The East Village is one of New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods, and Houston Street is one of the busiest thoroughfares. For the Houston House project, Jeffrey of Jeffrey Cole Architects needed a design that was stylish enough for the East Village residents who would call it home while simultaneously addressing the issues that come with traffic noise. And that’s before we even begin talking about dealing with New York City’s blustery winters and brutal summers. Through creative design, clever use of the StoTherm ci exterior wall system and expert application of a Stolit Milano finish, Cole made quick work of all three challenges in spectacularly successful fashion.
Metal panels have never been more fashionable in building facades than they are right now, and appearances matter even more when you’re designing high end condominums. Fortunately, Cole’s design certainly looks great. In its finished form, the facade of the 8-story building features smooth, tall, thin, vertical metal-look panels in three shades of gray framing large banks of windows on each floor. While they’re stunning and fashionable, metal panels are not cheap nor are they particularly energy efficient. According to Cole, the StoTherm ci system with a Stolit Milano finish solved these issues. “This is a special finish,” he explained, “It was used to achieve the look of metal panels but with a higher insulation value without the complications of a rain screen system.”
Before the Milano finish could be applied, the rest of the system was installed. It began with StoGuard®; an air barrier was established through the application of StoGuard® Mesh and Sto Gold Fill® to secure rough openings and sheathing joints. Then Sto Gold Coat® was rolled on, creating a moisture barrier. Sto EPS insulation board was attached with Sto BTS® Plus using a u-notch trowel, which, in addition to creating adhesion, added channels for drainage and airflow. Finally, it was time to apply the Stolit Milano finish.
The ability to properly establish the metal panel look depends on the skill of the applicator, and at Imperiex Construction, they had some of the best. They applied a coat of the thick, putty-like Stolit Milano finish and sanded it down with a fine grit sand paper. A second coat was applied and sanded down with an extra-fine grit until it was perfectly even and sleek in texture, and deep u-grooves were troweled into the finish to create the look of panels. Finally, StoColor® Acryl Plus in the chosen colors was rolled onto the individual sections to complete the illusion. And, of course, it achieved the look at a fraction of the cost of metal panels.
In addition to the energy efficiency gains and its ability to replace the prohibitively expensive metal panels, StoTherm ci system was able to address the noise concerns presented by the building’s location. “This location in NYC actually mandates sound attenuation by code,” said Cole, “But Sto products [StoTherm ci] are intrinsically sound reducing.”
Not only does the stylish Houston House fit in in the hip East Village neighborhood, it keeps its residents comfortable all year long, winter or summer, as they enjoy the sights (but not sounds) of their lower Manhattan setting. StoTherm ci with the Stolit Milano finish made it all possible.