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29 Jan Green Roof | did you know?

We briefly looked at installation of a Green Roof in August 2014 at our Clifton St home. As preparations for the installation of a green roof begin at our Purcells Cove build here's some interesting facts you perhaps didn't already know. A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. - Green Roofs are not new! Green Roofs have been around in Scandinavia for centuries, and a superb reconstruction of Norse living can be seen at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. - Environmentally smart; reduce heating and cooling costs, reduce storm water runoff, filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, the list goes on. - The green roof acts as a shield to protect the roof membrane from the elements and therefore extends the roof lifespan by at least 200% - Green roofs can provide living space for not only plants but also local animals too! Pretty Bird. Pictures of what will be green roof at Purcells Cove ...

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Stereovision

16 Dec Purcells Cove Rd | 2nd floor framing

On our last visit with Corey at Purcells Cove we saw him finishing and straightening the framing on the first floor. The pictures do most the talking; After crafting the massive 60ft LVL's at ground level, in came the crane to lift these one tonne beasts onto the second floor. The team promptly laid the floor and late last week with a gathering of MRB teammates the 2nd floor grew walls! ...

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Seashell in mortar

11 Dec Gottingen St | Seashells in Mortar?

Most of our work at this gorgeous old home has been concentrated at the back. However, the foundation at the front of the home required some attention from MRB too. As Steevo and the team prepared the foundation and removed the old mortar, they found a lovely old seashell. Typical of building practises of yesteryear, sand used to mix mortar was collected straight from the beach! Traditional mortar was made from lime putty, or slaked lime, combined with local sand, generally in a ratio of 1 part lime putty to 3 parts sand by volume. Often other ingredients, such as crushed marine shells (another source of lime), brick dust, clay, natural cements, pigments, and even animal hair were also added to mortar, but the basic formulation for lime putty and sand mortar remained unchanged for centuries until the advent of portland cement or its forerunner, Roman cement, a natural, hydraulic cement. Photos show Steevo and the team forming up and repairing a section of the foundation, as well as replacing and centring the basement window. ...

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Corrugated Steel Peak Audio

05 Dec Peak Audio |cladding choices

What is your home clad with? When you look around, you'll notice many different cladding materials. Home owners traditionally made choices according to their budget, style and what was available. 'Shakes' wood shingle cladding is prevalent on buildings in North America constructed throughout the 19th century. Shingle cladding has stood the test of time and is still commonly used today. 'Vinyl' siding became popular in 1950's, largely due to its durability, versatility and ease of maintenance. Vinyl siding does not stand well with 'green and environmentally friendly' building practises. 'Cape Cod Siding' an MRB favorite. A product we often choose. Not only for its strength, durability and low maintenance qualities, but largely for its controlled production with craftsmanship of yesteryear, architectural profiles, and contemporary look. And then there's 'Corrugated Steel'. A lightweight, easily transportable building material composed of hot dipped galvanised steel. Commonly used in early construction in countries such as Australia where a corrugated steel roof is as common as 'Budgie smugglers on Bondi Beach!' An awesome example of this 'eco-responsible' green building material application is on Scotties job site at Peak Audio. ...

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11 Nov Remembrance Day

Who do you remember today? All around the world, today is a day to honour, respect and remember past and present members of the armed forces who dedicate their lives to our countries during times of conflict, war and peace. Lest We Forget. On this beautiful fall day perhaps you will attend one of the events or ceremonies in and around Halifax.     Photo credit : Point Pleasant Park...

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04 Nov Inverness | Renovation

After completing and handing over the Clifton Street build, Smitty's next project is this bathroom renovation. A complete tear out of the existing fittings and fixtures to make a clean slate for the new. Electric in floor heat, tiles, custom shower, and vanity will fill this space. When Smitty is done here our owners may never want to leave this sanctuary, spending many hours soaking up the serenity in their whirlpool tub! Here are the before photos: And a special shout out 'Congratulations' to our team estimator Brian Mitchell. Dressed to impress on Halloween Friday, Brian set scene for a very romantic marriage proposal to his girlfriend Dianna. A well executed display of fireworks on the lake followed her acceptance. Love is in the Air! ...

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MRB Contracting team member Phil volunteers his weekends

09 Oct MRB | what are you doing this weekend?

The team at MRB Contracting are a diverse group of motivated individuals. Midweek we come together and share a passion for custom modern architecture, skilled craftsmanship and the overall urge to build things. Weekends are filled with all array of activities, however, to no surprise, many of us are still building things. Our team member Phil, humbly volunteers his time to 'Habitat for Humanity.' "I've been involved with Habitat for Humanity on several builds over the past couple years. What got me involved with the organization was simply that I really enjoy doing carpentry and it was a great chance for me to use my skills to help someone. I usually work as a Crew Leader and can have as many as 12 volunteers working under me. A majority of them have never swung a hammer before but with so many volunteers we accomplish a lot in one 8 hour shift." Check out the project Phil is currently working on in North Kentville. If, like Phil, you would like to support this organisation you can volunteer your time, or alternatively, you can shop for building and renovation supplies at their ReStore [caption id="attachment_5612" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Kingscountynews photo[/caption]...

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Gottingen Renovation

02 Oct Gottingen St | new project

Our renovation expert 'Steevo' and his team have commenced work on a gorgeous old home in Halifaxs 'North End.' Before they get started on the list of improvements and upgrades that will be done, the team peel back the layers of this home and remove the old 'add-on' to reveal what's beneath. It's no surprise for Steevo to find the old homes kitchen not bearing on the foundation at all, with nothing but dirt below and hence rotting sills. So, first priority tasks are: build temporary beam supports to prop up the 2nd floor while the 1st floor structure is removed, followed by preparation and installation of concrete foundation walls to support new structure. ...

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25 Sep Clifton St | finishing touches

The countdown is on for finishing up work at our Clifton St build. As our team put their focus on structural details and interior finishes, the team from Concreations were back to lay paving and bring the architectural vision of Outside Planning and Design to life. Photos show the gorgeous bespoke cedar bench carefully crafted by Corey and Phil, and the stunning slate pavers that complete the exterior architect design. Stay tuned for the final reveal of this MRB showpiece. ...

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23 Sep Clifton St | Not just a ceiling

Our Clifton Street build has many bespoke features, the stairs, and outdoor cedar benches to name a few. Another stunning installation in this home is the design and craftsmanship of the drop ceilings. Photos show Pete at work meticulously cutting and fitting SPF (Spruce, Pine, Fir), more often used as flooring, into this stunning feature ceiling. Holes are cut in preparation for lighting, and corners are carefully mitred for a perfect finish. Finally, a urethane coat is applied for a subtle matt finish allowing the beauty of the natural wood to become the highlight. ...

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18 Sep Westmount | Exterior

Jonathan and his team are fast crossing things off that long list at our Westmount renovation. And that was just the interior! We have also commenced work on the extensive list of upgrades that are being embarked upon on the exterior. -Stripped complete exterior cladding and fascia/soffit from house -Installation Vaproshield building wrap on entire house -Installation of cladding rain screen -Installation of new cape cod siding, cap cod v-joint soffit and cape cod wooden fascia boards -House will also be re-roofed. ...

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16 Sep For Sale | 2454 James St

Remember our James Street job completed in early 2012? These gorgeous flats could now be yours. Design by Omar Gandhi and craftsmanship and work by MRB Contracting, an investment opportunity like this doesn't come along too often. For full details and further appraisal of this listing head to Red Door Realty Attention to detail is evident in all aspects of the buildings form & function The design offers clean architecture with an intuitive living space ...

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11 Sep Clifton St | Stairs

Take a minute to check out what foreman Smitty has been crafting. Wow! Way beyond a functioning staircase, these stairs are a focal point and fabulous feature. Smitty cut these awesome stringers from 3 1/2 x 12 inch Parallam. Parallam is made from clipped veneer strands laid in parallel alignment and bonded with adhesive. Parallam can be made from any wood species, but Douglas-fir, southern pine, western hemlock, and yellow-poplar are commonly chosen because of their superior strength. Brackets were mounted before drywall (inside the wall), so leaving just a 'fin' protruding to attach the stair landing. 3" thick pine treads, coated with Urethane, and all fastened together with the strength of galvanised carriage bolts, leave this installation looking as though it's floating in air. ...

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02 Sep MRB | Design Build

MRB's master carpenters don't just build, we craft. With attention to the finest detail, we are natural designers. How a project fits together is important to us, which is why we are now offering a fully design and build service. Our in-house designer Elaine Lourdes shares the MRB passion, and after a decade of experience practicing architecture in Asia and Scotland, Elaine understands how an integrated design and build team produces the results that our clients deserve. One team The MRB team brings together talented players who are invested in every stage of play. From first sketches through detail design, estimating, approvals to construction, one team works together and manages from start to finish. More Control With designer, carpenter, estimator and project manager working side by side, we have greater certainty over quality, cost and time. We understand the implications of design decisions and refine the details to find optimum solutions...

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28 Aug For Sale | 213 Theatre Loft

Like what you see? Take a tour through this finely crafted, highly stylised, modern theatre loft that could be yours. Click on the photo below to watch a video of the space… 'A picture says 1000 words', but if you need more; New custom kitchen. Baltic birch doors and boxes, laminated with high gloss laminate finish, soft close Blum door hinges and drawer slides. Walnut panels and accents. Franke kitchen sink with Blanco faucet and LED under cabinet lights Stained spruce slat wall and ceiling cladding, front and back wall of unit. The carefully selected furnishings make this “pied-à-terre” a very exciting condo package for anyone looking to be close to all the action the Halifax Peninsula has to offer. Privacy, south facing windows & above compromise design & craftsmanship.   For further appraisal contact Jules jules@juleschamberlain.ca...

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#icebucketchallenge #als

26 Aug MRB | #icebucketchallenge

Challenge ' A call to engage in a contest, fight, or competition: a challenge to a duel.' In true MRB spirit, the team took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with energy and enthusiasm. With the 24 hour clock ticking, the site was prepared and plans meticulously reviewed. I'm not sure who was responsible for bringing uniforms, but thank goodness workplace safety was still priority! (Thanks Steevo:) Good on you team, a job well done.   ...

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21 Aug Walnut St | Product choices

A new rear exterior clad with Cape Cod Wood Siding is a natural choice on a job like this. These gorgeous old homes have stood the test of time and earned the right to be repaired and restored with quality materials. The rear entryway was removed and rebuilt with rough sawn spruce that is treated with Lifetime. Lifetime is an all natural wood preservative used as an alternative to toxic treatments and poisons for outdoor applications. It's truly an environmentally friendly wood treatment product. After application, and over time, with exposure to the weather that usually causes the wood finish to deteriate, Lifetime treated wood is enhanced. The stunning grey and silver tones are beautiful. This finish treatment is a great choice for tying the old and new together in a restoration project. ...

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14 Aug Congratulations Omar

Congratulations to our friend Omar Gandhi. Omar recently became the deserving recipient of the Prix de Rome prize from the Canada Council. The prize is awarded annually to a young architect or architectural firm in recognition of outstanding achievement.  Having worked closely with Omar on several of our builds, Moore Studio, West End Addition and Oxford Street, we are so excited to celebrate his achievements and success. Omar Gandhi Architect Inc. design studio is responsible for the drawings of MRB's upcoming build at Purcells Cove Rd. For a sneak peak at the fabulous location New Project and drawings 'Stereo Vision' ...

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12 Aug Clifton St | green roof landscape

Work at Clifton Street is fast transforming this work site into a home. Neat and clean lines extend from the architectural design of the house to collaborate with the front entrance landscape, along with the sidewalk upgrades, this new home is really merging back into Clifton Street. Specially chosen membrane sealing the roof on the backyard shed will enable the space to become a roof top garden. Landscape Architect, Sue Sirrs 'Outside planning and design' approaches each rooftop with careful consideration to ensure that requirements are met and plants grow and thrive. We are on the home stretch, stay tuned for updates as this build nears it's completion. ...

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31 Jul Walnut St | progress

Before Steevo and his team could start the new front porch, they had to jack up the roof to correct and straighten the sag and install new support posts. Usually, holes are dug and MRB prefer to use Postech screw piles for decking foundation, however, as Steevo discovered when he hit solid rock, this job required a different approach. Steevo drilled directly into the solid rock and installed rebar to reinforce the post footings. Meanwhile on the inside, the bathroom is awaiting inspection and ready for drywall. ...

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