Advanced Framing

 

Advanced framing with 2x6 wood studs spaced 24 inches on center—combined with wood structural panel sheathing—is one of the most cost-effective solutions for builders trying to balance increasingly stringent energy codes with structural building code requirements. Advanced framing delivers several significant builder benefits; click on any of the following to learn more, or download a free copy of the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, M400 for additional information.

Advanced framing is a system of framing techniques based on optimizing building materials to produce wood-framed buildings with lower material and labor costs than conventionally framed structures. Builders who utilize advanced framing techniques optimize framing material usage, reduce wood waste and, with effective insulation detailing, boost the building’s efficiency to meet today’s energy code requirements. When properly designed and constructed, advanced framed walls that are fully sheathed with wood structural panels, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), provide the structural strength necessary to safely withstand the forces of nature.


Advanced Framing Defined

Advanced framing is a system of construction framing techniques designed to optimize material usage and increase energy efficiency. Structures built with advanced framing techniques are more resource efficient and offer more space for cavity insulation than similar structures built with conventional framing.

Conventional framing, the industry standard for framing residential construction, typically consists of 2x4 or 2x6 wood framing spaced 16 inches on center, double top plates, three-stud corners, multiple jack studs, double or triple headers, unnecessary cripple studs and other redundant members.

Advanced framing reduces the unnecessary structural redundancies inherent in conventional framing by placing framing members only where they’re needed. The most commonly adopted advanced framing technique is 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center. Other commonly used techniques include single top plates, two-stud corners, single headers, minimal use of jack studs and cripples, and the elimination of redundant studs and unnecessary blocking and bridging. Although some advanced framing techniques can be adopted independently, the greatest savings—in both cost of construction and energy—will be realized when the system is applied holistically.

Advanced framing is also known as optimum value engineering (OVE). It was developed in the 1970s by the NAHB Research Center (now Home Innovation Research Labs), an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), for the purpose of optimizing material usage while maintaining structural integrity. Today, growing interest in energy conservation is leading more and more builders to adopt advanced framing techniques.

APA recommends that you consult your local building official early in the design phase to verify and obtain acceptance of 24-inch framing techniques in your jurisdiction.

Advanced Framing: Meet Structural Code & Energy RequirementsRead more about the advantages of advanced framing.
Learn about the components of advanced framing and about how Advanced Framing can be used to meet structural code and energy requirements.

Advanced Framing: Meet Structural Code & Energy Requirements
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Get the Details

The Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400, from APA details several techniques for more efficient, cost-effective framing practices, 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. Many of these techniques can be adopted independently. The Advanced Framing Construction Guide is available for free download in PDF format.

Twenty Advanced Framing CAD details, based on the framing techniques featured in the guide, are now available for free download from APACAD.org, APA’s online resource for building designers and construction professionals in search of Computer Aided Design details for wood-frame construction. APACAD.org now features 257 free CAD details, including 30 Spanish-language details, all of which are available to download free of charge in four file formats: DWG, DWF, DXF and PDF.

For more information on the wind resistance of wood structural panel sheathed walls, refer to APA Technical Topics: Wind Resistance of Wood Structural Panel Sheathed Walls, Form TT-110. This publication provides comprehensive information on the wind resistance of light-framed walls sheathed with plywood or OSB using the methodology of the 2012 IBC, Table 2304.6.1 and the 2012 IRC, Table R602.3(3).