Luxury Floating Home Designed for Durability

In Seattle, on the calm waters of Lake Union, Roanoke Reef is a luxury floating home community with a diverse, yet tight-knit group of residents who share a common bond of love for life on the water.

In one of the community’s most recent new home projects, architect Tim Carlander of Vandeventer + Carlander Architects envisioned a white, large format, but thin profile, exterior cladding material that could be adhered to its supporting substrate.

The cladding had to align with door and window frames and other elements of the building’s facade, so when it was determined that the original material under consideration could not be manufactured in the desired thickness, Carlander began to research alternative products.

Having previously worked on countertop applications with sintered stone brand Neolith, manufactured by TheSize, Greg Totonelly of Touchstone Builders, Inc., the project’s general contractor, proposed six-millimeter Neolith panels as an alternative solution.  After extensive consultation with FM Distributing, TheSize’s Washington-based distributor, it was determined that the Neolith panels met all of the project’s architectural and code requirements with the added bonus of a near perfect color match.

“Neolith’s product line offered the perfect color – Arctic White from the Colorfeel collection,” said Totonelly. “Once we determined that we had just the right color, we proceeded to delve into Neolith’s other properties. Its slender profile, relatively light weight in a large format, coupled with its approval’s for an adhered application all combined to make Neolith the ideal cladding material for our project.”

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Expressed by horizontal bands and floor-to-ceiling windows and resting atop a structural concrete float, this luxury floating home utilizes Neolith’s ventilated façade system from the brand’s SKYLINE collection. The SKYLINE façade system with its slim large format tiles offers superior physical and mechanical properties that will protect the home for years to come.

Greg Totonelly praised the job site workability of the product and noted that Neolith has “incredible characteristics that offer superior resistance to mechanical damage and atmospheric and organic contamination, including airborne pollutants from a nearby interstate. You can just take a hose and clean it off.”

The Touchstone Builders team adhered more than 50 slabs of six-millimeter panels to an aluminum sub-framing system, which enabled alignment of the cladding system with the other elements of the façade system and thereby satisfying the original design intent.  Cladding the upper floor walls and cantilevered floor soffits as well as exterior ceilings, the panels were installed with quarter-inch joints in the field and at all projecting elements resulting in the crisp and clean lines Carlander envisioned.

Broadly speaking, Totonelly explained the collective experience of working with FM Distributing and TheSize. “Overall, the service and attention to detail, as well as the follow-up support in the field was excellent. They did a great job and even cut down the job site expense by precutting a good portion of our panels in Spain. The cladding has been in service for two years now and it still looks great. Neolith was the exact product we needed and worked out beautifully.”

Liz D’Aries, an architectural consultant with FM Distributing Pacific Northwest also commented, “Neolith is now and forever, combining versatility, strength, durability and unparalleled aesthetic options.”  With more than 50 designs to choose from and limitless application potential, Neolith provides architects and designers the ability to add beauty and function to any surfacing application —from façades to flooring and countertops—without the maintenance, installation or durability challenges of natural stone.”



Topics: Building Green, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Exteriors, Flooring, Home Design & Plans, Lumber and Structured Panels, Roofing, Siding, Sustainable Communities


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