There’s a little more going on with 6226 Acacia Avenue in Upper Rockridge than a potential buyer might see at first glance.
Granted, this brand new, five-bed, four-and-a-half-bath $2.99 million home has its fair share to show off up front, including 12-foot high sliding glass doors (which might be more appropriately termed glass walls at that point), glass enclosed staircase, and a 40-square-foot deck off the back with city views.
But this place has something extra beneath the surface: It’s entirely steel-framed.
6226 Acacia is a product of BONE Structure, the same Canadian company that manufactured Stanford Professor Marc Jacobson’s steel-framed, prefab, Erector Set-like house near the university last year.
Steel-frame homes resist fire damage, insect infestation, and weather-related ills. But as makers of wood-framed prefab homes told Curbed SF last year, they’ve never really caught on.
Part of that is a “cultural bias in favor of wood,” as one prefab developer put it, but beyond that steel houses have some practical problems.
For example, steel is a lousy insulator. BONE homes claim they make up for this with a “soy-based polyurethane thermal envelope”—which sounds like a Vegan hot pocket, but is actually a foam sprayed onto the frame of the house.
Once dry, it’s forms an encasing envelope that keeps the frame’s cold steel from directly contacting the home’s surfaces.
Will it catch on? Or rust out? Open houses this weekend may give the public a chance to decide.