BUILDING WITH STEEL
Challenging the Industry
Pecan Knoll is a new benchmark for the homebuilding industry. It is the application of significant foretought, engineering, and research that promotes the use of pre-fabricated steel framing, hydrophobic sheathing, and multiple other advancements in construction materials to create an exceptional home for you. Scroll down to learn more how we're changing the way homes are built.
CAPSA HOMES vs THE INDUSTRY
CAPSA HOME DESIGN
BUILD IT IN STEEL! Wood was never even considered when we set out to design this development. Our team of architects, designers, and engineers created Pecan Knoll homes using BIM (building information modeling) software to visualize a completed steel-framed building and all its components. Complemented by Autodesk Revit, 3D models are created using parametric modeling which updates the design, measurements, dimensions, and materials in real-time. This allows for seamless coordination between the members of our team during the site-design process to more effectively maximize space and provide the most efficient framework for the mechanicals, electrical, and plumbing (also called MEP). This collaboration reduces the need to redraw designs and allows for the rapid resolution of any potential issues that arise during construction. After producing a comprehensive set of construction drawings with approvals from the architect, designers, and engineers, we are ready to build your home in steel!
CAPSA HOME ASSEMBLY
Once the construction drawings are completed, they are shared with our fabrication facility which then loads the drawings into framing software called FRAMECAD, an automated engineering and detailing software. The software coverts the drawings into framing layouts and starts producing the steel structure of your home (walls, roof trusses, floor joists, and all other steel components). As each section of your home is complete, the framing is pre-fabricated in the factory. Once all three-dimensional components of your home are complete, your home is delivered to the jobsite for onsite assembly. Our goal is to have your home erected in a matter of days, not weeks, reducing your home’s exposure to the elements and accelerating the time it takes for completion.
CAPSA HOME STEEL FRAMING
Our homes are framed with 2x6 cold-formed steel studs on 24’’ centers on the exterior walls of your home. During the production process, all steel studs have holes punched out for MEP that were identified during the design phase, saving time and reducing waste during construction. By using a 2x6 steel stud on 24’’ centers instead of 16’’ centers, a more generous area is created for spray foam insulation to fill which helps to combat the excessive heat here in Texas. Steel studs also provide the opportunity for uninterrupted insulation throughout the entire envelope of your home because it is a C-channel open stud that can be filled in with insulation, as opposed to the standard 2x4 wood framing. With larger studs on the exterior, you’ll also likely have better sound attenuation which may reduce outside noise and result in a more peaceful experience inside your home.
CAPSA HOME EXTERIOR SHEATHING & SIDING
With our commitment to building with as little wood as possible, Pecan Knoll homes will use the DensElement Barrier System on all vertical surfaces. This hydrophobic sheathing has undergone rigorous testing for conformance with the water-resistive barrier and air barrier (WRB-AB) requirements of the International Building Code (IBC). Once the sheathing is installed, it is completed using DensDefy Liquid Barrier, Liquid Flashing, and Transition Membrane to seal and protect your home’s exterior.
After the DensElement sheathing is installed, the first floor of your home receives a three-coat application of stucco while the second and third floors are cladded with fiber cement from Artisan Siding’s Aspyre Collection. Beautiful and well protected.
CAPSA HOME INSULATION
Pecan Knoll homes are insulated with a combination of closed-cell and open-cell spray foam insulation. We employ this process because of its ability to coat the entire steel-framed structure and the siding, creating a very tight, uninterrupted exterior envelope. We are dedicated to only using products and processes on our homes that result in superior strength, durability, and energy efficiency.
Normally when building a new home, an architect will come up with a schematic design to make a home fit on the slab on which it will be built. Once they’ve laid the design, they send it to another team (typically the engineers) to add the MEP. The engineers add the MEP and then send it back to the architect for review. The architect normally needs to make some edits so that everything fits, and then they send it back to the engineer for review. After this individual process of back and forth, a set of blueprints is finally produced that the construction supervisor uses to build the house. With wood.
Traditionally, the industry still prefers to build wood-framed homes. Some builders still consider stick-built homes (homes built onsite one piece at a time) to be the best business model , while others have wood frames built offsite. While the latter is better than building while exposed to the elements, you still are not guaranteed that your home will be built exactly to the specifications on the blueprints since wood will warp, shrink, and bend while it is curing which creates the need for adjustments in the field. This means your home will be altered from the original plans in order to make everything ultimately fit properly. In the final analysis, assembling a wood-frame home takes more time and exposes the frame to the elements which may promote rotting, mold, and fungus growth within the structure. It is also highly combustible and attracts termites and carpenter ants. There is a better way.
Wood-framed houses are typically built with 2x4 or 2x6 studs for the exterior walls. While either is acceptable, you can realize over 60% more uninterrupted insulation in a wall cavity if you use a 2x6 stud on 24” centers instead of 2x4 studs on 16” centers. That makes a big difference whether you are buying a new or used home. Our steel process is even better than that.
Traditional sheathing on homes is wood, specifically OSB (oriented strand board). Some new systems have a water barrier applied to the OSB, but the sheathing is then nailed to the frame. There are approximately 5,000 nails used to install OSB to frames, leaving 5,000 opportunities for water to get into your home if not properly sealed. Aside from using a water barrier attached with nails, the other option is to use a home wrap over the OSB. This wrap is stapled to the OSB, also putting holes in the waterproofing wrap upon application. While it is an accepted practice, the opportunity for moisture is present anywhere a staple fails or is not installed properly. Both systems use tape to seal the seams, and any wrinkles or application mistakes create an opportunity for moisture to penetrate your home. For cladding, a variety of materials can be used. In most cases, it comes down to cost which directly relates to the quality of products used when building homes. Just because the exterior color of your home is beautiful does not mean that the materials used are of high quality.
The industry standard is to use fiberglass insulation that has to be measured, cut, and stapled to walls. This is imprecise and requires the use of a potentially dangerous substance in your future home. Insulation is the key to energy efficiency. As in all other areas of home building, we choose to exceed the industry standard.