APA's new publication, the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, highlights advanced framing techniques that residential contractors can employ to produce energy-efficient, structurally sound homes with lower material and labor costs than conventionally framed houses.
In practice since the 1970s, advanced framing - also known as optimum value engineering (OVE) - optimizes material usage in home construction, providing for more efficient installation, tighter envelopes, and less waste without compromising structural strength and durability. Today, as builders try to balance increasingly stringent energy codes with structural building code requirements, interest in advanced framing is growing.
"Builders are realizing that advanced framing can help them meet energy code requirements while maintaining structural integrity," said Mark Halverson, APA Field Services Manager. "It's also a costeffective way for builders to meet the ENERGY STAR® thermal enclosure checklist requirements."
The 24-page guide details several advanced framing techniques, including 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center, insulated three-stud corners, two-stud corners with ladder blocking, wall intersection options, single headers, single top plates and eliminating unnecessary materials. Continuous wood structural panel wall sheathing is recommended to provide the structural strength necessary to safely withstand the forces of nature.
Acknowledging the concerns sometimes associated with switching to new building methods, the guide outlines opportunities for adopting advanced framing techniques independently. "Builders can incorporate the techniques in stages rather than all at once," said Halverson. "For example, if meeting cold climate energy code requirements is the priority, adopting 2x6 framing at 24 inches on center while continuing to use double top plates will increase wall R-values without requiring roof, floor and wall framing to be aligned. The builder can add additional advanced framing techniques later to further reduce costs and increase energy efficiency."
The Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400 can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format or purchased in printed format for $2.00 at www.apawood.org/publications.