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House by the Zoo Pt. 2

In House by the Zoo Pt. 1, you can see two videos of the original home being moved to a southern Alberta community to make way for the new infill home. Here is the second part of the post.

The House by the Zoo was a fun and challenging project to work on. We knew the clients wanted something that looked unique, had an urban feel, and respected the environment. The house was completed in 2012. These pictures were taken late fall (hence the golden leaves) and when the landscaping had been freshly installed!


The exterior of the house used three types of siding: Hardieplank, Cedar, and Metal. The final look is a sleek, modern industrial look that really stands out.

Probably one of the biggest decisions at the beginning of the project was the type of exterior we would use. The main requirements were to make the house energy efficient and quiet. We decided to use ICF Insulated Concrete Forms to construct all of the exterior walls on the house. Traditionally, ICF walls were typically used for basement foundations but they are now being used in walls and floors. Key features of ICF include:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Sound absorbstion
  • Fire protection
  • Excellent air quality
  • Strong structure

Despite its industrial elements, the home blends seamlessly with the the neighbourhood and landscape.

To meet their energy efficiency goals, we used RSI (thermal resistance) to determine the insulation of their walls. In this case an ICF wall has a higher thermal resistance than a stud wall, so this means that the ICF walls will retain heat and cool-off better. Also, the ICF wall is a ‘monolithic concrete’, therefore it has more thermal mass to hold temperature. The mass of the wall is very important because it helps with something called the ‘STC rating’ . The higher the rating, the quieter the house is. Typically, a stud wall has a STC rating around 37, but the ICF wall hovers around 56. Altogether, an ICF wall mean a quiet home for you and your family.


A modern, urban masterpiece by Fuse Architecture + Design.

We are so pleased with how this house turned out. The House by the Zoo was one of the first residential projects undertaken by Fuse Architecture + Design. Coming soon, we’ll be unveiling updates on the interior, and thoughts from the happy owners.

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