While the habitable construction of this building is Wood CLT's (cross laminated timber's), there is a concrete and masonry exterior staircase. The two elements are separated (sorry... I thought I had a better picture!) by a layer of 6" Rock Wool high density panels between the two. The rock wool is also an exceptional material in my opinion and blends well with both masonry and CLT construction. Its R 4.3 per inch, vapor open, and inert. It resists rot, bugs, fire and most anything you can think of. I think it's a great companion to wood construction because it will insulate at the exterior while letting the wood absorb and release moisture as it needs to. Functionally its dense enough to make an exterior house wrap redundant and won't be harmed by driving rain penetrating the facade.
With a combination of Masonry, CLT's, and complimentary exterior insulation like rock wool, it's possible to prefabricate all of the building major components in an indoor controlled environment and then set the building structure in the field quickly, plumb and wire in service cavities at the interior, and add a continuos thermal insulation layer around the entire exterior, while providing a thermal break to exterior masonry elements. All in all it looks like a very efficient and high quality building process. I'm happy to say that while CLT's are now common in Europe, there is now a company in Montana working to start up the first CLT plant in the US. You can find them here: http://www.smartwoods.com/. It's a big step to bring this lever of building quality and planning to the US market and I'm hoping that we continue to see growth in the area's of material quality, as well as energy and construction efficiency.
Since I was in Switzerland to learn about air sealing technics and products from the Swiss Company Siga, then of course the air sealing products were Siga. Regardless of the vendor, what you see here is typical for the central european climate region: An air and moisture barrier at the interior that is protected from damage by aservice cavity, and then a vapor diffusion gradient increasing to the exterior. In this case it's accomplished by the Siga white membrane Majpel (.68 perms) and the yellow Sicral tape.
And below joining the Majpel membrane to masonry with the Primur Roll.