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Advanced Framing

Advanced Framing is a building technique that allows for a much more superior insulated house, uses less building materials, and yet meets or exceeds all current residential building codes. It has been included in residential building codes for nearly 10 years. You will find that many of the green and high performance home builders are utilizing this technique. Without it, achieving the necessary insulation R-factors are very difficult.

Mason County Habitat started using this technique for framing in 2009. Our calculations demonstrated a savings in framing lumber of 20% and an aggregate insulation R-Factor increase of 25%. Aggregate R-factor is the result of factoring in the R-factor of 2x4 framing materials (R-3) and the cavity insulation in the walls and window and door headers(R-15). In our locale it is possible to achieve 2012 IRC wall insulation requirements providing you put R-15 in the wall cavity and add an addition R-5 continuous insulation to the exterior sheathing.  If we didn't utilize the exterior wall insulation, then we would need to use 2x6 for the exterior walls and use R20 cavity insulation.  Check your climate zone in the building code to determine the wall insulation requirements for your area.

Basically Advanced Framing utilizes 24” centers of wall framing studs, open type corners and open wall intersections to allow for 100% insulation fill, and lastly, box-beam headers over doors and windows where applicable. The box-beams provide the header strength and yet allow the cavity to be insulated.

Advanced framing is Cheaper, Faster, and meets all the IRC strength requirements.   I’ve not built in Hurricane zones, so there may be some structural components that require attention…

For details of how to do Advanced Framing, have a look at the following web articles:

 Of course you can Google "Advanced Framing" for a list of many current articles and discussions of the subject.