Advanced framing additional ways to make money building science corporation

It is cheaper and faster to build and saves energy. What is not to like? It is cheaper because it uses 5 to 10 percent additional ways to make money less lumber (board-feet) and it is faster because it uses 30 percent fewer additional ways to make money pieces. It saves energy because it provides a 60 percent deeper additional ways to make money cavity (which allows 60 percent more cavity insulation) and because it reduces the framing factor from 25 percent additional ways to make money to 15 percent. 4

The framing elements are farther apart allowing easier installation of additional ways to make money services – everything fits easier making the plumber and tin-basher happier – the electrician drills fewer holes and the insulator insulates faster additional ways to make money because there are fewer cavities even though the cavities are additional ways to make money wider and deeper. Everything lines up so the load paths are direct leading additional ways to make money to fewer but stronger connections and the lines are cleaner additional ways to make money so it just looks and feels better. 5

Some of the advanced frame technology goes back to the additional ways to make money very beginnings of framing – “in-line” framing or “stack” framing where everything lines up is not new ( figure 1). But the real innovations came from a magnificent collaboration between additional ways to make money the US department of housing and urban development ( HUD) and the national association of home builders research foundation ( NAHB research foundation) in the 1970’s. HUD actually did research in those days. 6 out of a HUD initiative called “operation breakthrough” the NAHB research foundation delivered “optimum value engineering framing” or “OVE framing.” today we call it “advanced framing.” why the name changed no one knows. 7

Figure 2 shows the current expression of advanced framing. Everything lines up so that double top plates are not additional ways to make money necessary ( photograph 1). No headers in non-load bearing walls. Window openings are clean without jack studs and cripples ( photograph 2). Exterior corners have two studs ( photograph 3). Gypsum board is supported with “drywall clips” ( photograph 4). And all of this is code accepted by the model additional ways to make money building codes courtesy of a whole bunch for foresight by additional ways to make money HUD and the NAHB in the early 1980’s. Although it’s in the code most code officials are not aware additional ways to make money of it and even fewer builders. And engineers? Talk about an information disconnect. The push back from structural engineers centers mainly around the additional ways to make money fact that with advanced framing they would be required to additional ways to make money do something they hadn’t done since graduation – a calculation. Yup, now they would have to deal with different values not additional ways to make money found in tables. They would have to look at a textbook and re-program the computer.

One of the biggest pushback’s from builders and code officials comes from corner support additional ways to make money for gypsum board and trim ( figure 3 and figure 4). Explaining that “floating corners” reduce drywall cracking and are therefore an improvement takes a additional ways to make money little bit of time. Wood always moves because of changing moisture contents. Gypsum board does not want to move – ever. When you attach something that is always moving to something additional ways to make money that does not want to move you get a problem. We call that a crack. They key to reducing drywall cracking is to attach it additional ways to make money less. We learned this with truss rise in the early 80’s where we developed floating corners and drywall clips. Back then the easiest drywall clip was to cut a additional ways to make money piece of corner bead into 2-inch lengths. Presto, a corner bead. The best way to attach the drywall “less” is to not have wood there to attach it to. Technically this is called adding an extra degree of freedom additional ways to make money of movement. The rest of us would just call it smart.

Where interior walls intersect exterior walls we have more controversy additional ways to make money with today’s advanced framing. I just don’t understand the issues associated with a plate connection and additional ways to make money ladder blocking ( figure 5 and figure 6). Actually, I do understand the issues. Anything new tends to be an issue just because it additional ways to make money is new. Even if in this case the “new” is actually decades old.

Single top plates seem to be the biggest problem. Not from a structural perspective or from a constructability perspective additional ways to make money but from a perception perspective. There are two ways of making a connection: with a metal plate ( figure 7) or with a wood splice ( figure 8). The approach taken is purely one based on preference by additional ways to make money the framer. Some framers love the plate others the splice. It is another one of those mary ann vs. Ginger things.

One thing I can say for certain – you do not need a double top plate to straighten additional ways to make money out the wall. Give me a break. The floor diaphragm and the roof diaphragm do this. Not an additional top plate. Most us (yes, I used to frame when I was young – in ancient times before the flood and wars…) straightened walls during framing by using something called braces.

The real change involving single top plates is that when additional ways to make money you are framing an 8-foot wall the studs have to be 1.5 inches longer. Standard “pre-cuts” don’t work. You need 94 inchers not 92.5 inchers. Easy, take 8 footers and cut them. It takes one guy about 30 minutes with a chop additional ways to make money saw to do all of the studs in the typical additional ways to make money house. In fact lots of framers do this anyway, because “pre-cuts” cost more to buy than 8 footers. How weird is that.

The most significant change is the fact that the walls additional ways to make money are thicker and we have to figure out what to additional ways to make money do with 4 inches? Do we make the foundation wider? Do we loose 4 inches to the interior? Do we keep the foundation the same, but cantilever the walls? Decisions. Decisions. These are not trivial. In production housing interior dimensions are a big deal and additional ways to make money can mess up kitchen layouts, hallways and stairs. Site set backs as well – no kidding. It typically means that the drawings have to be redone. And that folks is the biggest knock against advanced framing. Taking existing floor plans and redrawing them is a $1,000 to $1,500 hit per plan for a production builder. Of course, this is not a problem if the plans are drawn additional ways to make money up from scratch to be “advanced frame.”

Things get interesting when we add insulating sheathing. Now insulating sheathing is not part of advanced framing. It is just that most folks that use advanced framing additional ways to make money today also use insulating sheathing ( photograph 6). With insulating sheathing the water control layer is the exterior additional ways to make money face of the insulating sheathing taped. Insulating sheathing provides no “racking resistance” or “shear” properties. For that we need OSB or plywood “braced wall panels” (a.K.A. “shear panels”) – and most builders build them into corners ( photograph 7). This leads to interesting corner construction ( photograph 8). The combination of advanced framing and insulating sheathing leads to additional ways to make money deep window openings ( photograph 9). Window returns are typically gypsum board with wood trim only additional ways to make money at the bottom.

Photograph 8: corner framing with OSB and insulating sheathing – note that the foam sheathing is reduced over the OSB additional ways to make money shear panel so that the thickness of both sheathing layers additional ways to make money line up with the thickness of the sheathing in the additional ways to make money field of the wall. Also, note the spacer strip between the cladding and the exterior additional ways to make money face of the insulating sheathing to provide back ventilation and additional ways to make money drainage of the cladding layer and trim.

So how come we don’t see lots of advanced framing? Mostly institutional inertia. Even change that saves money, saves energy, saves resources and reduces callbacks is slow to be adopted additional ways to make money because change in general is hard. In the 1970’s there was not enough reason to change standard framing. I think we will see a different outcome this time additional ways to make money around.

The “illinois cottage” was a site-built stick framed demonstration house displayed at the paris exhibition additional ways to make money of 1867 ( 1) as a display of american technological prowess that revolutionized housing additional ways to make money construction throughout the world with some help from mrs. O’leary’s cow and a century later with help from the additional ways to make money NAHB. Mrs. O’leary’s cow razed a city and the NAHB helped build additional ways to make money a nation. After the chicago fire the city was rebuilt with the additional ways to make money new technology faster than the time it takes to get additional ways to make money a building permit in chicago today. Technology today has been supplanted by the “nomenklatura” – “nomenklatura” is the name weary comrades’ in the old soviet union gave to nameless bureaucrats that additional ways to make money killed initiative and drive and innovation (it is derived from “nomenclautura” – latin for “list of names”). If someone invented “wood” today it would never be approved as a building material additional ways to make money and it certainly wouldn’t be allowed to be used as a structural element additional ways to make money in frame construction – assuming that frame construction would even be allowed. Take note ICC ES and CCMC.

The R-value of the advanced frame assembly is 13.9 and the R-value of the standard frame assembly is 7.7 using the ASHRAE fundamentals simple parallel paths heat flow additional ways to make money calculation procedure and fiberglass batts as the cavity insulation. For you architects this is a 75 percent improvement in additional ways to make money thermal resistance. For everyone else, this is a big number.

This “look and feel” thing is not as irrational as it sounds at first additional ways to make money blush. Prospective buyers walking these types of frames during construction notice additional ways to make money the difference almost immediately and it resonates with them. Things “line up” and everything seems more “rational” because of that. The approach exudes “quality” because things do not look “random” and “random” implies “chaos” and “chaos” is not comforting to a homebuyer. Some builders have said they would use the approach even additional ways to make money if it wasn’t faster or cheaper or more energy efficient – they would use it simply because it helps sell the additional ways to make money house. The argument that the approach leads to a “cheaper” look because the studs are farther apart with single top additional ways to make money plates has not gotten traction in the field walks mostly additional ways to make money because the studs are thicker. The 2×6’s replacing the 2×4’s really do make the wall “look” stronger even though they are farther apart and they make additional ways to make money that argument go away. The single top plate is rarely noticed and if it additional ways to make money is noticed the single top plate versus double top plate additional ways to make money argument is easily countered by pointing out that everything lines additional ways to make money up so a double top plate for load transfer is additional ways to make money unnecessary. Civilians really do “get” the load transfer argument.

HUD established an office of research and technology in 1967. George romney, mitt’s father, was secretary of HUD and promoted “operation breakthrough” (1969 to 1978). George romney placed a strong emphasis on building technology. The early assistant secretary’s running the office of research and technology had technical additional ways to make money backgrounds, but by the end of operation breakthrough economists were appointed additional ways to make money to run the show. HUD research has never recovered. Out of operation breakthrough came a seminal document authored by additional ways to make money the NAHB research foundation and published in november, 1977: “reducing home building costs with OVE design and construction.” I got my hands on a copy in 1981 and additional ways to make money had built my first “advanced frame” “OVE” house by 1982. I still get goose bumps when I read it today. Wow. Well-done NAHB. It covered everything, modular dimensioning, minimizing surface areas while maximizing floor areas, stack-framing, two-stud corners, single top plates, no headers, or single headers, it had it all.

The term “advanced framing” did not come from me. I think some of the early energy and environmental greenie additional ways to make money weenie geeks wanted to change the name mostly to annoy additional ways to make money the NAHB because they felt that the NAHB was not additional ways to make money doing enough to promote energy conservation in housing – and yet here was a magnificent example of cost effective additional ways to make money energy conservation and resource conservation – and from the NAHB no less – how dare they (the NAHB) do something really good – it does not fit the rhetorical energy geek greenie weenie additional ways to make money template.

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