Two-storey Detached House, Working Details

By Susan Dawson.

The construction of this two-storey detached house is clearly expressed on the outside. The ground floor is a cast in situ concrete frame with glazed areas between the outer concrete columns; the external faces of these columns and the edges of the first floor concrete slab are exposed. The first floor is framed with steel and clad with a vertical board-on-board oak rainscreen. The pitched roof is covered with Rheinzink zinc/copper/titanium alloy sheet with double standing seams. Verges are trimmed with purpose-made Rheinzink copings.

The accommodation is divided by a staircase at the centre, lit by a double-glazed rooflight which runs along the ridge, the void above the stair assists stack-effect ventilation by allowing warm air to rise to the electrically operated rooflight. Attic spaces within the pitch of the roof are used for storage.

The first floor walls and roof consist of a steel frame of 152 x 152mm columns infilled with softwood studs and 150mm of insulation, lined on the inside with foil-backed plasterboard and on the outside with plywood sheathing and a breather membrane. The rainscreen has a robust quality which matches the exposed concrete floor slab below it.

At the eaves a concealed stainless steel gutter is trimmed with a flashing which slopes to match the roof profile. This arrangement resolves the junction between the vertical boards and the roof and avoids the use of external rainwater downpipes, which would have interfered with the clean lines of the elevations. The downpipe passes through a hole cut in the horizontal PFC channel beam which runs behind the gutter and drops down within the frame of an intermediate partition.

Article in Architect’s Journal, 29th November 2001

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