Smarter Framing

September 27th, 2005 by Peter Schmelzer

House Framing

Fine Home Building Magazine’s November 2005 issue has an interesting article about framing, written by Joseph Lstiburek of Building Science Corp.

What would you say to a framing option that saved time, money, energy and resources? Well, I said I’d check it out.

Basically, this system calls for careful planning during design and attention to detail through construction, something that architects do each day. It starts with using a 24″ grid for design, matching the dimension of standard construction products, and continues with careful alignment of structural loads, thicker floor sheathing, steel framing connectors, and attention to distribution of shear forces.

In the article, an example was given between conventional framing and OVE (optimum value engineering) framing for a 40’0″ length of wall. OVE’s effective R-value was 84% higher; its framing costs were $2,100 lower, and the annual heating/cooling costs were 30% lower than conventional framing. These are significant numbers.

The biggest surprise was learning that this system of framing was developed by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center in the 1960’s, the national codes have incorporated it, and it still is not common practice.

We will be doing more research into this system, and will report further in the future.

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