input on that would be great, as well as any other materials you think should be specifically prohibited...
    Stucco is horrible. It is unfriendly to people and generally useless under any measure of inclement weather of any sort. Building envelope failure can easily result if stucco is used in climates that it should not be, and especially if the transitions between stucco and other facade materials are not sealed properly.

    Also, vinyl-siding has proven to be a bad idea in my experience. Unlike wood siding or other materials, it cannot be painted or easily replaced and must be frequently pressure-washed, inevitably leading to grime and disrepair.

    Andrew

  7. #7
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Stucco is horrible. It is unfriendly to people and generally useless under any measure of inclement weather of any sort. Building envelope failure can easily result if stucco is used in climates that it should not be, and especially if the transitions between stucco and other facade materials are not sealed properly.

    Also, vinyl-siding has proven to be a bad idea in my experience. Unlike wood siding or other materials, it cannot be painted or easily replaced and must be frequently pressure-washed, inevitably leading to grime and disrepair.

    Andrew
    /\ Your dislike for stucco must be based on the 'leaky condo' problem occuring in the lower mainland.

    Stucco is not bad imo. It all depends on its application and where and what it is used on. I've seen really horrible and really nice examples of stucco.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cmd uw
    /\ Your dislike for stucco must be based on the 'leaky condo' problem occuring in the lower mainland.

    Stucco is not bad imo. It all depends on its application and where and what it is used on. I've seen really horrible and really nice examples of stucco.
    Yes and no. And it occured, its not occuring . The problem was that adequate overhangs were not designed so the leaks would probably have happened regardless. Stucco sure didn't help, though.

    Apart from it being completely useless outside of sun drenched areas, stucco is UGLY. Ugly ugly ugly. This is #1 concern apart from the one above. Ugly. Blegh. It SCREAMS suburbia. It is pointy and sharp and usually made into ugly colours and otherwise unfriendly to people at street level - why use it?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Stucco only pointy and sharp? You must be thinking of the troweled finish. They can make it smooth as well. Integral colors hold up over time and you don't need to paint. Take a look at the pics of Charleston and New Orleans on this site. Lots of smooth stucco. Its been around for centuries. You must mean the type of finish they use on Taco Bells. That does scream suburbia.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  10. #10

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    I appreciate the fact that dryvit (fake stucco) has that "well-built, sturdy sound" when knocked on. I also like the fact that one can easily put a hole through a seemingly solid wall with one's fists or feet (not that I would have ever done anything like that) on buildings using it as facade material. Or that the cheap styrofoam cooler purchased for holiday beer consumption can be recylcled into a building material. Who'd a thunk it?

    Side note: my doctor's house was broken into by someone knocking a hole in his dryvit clad suburban home.

  11. #11
    Member JasonLB's avatar
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    Vlaude- If you can somehow provide me with an address, I can send you some literature that talks about brick vs. EIFS, etc.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    I've yet to see an attractive use of stucco, so perhaps that has coloured my judgement.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Yes and no. And it occured, its not occuring . The problem was that adequate overhangs were not designed so the leaks would probably have happened regardless. Stucco sure didn't help, though.

    Apart from it being completely useless outside of sun drenched areas, stucco is UGLY. Ugly ugly ugly. This is #1 concern apart from the one above. Ugly. Blegh. It SCREAMS suburbia. It is pointy and sharp and usually made into ugly colours and otherwise unfriendly to people at street level - why use it?
    /\ Yes, the leaky condo fiasco has been dealt with, however, I believe there still are a couple of incidents that occur every so often. Some of the Vancouver-based forumers Skyscraperpage.com were discussing some new incidents.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

  14. #14
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    True, there are always construction errors and design errors present, but they are not occuring as rabidly as they were under the leaky condo era. Seems to be about normal now.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I love the look of dryvit-type material after a Kansas hail storm.

    How much of the discussion on "looks" in urban design is merely imposition of values? And perhaps regional values at that? A friend from Albuquerque walking in Charlotte could not understand all the "wasteful" use of brick.

  16. #16
    Member JasonLB's avatar
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    Mike-
    I think that "imposition of values" does have a slight correlation to "looks" in urban design, however, there is a body of empirical research in environmental psychology that would say you are wrong in your assumptions.

    Also, how is there a such thing as a "wasteful use of brick"? Besides the obvious inherent benefits of building with brick, there is also empirical research that espouses the values of brick vs. other building materials.

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