FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What's the oldest Cruxhome, and how's it holding up? Any leaks?

The original CruxHome, constructed by designer Brian Waite in the United Kingdom in 2012, is the oldest. Brian remains in regular contact, and to the best of our knowledge, he continues to be highly satisfied with his home. If you’d like to hear directly from him, you can reach out at brian@brianwaite.co.uk.

Where can you get CruxHomes? Where can they be constructed?

CruxHomes are accessible wherever you are located. Our kits can be shipped, and we will collaborate with you to facilitate either self-construction or construction services for your CruxHome.

How many bedrooms can you have in a CruxHome?

CruxHomes offers stock designs with options for two, three, or four bedrooms. Furthermore, these designs can be fully customized to create your dream home from the ground up.

Is a crane necessary for CruxHome construction?

Two Story CruxHomes can be assembled without a crane, however three story CruxHomes will be easier to assemble with a crane.

How is insulation handled in a CruxHome?

CruxHomes can be insulated in many different ways, tailored to factors such as climate, location, budget, and homeowner preferences.

Why is building a CruxHome more cost-effective than a typical home?

A CruxHome offers savings for six key reasons:

 

  1. Reduced labor costs: With the efficiency of the arched truss system, the arches can be erected by a small team in a week or less.
  2. Off-site truss fabrication: Our trusses are crafted in a controlled manufacturing environment, not exposed to outdoor elements on the construction site. This ensures precision, reduces potential damage and compresses the construction schedule.
  3. The arches allow for interior work and exterior work to be done simultaneously.  This means the home can have roofing installed before the interior framing is complete, keeping workers and building materials out of the weather.
  4. Reduced construction waste: The design of the arched trusses minimizes material waste, and we carefully order lumber to further reduce waste.
  5. The extra insulation allows for the installation of a smaller HVAC system.
  6. We prioritize your bottom line! Our pricing philosophy is straightforward, covering planning, materials, business costs, and nothing more.

This approach allows us to deliver high-quality homes at a more affordable cost.

How does a CruxHome decrease my energy consumption?

CruxHomes achieve energy efficiency by optimizing the building envelope. The floor, walls, and roof are designed to resist heat flow (R-value) and minimize unwanted airflow, keeping heat in during winter and out during summer. As a homeowner, you also play a role by adopting common-sense habits like turning off appliances when not in use.

For those wanting to take it a step further and offset their carbon footprint, we offer the option to integrate renewable energy sources like solar panels, solar hot water, wind turbines, or micro-hydro systems into your CruxHome’s design.

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 / high-performance house?

In essence, a passive house is designed to minimize energy usage by curbing heat transfer between the interior and exterior. Various standards exist to define passive homes, but their core aim remains consistent: achieving the utmost energy efficiency. For detailed information, you can explore the following resources:

How is heating and cooling managed in a CruxHome?

 

The answer is, it depends.  It is possible that the primary method for heating and cooling a CruxHome would be through an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator).  An ERV leverages the thermal capacity of exhaust air to preheat or precool incoming fresh air (ventilation air).  Each CruxHome should include an air handler alongside the ERV. So, whether you’re hosting guests or simply seeking extra comfort, you can easily adjust your thermostat for that extra “oomf.”

Depending on your climate, the orientation of the building, how many and what kind of windows you choose, etc., your primary source of heating or cooling could be a heat pump, an air handler, a wood stove, or a hair dryer (HA!).

Can you build a TinyCruxHome?

Absolutely! Owning a TinyCruxHome not only makes you an energy all-star by using passive home construction but also reduces your physical footprint. We’re thrilled to assist you with your TinyCruxHome project. Let’s make it happen!

Can my CruxHome be constructed with a basement?

Certainly! Your CruxHome can be built on a basement, or a slab.  Ask us about a “no slab, slab” to save money and further reduce your carbon footprint.

Can I hang items on the curved walls of a CruxHome?

Absolutely! You can hang pictures, art, and more on the curved walls of a CruxHome. While it may require a bit more effort, we have effective methods to make it work. Feel free to contact us at info@CruxHomes.com for further details. Please note that the walls on the first floor are not curved.

Can I expand my CruxHome in the future?

Certainly! You have the flexibility to expand your CruxHome by adding a dormer or additional arched trusses at a later date. Alternatively, you can choose to build an addition using another style of construction. CruxHomes is here to support your expansion plans, whatever you decide.

Is the lumber used in a CruxHome treated in any special way?

 

The construction method for the curved trusses or I-beams in a CruxHome involves wood that is bent into the designed shape in the case of the curved arches. There is no use of high-temperature or ammonia treatments to create the curved shape. The wood is secured using mechanical fasteners and construction adhesive. 

 

In the case of the triangular / non curved arches, the wood is assembled using mechanical fasteners and construction adhesive without any bending.

What are the design possibilities for CruxHomes?

The design possibilities for your CruxHome are virtually limitless. Since no internal load-bearing walls are needed to construct a CruxHome, any part of the home can be vaulted all the way to the peak of the roof. While we offer several stock home designs, if your budget allows, we can fully customize the design of your CruxHome to match your unique vision and preferences.

Can I have a fireplace or wood stove in my CruxHome?

Absolutely! While adding a fireplace or wood stove would involve custom design work and some additional planning, we can certainly accommodate your request to install one. Additionally, we recommend considering a Rocket Heater from rocketheater.com for an efficient and eco-friendly heating solution.

Is there any special maintenance required for my CruxHome?

Maintaining a CruxHome involves a few distinctive considerations. While not all typical homes have an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), your CruxHome likely does. Like any mechanical equipment, an ERV requires annual maintenance, which is particularly crucial in a CruxHome due to its tight building envelope. Ensuring your ERV functions correctly is essential for delivering fresh, clean air continuously.

We also recommend monitoring the humidity levels in your CruxHome. If humidity becomes too high or too low, it’s advisable to have your ERV checked out. These maintenance tasks are important for ensuring the proper functioning of your HVAC equipment and maintaining indoor air quality, practices applicable to any home.

Where can I place windows in my CruxHome?

 

In a CruxHome, you have the flexibility to install windows wherever you prefer.  It’s important to note that between the arched trusses, you can save time and money by limiting the width of windows to a rough opening of twenty inches. If you decide to build a custom home, we will help you size and place your windows.

 

What should I do if my CruxHome is damaged and requires repair?

While CruxHomes are built to be exceptionally durable, unforeseen events like tornadoes, hurricanes, or falling trees may cause damage. In such cases, CruxHomes is committed to working with you and/or the contractor of your choice to assess and repair any damage to your home. Your satisfaction and safety are our priorities.

What materials are used to finish the arched walls?

The curved walls of a CruxHome are typically finished with two layers of 1/4 inch drywall or plaster. This ensures a smooth and polished appearance.

Can I purchase a single-floor CruxHome?

Absolutely! The design of a CruxHome eliminates the need for internal load-bearing walls or a second floor. If you prefer to have a stunning, vaulted ceiling throughout your CruxHome, that’s entirely possible. Your vision for a single-floor CruxHome can be brought to life.

Can I purchase a three-story CruxHome?

 

 

Certainly! We have existing three story designs or we can create a new design for you.

Are CruxHomes building code compliant?

 

Even though the CruxHome design is novel in the United States and North America it far exceeds code requirements. Some towns do not perform building inspections while other municipalities are rigorous in their enforcement of building codes.  Drawings sealed by a structural engineer, which we have, should satisfy any building inspector.

Who is the mind behind the CruxHome design?

The original CruxHome designs were created by Brian Waite, a UK-based mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, inventor, and designer. Brian’s vision was to design a home that not only offered cost savings and energy efficiency but also rapid construction without compromising aesthetics and comfort. Inspired by the strength and simplicity of the arch, Brian completed his first arched home in 2012, forming the foundation for CruxHomes’ design.

CJ Thouret has an agreement with Brian to utilize his design. CruxHomes has made minor adjustments to the design to align it with building practices in the United States, allowing more people to benefit from this innovative concept.  In addition, we have developed the triangular arch design to reduce costs and provide additional options.

Do windows reduce the efficiency of a CruxHome?

In general, windows tend to have lower R-values (resistance to heat flow) compared to the rest of the building envelope, which can affect efficiency. For example, windows facing south during the summer may have a negative impact on cooling, while south-facing windows in the winter can have a positive effect by allowing passive solar heating.

However, CruxHomes have a unique advantage with the possibility for a double window design in the arched walls. Two windows can be installed instead of one, with one window opening in and the other opening out. This configuration effectively doubles the R-value at that penetration, providing exceptional insulation. In essence, it’s like having quadruple glazing, which helps maintain the overall efficiency of the CruxHome.

Can the building/foundation size be customized, or is it fixed?

The foundation can indeed be customized to any length you prefer. However, currently, the arched trusses are limited to a maximum unfinished, internal width of thirty-two feet. To provide more flexibility in the design of your CruxHome, we offer various options for extending the building with dormers and vestibules. For detailed information and assistance with customization, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How can I integrate solar panels into the design of a CruxHome?

We’re pleased to assist you in incorporating solar panels into your home design. With the triangular arch this is very easy to do; we only need to make sure the building is oriented properly.

To streamline the installation of PV (photovoltaic) panels on the curved arches, we will design your home with the optional dormer roof and ensure that your home is oriented so that the dormer roof faces south, optimizing solar exposure. Additionally, we will allocate space within the building for your inverter, allowing it to be conveniently installed next to your electrical distribution panel (circuit breaker box). This approach ensures a seamless integration of solar technology into your CruxHome.

What is building commissioning?

Building commissioning involves the inspection and functional testing of a building to thoroughly document its performance. At CruxHomes, we take this process seriously, as our company is owned by a former Certified Building Commissioning Professional. We can test your new CruxHome if you are interested in documenting the performance of your building.

What is a blower door test?

A blower door test is a procedure that utilizes a calibrated fan and a calibrated manometer (pressure sensor) to measure the air tightness or “leakiness” of a building. The test quantifies how much air can enter or exit a building under controlled conditions. A building with fewer air leaks typically demonstrates better energy performance. At CruxHomes, we conduct a blower door test on every CruxHome we build to ensure that it meets our high standards for energy efficiency by minimizing air leakage.

What is an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)?

An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is a system that leverages exhaust air to precondition incoming ventilation air, typically fresh or outside air. In essence, an ERV uses the air extracted from bathroom and kitchen exhaust to either heat the incoming fresh air during the winter or cool it down in the summer. CruxHomes opts for highly efficient rotary air-to-air enthalpy wheel ERVs, which are known for their effectiveness in heat and moisture transfer. For further details, you can refer to our links page or get in touch with us for more information.

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.

8 + 6 =