Core-ten Steel Siding or A606

By March 26, 2010cool stuff, good blogs, products

I have been a big fan of Steel for siding for a while now. It is often hard to convince clients to try it. Someday, I hope to use Core-ten Steel on my own house either in flat panel form or 7/8″ corrugated sheets. Here is a blog of interest: SIPs House It is a process blog about building a very cool small house in Portland, Oregon. The architects are SEED Architecture Studio. Of particular interest to me is the exterior siding. They Used Core-ten steel panels for part of the exterior. Core-ten is a steel that rusts to form a protective coating. It is very low maintenance and very beautiful. Pricing is unknown – they found a very cheap source. Locally, I have been unable to find it very cheap but I should pursue their link for a potential source. Look around and you may see examples of it in your area. There is a railroad bridge near the exit 3 rotary in Brattleboro made with Core-ten that is beautiful (other than the teenager spray paint thing) Here is a link to the SIPs house blog entry on siding. Also check out how they used old barn boards – beautiful!

core-ten siding

SIPs house Portland siding


  • lavrans says:

    Hi, Bob-

    Cor-ten is interesting… That house is a few blocks from my house, and I know the builder; although I haven’t been on the project I pass by it every so often. It reminds me of shipping container architecture :-).

    Interesting house- I need to go ask Kaya about about their window detail (of course… I think finned windows/doors are one of the big weak points in houses, but that’s a different argument… sort of like running siding vertically…).

  • bob says:

    yes windows are a weak point. I think the best option is to treat the siding as a true rain screen which means putting a membrane on the house that becomes the actual weather barrier. Tar paper or tyvek are not adequate. There is a good product for this purpose (I forget the name) You flash and seal the windows to this then the siding floats free. For vertical siding use eldorado battens (google it) which allow horizontal installation without blocking drainage. You still need nailing more than just what the sheathing provides.

  • lavrans says:

    I think you mean to say felt and Tyvek (& like products) are not adequate by themselves 🙂

    I’ve used the eldorado battens, but haven’t seen anything like I’m imagining the product you’re describing. I’d be very interested.

    When planning for vertical siding I add blocking. I haven’t had the chance, but it seems like adding 2×4 horizontal on 2′ centers to the framing before sheathing would be a great way to reduce thermal bridging and provide nailing. There are a couple problem areas, and getting the sheathing assembly to meet expectations wouldn’t be as simple… mostly because it wouldn’t be expected. Still seems like it would be a time/money saver in the long run.

  • bob says:
    found it!
    Hi Lav, I just f.b. friended you back. your name comes up periodically in Rachelle/Jan conversations.
    vertical siding does need blocking and 2 rows per floor is fine. I usually spec. it as 2x on the flat within the wall. More labor but good use of short pieces of leftover 2x. Thermal bridging with double wall construction is less of an issue and with double wall, you basically choose your r value when you do the interior wall. I also like putting a layer of rigid on the exterior to keep the dew point outside of framing and for good and easy air sealing. ( Northeast concerns)

  • lavrans says:

    Sure- I think that’s the wave of the future everywhere N. now- and pulling it through the roof, ala Mr. Lstiburek, et al.

    This seems like a perfect system for cor-ten; I imagine that has a huge potential for condensation.

  • Djarvus says:

    Thanks for this post, this really helped me out a lot. keep up the great work on this blog!

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