Sunday, February 14, 2010

Advanced Framing Techniques

Don, our builder, had done his research and proposed using the National Association of Home Builder's 7 green framing principles. Unfortunately, the building inspector required an engineering letter to verify the feasibility of these principles in our case. Such a letter would have cost more than the what we would have saved.

The inspector was willing to accept the 2 stud corner, which allows better insulation and saves lumber, and 24" spacing for studs on the top non-load bearing walls. So, we were able to use just 2 of the 7 principles.

I appreciate that inspectors and building codes provide a safety net to ensure the quality of our home. But, it is disconcerting that it takes years for the industry to accept practices that are safe, better for the comfort of the home, less expensive, and last but not least--better for the environment. I was curious as to how long these practices had been available, and I found this document, with a publication from October 2000. Then, this page on the Austin Green Building website states optimum value engineering principles have been available for 20 years. 

The green building website states:
"A study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center (NAHBRC) found that OVE methods saved $0.24 to $1.20 per square foot in framing wood compared with conventionally built houses (NRDC, "Efficient Wood Use in Residential Construction," 1998)".


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