FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What's the oldest Cruxhome? How's it doing? Has anything leaked?

The oldest CruxHome is the original built by the designer, Brian Waite in the United Kingdom.  He finished building his home in 2012.  Brian and I are in regular contact and as I far as I know he is still very pleased with his home.  If you like, you can ask him yourself at brian@brianwaite.co.uk

Where are CruxHomes available? Where can they be built?

We will help you build a CruxHome wherever you are.  The kits can be shipped and we will work out the details to help you build or build for you.

How many bedrooms are available in a CruxHome?

There are several stock CruxHome designs available with two, three or four bedrooms, however each of these designs can be customized or we can start from scratch to deliver you a fully customized home.

Do I need a crane to build my new CruxHome?

No crane is required to erect a CruxHome.

How is a CruxHome insulated?

A CruxHome can be insulated in various ways.  This decision will be based on things like climate, location, budget and preferences of the homeowner.

Why does a CruxHome cost less to build than a typical home?
A CruxHome costs less to build for four main reasons:

 

  1.     Reduced labor costs
  2.     Off-site truss fabrication
  3.     Reduced construction waste
  4.     We care about your bottom line!

Under normal circumstances, once the arched trusses are delivered to a job site, the framing of the building will be completed by four workers in a week or less.  This is much faster than typical “stick framed” or truss framed home construction.

The arched trusses are fabricated in our manufacturing facility in a controlled environment, not out in the elements on construction site.  The trusses are delivered to the site when the foundation is finished and ready to have the framing installed. This saves time and money and means the frame of your new CruxHome spends less time exposed to the elements.

The arched trusses of a CruxHome are designed first for strength and shape, but also to minimize material waste.  We also order our lumber at dimensions that will minimize waste.

At CruxHomes, we are committed to a simple formula to determine the cost of your home:

  • Compensation for the time spent planning and building  
  • The materials used
  • The cost of doing business and…
  • Nothing more.
How does a CruxHome reduce my energy consumption?
A CruxHome reduces the energy needed for heating and cooling with the design of the building envelope.  The floor, walls and roof of a CruxHome are designed to resist the flow of heat (R value) and minimize unwanted airflow.  This keeps the heat in, in the winter and the heat out in the summer. However, you as the homeowner play a part as well. You can help reduce your energy consumption with common sense habits like shutting appliances off when you’re not using them.  If you want to go a step further and offset your carbon footprint with renewable energy, we will help you include solar panels, solar hot water, wind turbines or micro-hydro into the design of your CruxHome.
Where can I go see a CruxHome that has already been built?
At this time the only CruxHomes you can go see are built in the United Kingdom, but we are actively working to bring CruxHomes to the United States / North America.
What is a passive house?
There are various standards used to describe what a passive home is, but in a nutshell, a passive home is designed to use the least amount of energy possible.  The primary means of accomplishing this is to reduce the amount of energy transferred between the inside and the outside of the home.

 

You can learn more here:

https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/64278.pdf
http://www.phius.org/phius-2015-new-passive-building-standard-summary

How do you heat and cool a CruxHome?
The primary means of heating and cooling a CruxHome is an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator).  An ERV uses the thermal capacity of exhaust air to preheat or precool fresh air (ventilation air).  To make sure you have complete control of you CruxHome, in addition to an ERV, every home will have a super efficient air handler for the days where you need a little extra oomf!  When you’re entertaining or just looking for some extra comfort, you’ll be able to walk over to your thermostat and make it happen.
Can you build a TinyCruxHome?
The answer to your question is absolutely!  Owning a TinyCruxHome would make you an energy allstar!  You would be reducing your environmental footprint twice by using passive home construction AND reducing your physical footprint.  We would be very happy to help you with your TinyCruxHome project.
Can my CruxHome be built with a basement?
Yes!  Your CruxHome can be built on a basement.
Some of the walls are curved, can I hang stuff on the walls?
Yes!  You can hang Pictures, art, etc. on the curved walls of a CruxHome, however it does take a bit more work.  We have some great ways to get that done, just reach out to us at info@CruxHomes.com for more details. Please keep in mind that walls in the first floor are not curved.
Can I add on to my CruxHome in the future?
Yes!  You can add to your CruxHome with a dormer or additional arched trusses at a future date or you can choose to build an addition with another style of construction.  CruxHomes will be happy to support you either way.
Is the lumber used in a CruxHome treated in any special way?

The method of construction for the curved trusses or I-beams is an assembly of composite / engineered wood that is bent into the designed shape.  No high temperature or ammonia treatments are used to create the curved shape.  the wood is secured with mechanical fasteners and Henkel Purbond GT 20 adhesive.

What are the possibilities for home designs with a CruxHome?
The possibilities for the design of your CruxHome are literally endless.  There are no internal load bearing walls required to build a CruxHome and any portion of the home can be vaulted all the way to the peak of the roof.  We have several stock home designs available, but if your budget allows, we can fully customize the design of your CruxHome.
Can I have a fireplace or wood stove in my CruxHome?

Yes!  The addition of a fireplace or wood stove would be a custom element and require some additional design time, but we can certainly accommodate the installation of a fireplace or wood stove.  We recommend installing a Rocket Heater (rocketheater.com)!

Do I have to do anything special to maintain my CruxHome?
There are a couple of things that are different about maintaining a CruxHome.  Although it is required in some places, not every typical home is built with an Energy Recovery Ventilator.  An ERV, just like any other piece of mechanical equipment, requires a little bit of maintenance every year. In a CruxHome, that annual maintenance is important because the building envelope is so tight.  You want to make sure your ERV is working properly, delivering fresh, clean air to your home 24/7. We recommend that you monitor the humidity in your CruxHome. If the humidity gets too high, or too low you should get your ERV checked out.  Maintaining your HVAC equipment and monitoring your indoor air quality are things you should do in any home.
Where can I install windows in my CruxHome?
You can install windows anywhere you like in a CruxHome, but in between the arched trusses, the width of the windows is limited to a rough opening of twenty inches.
What happens if my CruxHome is damaged and needs repair?
CruxHomes are designed to stand the test of time.  Arches are extremely resilient structural components, however if your home is damaged somehow (tornado, hurricane, falling tree, etc.), CruxHomes will work with you and / or the contractor of your choice to repair your home.
What do you use to finish the arched walls?
The Curved walls of a CruxHome would typically be finished with two layers of 1/4 inch drywall or plaster.
Can I buy a single floor CruxHome?
Yes!  One of the benefits of the design of a CruxHome is that you don’t need any internal load bearing walls or a second floor.  If you would like to have a glorious vaulted ceiling throughout your CruxHome, you are welcome to do that.
Can I buy a three story CruxHome?
Yes!  If you are interested in a three story CruxHome, please contact us to discuss design options.
What does CruxHomes have to do to become building code compliant?
The CruxHome design is new to the United States and North America.  Just like any other new building technology, a code evaluation must be performed.  CruxHomes is working with the International Code Council to officially establish the design of a CruxHome as code compliant.  The ICC is the non-profit organization that maintains the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC), among others.

 

The ICC will perform an engineering code analysis and establish a structural testing procedure which will be executed in a certified testing laboratory.  We already know the CruxHome design works because they have been built in Europe, but we want to make it easier for anyone to enjoy the benefits of owning a CruxHome!

Who came up with the CruxHome design?
The original designs were developed by Brian Waite, a UK based mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, inventor and designer.  Brian set out to design a home that is not only economical to build and saves energy, but can also be built quickly without sacrificing beauty and comfort.  Inspired by the strength and simplicity of the arch, in 2012 Brian completed his new arched home, which is the basis for the design of CruxHomes. CJ Thouret has an agreement with Brian to use his design.  At CruxHomes, we have made some minor adjustments to the design to align with building practices in the United States.
What is the lead time on the arches?
Currently, two business day per arched truss plus two weeks.  We are actively working to reduce lead times. If you are in a rush to get your home built faster, you can pay a fee to help us build another production setup, which will decrease production time by 50%.
Does adding windows decrease the efficiency of a CruxHome?
The answer to that question is generally yes and sometimes no.  Windows typically have a lower R value (resistance to heat flow) than the rest of the building envelope.  For instance, windows facing South in the summer can have a negative effect on cooling, however windows facing South in the winter should have a positive effect.  CruxHomes have the advantage of a double window design in the arched walls where two windows are installed instead of one (one opens in and one opens out) which doubles the R value at that penetration. That’s QUADRUPLE GLAZING!
Is the building / foundation only one size or can it be larger or smaller?

The foundation can be configured to any length, but at this time the arched trusses are limited to a maximum unfinished, internal width of thirty two feet.  To increase the flexibility in the design of your CruxHome, we have several options to extend the building with dormers and vestibules.  Please contact us for more information.

How do you incorporate solar panels into the design of a CruxHome?
If you want to incorporate solar panels into your home design, we will be happy to help you do so.  To facilitate the installation of PV panels, we will design your home with the optional dormer roof and make sure your home is oriented so that dormer roof faces south. We will also provide space within the building for your inverter to be installed next to your electrical distribution panel (circuit breaker box).
What is building commissioning?
Building commissioning includes inspecting and functionally testing a building to document the performance of that building.  CruxHomes is owned by a Certified Building Commissioning Professional, so we are passionate about testing and proving our results.  We will commission every new CruxHome.
What is a blower door test?
A blower door test uses a calibrated fan and a calibrated manometer (pressure sensor) to measure how “leaky” a building is.  A less leaky building will have better energy performance. We will perform a blower door test on every CruxHome we build.
What is an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)?
An ERV uses exhaust air to pretreat ventilation air (fresh / outside air).  In other words, an ERV uses the air from bathroom and kitchen exhaust to heat fresh incoming (ventilation) air in the winter.  In the summer the ERV cools down incoming fresh ventilation air. CruxHomes will utilize super-efficient rotary air-to-air enthalpy wheel ERVs.  For more information, check out our links page.

Questions?

Do you have a question that is not listed? Please send us your questions and we’ll get back to you. If you ask a great question, we’ll add it to our FAQ.

1 + 9 =