Canadian House: history, features and Russian perspectives

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Just a few years ago, few people in our country heard about such a construction technology as frame construction of a house, which was called a “Canadian house”. At that time, the choice of future homeowners was not as rich as it is today – brick, cinder block or prefabricated reinforced concrete panels remained the main building materials for the construction of a private house..

However, now the situation has radically changed and the technology of construction of warm, reliable houses from natural materials, which came from Canada, is gaining more and more fans, and Canadian houses have become an indispensable part of the landscape of the Moscow Region, the Leningrad Region and other regions of Russia..

What so attracts buyers of suburban real estate and Russians who have decided to independently engage in construction, Canadian technology?

A bit of history

While for Russia the Canadian house is still exotic, for Canada and the United States today it is the main technology for the construction of private and public buildings. For example, in America, not only country houses are built from heat-insulating panels, but also hospitals, sports facilities, schools and other fairly large buildings..

The history of the frame house has more than 200 years, from Canada such construction technology migrated to the USA, and then successfully conquered Europe. To date, according to experts, more than 80% of all private houses on the planet are built using Canadian technology..

It is interesting that although Canada is located at the same latitude and has practically the same climate as Russia and Norway, the development of architecture and construction in our countries has taken a completely different path. Canada is as rich in forests as our country, but this reliable, durable, beautiful and affordable building material in our countries began to be used in different ways..

So, if huts and log cabins became familiar to Russian settlements, the inhabitants of Scandinavia built their houses using approximately the same technology, the Canadians came up with a different way of using wood – the construction of a strong, strong frame, which became the basis of the entire building.

On the territory of America, frame houses are still preserved, erected during the time of the development of the New World by Europeans, restored, they still serve not only as monuments of architecture, but also as ordinary residential buildings, perfectly satisfying all the needs of their owners.

Canadian House: history, features and Russian perspectives

A new stage in the history of the Canadian house began in 1953, when the technology of building buildings from Structural Insulating Panels (SIP) was invented, the technology has the same name – SIP or “Ecopan”. A new principle for building houses was developed and tested in the United States at the Forest Industry Laboratory. The building was still based on a timber frame, but now the Canadian house has become more modern, received a number of new advantages, and after many years of testing, the technology for assembling houses from structural heat-insulating panels began to appear in Europe..

However, many experts believe that the technology for building a Canadian house was not invented in Canada at all. For example, in the Soviet Union, such frame houses appeared after World War II and then were called “Finnish house”.

Be that as it may, the technology of frame housing has become widespread throughout the world, and the name stuck so well that otherwise pretty houses based on a wooden frame are no longer called.

Features of the Canadian house

The main feature of a Canadian house is that it is assembled on site from ready-made parts, that is, internal and external walls, roofing and ceilings are delivered to the site assembled.

This technology makes it possible to build a two-story house in just one summer, which is very important for the Russian climate, in which the construction of a brick building can drag on for several years, with breaks for the cold winter months..

Despite the fact that a Canadian house is 5-6 times lighter than its brick “colleagues”, it still needs a reliable foundation, albeit not as massive as in the case of building a house using traditional technologies. In general, the construction of the foundation can be called the most laborious part of the construction of a Canadian house, perhaps the construction of a monolithic or columnar foundation. Recently, houses that are built from SIP panels are being built on a pile-screw foundation. This structure is fast and easy to build, ideal for land plots with uneven terrain, as it allows you to level the piles in height, each individual pile is able to withstand a weight of up to 4-5 tons.

Directly to the foundation with the help of anchors, a wooden beam, pre-treated with an antiseptic, is attached, the floors of the first floor are laid on it.

Canadian House: history, features and Russian perspectives

The base of the walls is a wooden frame, which is sheathed with oriented strand board (OSB), outside the walls are additionally covered with a special windproof membrane. If structural heat-insulating panels are used, the installation of the walls starts from the corner of the building, the lower part of the panel is attached to the mounting bar with self-tapping screws, the plates are connected to each other using a “tongue-and-groove” locks system.

The inner space between the outer and inner walls is filled with insulation, modern materials have excellent heat and sound insulation properties. Usually, the interior of a Canadian house is sheathed with plasterboard, which gives a lot of room for further interior arrangement. To prevent the appearance of dampness and protect wooden structural elements, a layer of vapor barrier film is placed between the drywall and the slabs.

Another feature of a house being built using Canadian technology is the widest possible range of finishing materials that can be used to decorate and insulate the facade of a building: painting, vinyl siding, decorative facade plaster, cement-sand tiles, thin brick, heat-insulating panels, block house, eurolining under a bar or a log and so on.

The roof of the house can also be made of SIP panels, often the construction of a frame made of wooden beams and a roof made of board slopes, which are covered from the outside with a soft roof, tiles and other roofing materials.

Of course, building such a house without the help of specialists and special equipment will not work, you still need to have certain skills, but the process itself is much faster and easier than building a building from a brick or cinder block.

Benefits of a Canadian home

Over the long period of construction of typical buildings from panels and bricks, Russians are accustomed to the fact that this is the most reliable technology. However, the Canadian home has successfully proven that thin walls of lightweight panels are a much better option..

Canadian House: history, features and Russian perspectives

It is possible to list the advantages of a Canadian house for a long time, since it compares favorably with other construction technologies existing today. The main advantages of the Canadian house include:

  1. Construction speed. Many construction companies now offer turnkey construction of a Canadian home in just 16 weeks, including land preparation, facade finishing and interior finishing work. Almost no other construction technology can boast of such efficiency..
  2. Durability and reliability.It seemed that the building, erected from fairly light SIP panels, a wooden frame and oriented particle boards, was inferior to its brick and stone “brothers” in terms of strength and ability to withstand natural disasters. However, tests carried out in the United States proved that such buildings perfectly withstood hurricane winds of up to 120 meters per hour, which are not uncommon for the country, survived tornadoes and tornadoes. It is interesting that when the frame construction technology first appeared in Japan in the 80s, most of the population, which is distinguished by the traditional conservatism of this nation, did not accept it too well and was in no hurry to build Canadian houses unusual for the Japanese. However, the devastating earthquake in Kyoto proved that it was the frame buildings that survived the strong tremors better than others, did not collapse and clearly proved the safety of such a structure and its durability. Since then, in Japan, about 75% of private houses, especially in rural areas, are built using Canadian technology..
  3. Excellent heat and sound insulation properties. The thickness of the outer walls of a Canadian house, taking into account the thermal insulation material, is usually from 150 to 310 millimeters, however, even with the heating turned off in the cold winter months, the indoor temperature will not drop below 20 degrees per day. Today, Canadian houses are considered the warmest, allowing their owners to significantly save on heating such a building. Such unique properties are explained simply – if a brick wall or monolithic reinforced concrete consists, in fact, of one layer, the multilayer walls of a Canadian house are better at protecting the interior from temperature changes. For comparison, in order to compare with a Canadian house in terms of thermal insulation properties, the walls of a brick building must be at least 1.9 meters thick, it is rather difficult to imagine such a “monster” – this is already a real fortress! In addition to preserving heat, the walls of a Canadian house also perfectly protect the owners from street noise, while not only external walls, but also internal partitions have soundproofing properties, so that residents can enjoy the silence, hiding from the rest of the household in a separate room.
  4. Application of “green” technologies.The Canadian house is called not only the warmest, but also one of the most environmentally friendly; only natural materials, wood and mineral insulation are used in its construction. Only an old Russian hut or a Ukrainian hut can be compared with a Canadian house in this respect..
  5. Hidden communications.Canadian technology allows you to hide all communications, including heating system wiring, plumbing and sewer pipes, and electrical wiring between the outer and inner walls. That is why the residents of the house get more space for interior decoration, they are relieved of the need to “admire” the pipes and chisel brick or concrete walls to hide the wires.
  6. Safety and durability.All wooden elements of a Canadian house are necessarily impregnated with a refractory compound and means against parasites – bugs and mold, so that in terms of safety and durability, the Canadian house is also in no way inferior to its stone “colleagues”.
  7. Space for creativity in interior decoration– perfectly flat, in themselves very attractive walls of a frame house allow owners to choose any of the finishing materials existing today, to create the layout and style of the building themselves. Canadian houses can look completely different, it is often impossible to even guess that behind the vinyl siding or decorative plaster is not a brick hidden at all, but a wooden frame sheathed with panels.
  8. Affordable cost. Experts have calculated that one square meter of a house built using Canadian technology will cost 1.3 times less than the same area of ​​a wall made of timber, almost 1.7 times less than aerated concrete blocks, 2.2 times less than a brick wall. To assess the affordability of building a building using Canadian technology, one can compare the average cost of a house with an area of ​​130 “squares”, which will amount to about 55 thousand dollars with the prices for much smaller two-room apartments in Moscow new buildings. True, do not forget that before building a house, you will have to purchase a land plot, the price of which in certain areas, for example, in the Moscow region, can significantly exceed the cost of the house itself.
  9. Fire safety.Many of the main disadvantages of the Canadian house include increased flammability, susceptibility to attacks by rodents and parasites, as well as the dubious environmental friendliness of SIP panels, which can be made from untested materials. In fact, as statistics show, rodents do not live between the perfectly insulated walls of a Canadian house at all, wooden parts are treated with special compounds against bugs, and the flammability of a wooden house can be reduced by sheathing the walls from the inside with plasterboard or impregnation with a refractory compound. In addition, as noted by rescuers, a fire most often occurs due to the ignition of things located inside the building, so such a disaster can be equally likely to happen to both a Canadian and an ordinary brick house..

Today the Canadian house is positioned as housing for the 21st century – environmentally friendly, warm, energy-saving, relatively inexpensive, pre-fabricated and attractive in appearance. Some experts even note that it is Canadian houses that will finally be able to solve the housing problem, which is so acute for a large number of Russian families. Is this so – time will tell, but the indisputable advantages of the Canadian house make you regret one thing: that such a technology, which has been used in Canada and the United States for two centuries, has come to us only now.

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