Aesthetics, stability go hand-in-hand with continuous exterior insulation systems

Houston House in New York City boasts a metal panel look in various shades of gray, all while achieving a higher insulation value, providing energy efficiency gains, and occupant comfort. Photo by Eric Soltan/courtesy Sto Corp.

Houston House, New York

Using the systems approach to the building facade produces enviable results in cities across the nation—in energy performance, in efficiency during the construction phase, and in the aesthetic impact of the final product.

In New York City, an engineered building enclosure system is providing comfort and energy savings, despite the seasonal temperature variations. For Houston House, a continuous insulation (ci) exterior system delivers the performance needed with the stylish, modern look the developer wanted in this East Village project. The facade of the high-end condominiums features thin, vertical metal-looking panels, framing the large windows in three shades of gray.

For the Houston House, the ci exterior system incorporated all envelope control layers, including an air- and water-resistive barrier (AWB) for vapor, air and moisture control, thermal insulation, and a durable exterior finish layer. The metal panel look was created though clever application techniques employed by the applicator, Imperiex Construction. In this project, a coat of the thick, putty-like finish is applied and sanded down with a fine grit sandpaper. A second coat was applied and sanded down with an extra-fine grit until it was even and sleek in texture, and deep U-grooves were troweled into the finish to create the look of panels. Then, an acrylic coating in the desired colors was applied, achieving the look at a fraction of the cost.

In addition to energy efficiency improvements and the ability to replace expensive metal panels, the ci exterior system also addressed concerns about noise in the busy neighborhood; providing additional value to both the developer and the eventual tenants.

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