Canadian technology for building houses was invented immediately after the Second World War. At the peak of the emigration of immigrants from countries devastated by the global military conflict, the problem of inexpensive, pre-fabricated and reliable housing with good energy efficiency indicators arose in Canada. An important criterion was its inexpensive operation, since the people for whom it was intended did not have good earnings at the initial stages. The problem was solved so brilliantly that construction using Canadian technology became widespread and is still actively practiced around the world, especially in regions with a cold climate.
Basic construction principle
The technology is based on the use of ready-made panels, which are the so-called sandwich. Between two wood or concrete slabs, a heat insulator is laid and reliably glued, which can be mineral wool, expanded polystyrene, penoizol and others. The panels can be assembled with or without a classic timber frame. They are prefabricated and are ready-made walls and ceilings. You can make sandwich panels yourself, but it should be understood that mistakes in their manufacture can be expensive. Like any other, Canadian construction technology has its own advantages, disadvantages and design features, which are still worth studying “on the shore”.
Classification by panel type
To build a house using Canadian technology, various modifications of the assembly of finished panels can be used, according to the type of which the frame buildings themselves are distinguished.
The structure of the frame uses a durable wooden beam with a cross section of 50x150mm, capable of withstanding the serious weight of the wall panels. The use of natural wood makes construction more expensive, but is justified by its practical and aesthetic qualities.
Prefabricated panel board
Lumber or OSB panels are used. Shields are manufactured at the factory and they can immediately provide for such structural elements as window and door openings, as well as other details provided for by the project.
The fastest, most economical and most popular option. It is realized by means of ready-made shields, assembled according to the principle of a closed sandwich (sandwich panel). The standard size is 2.5×1.22m. The weight of such a shield is 56kg.
Benefits of Canadian Homes
- The ability to assemble various designs, embody complex design solutions.
- Low price.
- Short construction times and ease of assembly – such a house can be built in a couple of months from the arrangement of the foundation to the closing of the roof.
- All-season installation.
- A minimum of land works.
- A small area allocated for construction work, the practical absence of construction waste.
- No shrinkage.
- Good energy saving, there is no need for additional costs for insulation.
- The ability to lay communications in a hidden way.
- Minimum foundation requirements (when using chipboards).
- An almost finished surface for a fine interior finish.
- Savings on heating in winter and cooling in summer.
Disadvantages of houses from SIP panels
- High fire hazard of thermal insulation material. Despite the fact that it has self-extinguishing properties, when exposed to open fire, it melts with the release of toxic substances. This disadvantage is eliminated by the use of new heaters (for example, stone wool), conscientious impregnation of wood and the use of automatic fire extinguishing means.
- Requires forced ventilation of the premises, because SIP “does not breathe”.
- At the slightest flaws in the implementation of the joints of the structure, rodents can become a big problem.
- For large boards and DSP panels, special equipment is required during assembly due to their high weight.
- When moisture gets on the insulation, it loses its properties.
What are the limitations of the Canadian technology frame?
During construction, it is necessary to observe a number of climatic, geological, architectural and other regulations developed for each region and enshrined in the rules of design documentation.
- The maximum number of floors is three.
- Internal partitions oriented perpendicular to the load-bearing walls should not be more than 12 m apart from each other.
- The total area of all openings (windows, doors, arches, etc.) should not exceed 30% of the area of the wall in which they are equipped.
- Permissible load on intermediate floors, incl. on the first floor – up to 2.4 kPa.
In addition, there are regional tolerances for wind and snow loads in accordance with SNiP developed for each area.
Arrangement of the foundation
The use of modules based on chipboard allows the use of lightweight foundation options.
It can be tape with shallow depth, monolithic, piled, slab or columnar with a grillage. The most common option is a pile-screw foundation or the so-called Swedish plate. The strength of the foundation is ensured by a large number of stiffeners, which reduces the requirements for the soil. It can be almost anything. The type of foundation is selected depending on the type of terrain. So, in areas with a pronounced relief, it is advisable to use straight piles, and in swampy places, screw piles are best suited for frame houses.
House assembly procedure
In the standard version, the construction of houses using Canadian technology using SIP panels is carried out in the following order.
- Filling or other arrangement of the foundation.
- Installation of the first floor platform.
- Installation of the lower strapping of the frame skeleton from a bar.
- Laying wall panels horizontally from the outside of the house.
- Lifting of self-supporting insulated wire panels and their alternate installation on the lower frame (strapping) bar.
- Level correction, leveling the walls of the 1st floor.
- Installation of beams of the upper harness.
- Depending on the number of storeys, arrangement of the roof or overlap of the next floor.
After that, it remains to insert windows and doors into the finished openings and proceed with the installation of communications, waterproofing and interior finishing work.
Important! When installing wall panels, moisture must not enter them! This completely negates many of the benefits and can lead to serious problems.
Insulation material options
The indicators of heat and noise insulation, fire safety and energy saving directly depend on the type of material used in the assembly of the panel “pie”. Most often, modern sandwiches are filled with stone wool or ecowool.
This material is made on the basis of basalt fiber. It has an incomparable advantage over other types of insulation – it is a “breathable” material, while having a reduced thermal conductivity. Possesses a high class of fire resistance. Stone wool also has a significant drawback: moisture is completely unacceptable. The slightest amount of moisture leads to a complete loss of its quality characteristics.
It is a waste of the paper industry, ground into crumbs, impregnated with special compounds to resist open fire and rodents. Either it is poured into the hollow space of the panel module, or it is applied by spraying. It belongs to cheap materials, while keeping heat well.
Are Finnish and Canadian Technology the Same or Not?
There are many misconceptions and disagreements on this score. It is generally accepted that in Canadian houses, wall panels are attached to the frame from the outside, and in Finnish ones, from the inside, which removes the question of additional cladding of internal walls. In fact, there are many methods for assembling SIP panels, but all this is nothing more than a modification of the Canadian frame-panel technology for the construction of buildings. The confusion is also caused by the fact that it did not come to Russia directly from Canada, moreover, much later than to other Western states. At a time when other countries were actively mastering the construction of elegant pre-fabricated cottages, these light structures could not fit into the mass consciousness of the country’s inhabitants of strong log huts and reliably monumental “Stalin’s”.
How much does Canadian technology cost?
The cost of 1 square meter of a house built using Canadian frame technology largely depends on the region, proximity to transport interchanges, settlements, infrastructure, etc. But in any case, its price will be lower than a similar building made of bricks, timber, logs, etc.
A significant role in this regard will be played by the fact that the walls of a frame house do not require fine-tuning for interior decoration and the creation of additional insulation layers, and this is an essential calculation item. However, it should be borne in mind that the house will require additional costs for noise and waterproofing, because It faithfully conveys sounds and noises, like all timber-based structures.
How to keep insulation from moisture
In order for the heat-insulating material to perform the function of a barrier between the internal climatic comfort and atmospheric phenomena “overboard” for many years, it is important to always keep it dry. This is one of the main principles of the frame-panel structure. The slightest ingress of moisture drastically reduces the thermal insulation properties of the material. Therefore, the issue of isolation requires special attention.
Water can get into the interpanel space both from the outside of the house (oblique rains) and from the side of the interior, in which there is always room for wet vapors. Consequently, it is necessary to install a vapor-tight barrier on the approach to the layer from the side of the dwelling. The construction market offers a large selection of waterproofing and vapor-proof membranes (glassine, foamed foam, special films, etc.). They need to be laid with an overlap with a good margin, gluing the joints with high-quality adhesive tape.
Particular attention should be paid to water pipes (it is recommended to wrap them with waterproofing material in critical places), drainage holes and joints. All of this must be carefully sealed.
When installing the moisture barrier, make sure that the material is being laid on the correct side! For example, foil-clad membranes are foil-mounted inside the room, and not vice versa!
When choosing the construction of a Canadian house, it should be remembered that all its many advantages can be easily leveled out by poor-quality performance. The technology makes very high demands on the implementation of its technical regulations and recommendations. And it will not be an exaggeration to say that the construction of a frame house requires greater accuracy and conscientiousness than the construction of brickwork.