APA - The Engineered Wood Association

Raised Wood Floors

Raised wood floor house

APA, the Southern Pine Council and building partners throughout the Gulf Coast are showcasing the benefits of raised floor construction using sustainable engineered wood and other products in a variety of home styles and special projects. Use the menu in the left-column to navigate the Raised Floor Living pages. Additional information for building professionals and homeowners is available at www.raisedfloorliving.com.

Raised Floor News

APA Publishes Environmental Impact Analysis of Wood versus Concrete House Designs

Reducing Environmental Footprints with Wood

September 2011

A new life cycle assessment (LCA) report from APA summarizes the cradle-to-grave environmental impact, including three different end of life scenarios, of two versions of the same house as they would be built in a traditional neighborhood development in northeast Florida.

The analysis focused on two key impact assessment criteria –emissions of greenhouse effect gases and fossil fuel consumption.

Reducing Environmental Footprints with Wood, Form M405, is now available for free PDF download from the APA Publications Library. 

New Study Supports Raised Floor Recommendations for Hot, Humid Climates

June 2011

Findings from a research study that evaluated subfloor moisture levels of south Louisiana raised-foundation homes have been published by the Louisiana State University Ag Center. The research study was initially funded through the Coalition for Advanced Wood Structures of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab and coordinated by APA. The study identified several crawl space insulation systems that performed extremely well within the types of foundation systems that were studied. Read more.

The study findings are summarized in a FPL/LSU publication which is being distributed throughout the Gulf Coast region by the LSU Ag Center. Download the report

Carbon Challenge Seminars Draw Crowds, Positive Reviews

May 2011

Mike Berry, Apex Technology, presents at APA Carbon Challenge SeminarAPA and its partners are presenting a series of ten free half-day seminars in the Southeast to showcase progressive residential design and construction practices. Seminar attendees earn CEUs (continuing education units) while learning about advanced framing, optimizing lumber usage and costs, improving energy efficiency, and strategies for cost-effectively designing and building homes with a lower carbon footprint.

“We’re pitching cutting-edge theory for tomorrow, along with practical applications that can be used in home design and construction today,” said APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark, a seminar presenter. “We have several knowledgeable speakers participating in these events, and I think the presentations have been resonating with the building and design professionals in our audience.” 

The eighth of the ten seminars was held on May 26, 2011, in Tampa, Florida. Two remaining offerings are scheduled for June 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and June 9 in Houston, Texas. Clark said attendance has been growing. “We reached our maximum capacity of 80 attendees in Orlando (on May 24), and now our last two dates are filling up fast.” Free online seminar registration for the final two dates is now available. 

Read the full story.

Raise the Floor Houston Design Challenge Winners Announced

March 2011

Raise the Floor Houston Design Challenge Winners Announced Ten designers submitted entries that celebrate the attributes and aesthetic appeal of a home constructed on a raised wood floor, all part of a promotion sponsored by Raised Floor Living and the Houston Home Builders Association to demonstrate the advantages of raised wood foundation construction in the Greater Houston area. The Raise the Floor Houston Design Challenge is a two-part competition to recognize an outstanding builder and designer. Jeremy McFarland of Brickmoon Design in Spring, Texas was selected by a panel of judges as the Grand Prize Design Winner and the recipient of a $2500 cash award. Roger Farrow with City Homes of Houston was selected as the winning builder. Read more about the Raise the Floor Houston Design Challenge.

New APA Case Study Raises Up Raised Wood Floors

February 2011

APA Case Study: Murray House, L110APA Case Study: Murray House features the construction of owner/builder Scott Murray's raised wood floor home in St. Augustine, Florida. Murray wanted a home with height and curb appeal, so he chose to forego the slab-on-grade construction typical for Florida in favor of a raised wood floor over a closed crawl space. Murray says a raised wood floor helps to protect his home from moisture and pests, and offers better access for foundation inspections, underfloor repairs and retrofits.

“I’m confident that I’ve protected my home from moisture and termites," says Murray. "I improved the envelope’s energy efficiency, I am prolonging the life of my mechanical systems, and I am better able to service and inspect my home.”

The 2-page brochure is available as a free downloadable PDF from the APA Publications Library. To learn more about how builders are benefiting from the competitive advantages of a raised wood floor system, read Raised Wood Floors: Case Studies in Progressive Home Construction.

Carbon Challenge Winning Designer Announced at 2011 IBS

January 2011

 Design Competition Award WinnersThe Carbon Challenge 2010 Florida Design Competition Grand Prize Design Award was presented to Damon Roby of True Design Studios in Jacksonville, Florida. Roby and five other winners were recognized on January 13, 2011, at a ceremony and catered reception sponsored by APA at the 2011 NAHB International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida. Roby's single-family home design featured a raised wood floor with a closed conditioned crawl space.

“The winners really put a lot of thought into the carbon footprint and operational energy of these homes, as well as proper design and constructability,” said APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark. “If any of these six designs was built, it would have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of home construction today.”

View the winning designs and learn more about the Carbon Challenge.

Campaign Demonstrates Advantages of Raised Floor Construction

January 2011

Raised wood floor construction offers builders and homeowners a number of important advantages over the typical concrete slab-on-grade. The Raised Floor Living campaign is working to deliver that message to builders, designers, and homeowners in the Southeastern U.S., where raised wood floors are particularly effective in meeting flood plain requirements. The campaign is working to influence conversions to raised wood floors by delivering construction strategies, product support, and educational outreach to home builders and buyers. Read more.

President’s Project Sold; Final Open House Set for December 8

December 2010

President's Project June 16 Open HouseThe NEFBA (Northeast Florida Builders Association) 2010 President’s Project house has sold. The buyer, one of the contractors on the project, will make the house his primary residence. “We like the fact that someone who understands the value of this house has purchased it and will be living here,” says NEFBA President Andy Chambers.

The President's Project will be showcased at a final open house on Wednesday, December 8, from 3 to 6 p.m. at 3630 Green St., Jacksonville, Florida 32205. The event will feature food, beer and giveaways. Attendance is free, but a RSVP is requested. Contact Jamie Atkins at jatkins@nefba.com or 904-725-4355 for more information. 

Read more on the NEFBA 2010 President's Project Updates page.

New Raised Floor Design Competition Launched in Houston

November 2010

More than 100 builders and designers from across southeast Texas gathered earlier this month to kick off the Raise the Floor Houston Design Challenge sponsored by Raised Floor Living, a promotional campaign supported by the Southern Pine Council and APA. The crowd assembled at the headquarters of the Greater Houston Builders Association, a cosponsor of the event, where they had an opportunity to network with colleagues and enjoy some good food and music. Attendees were invited to come and learn how to compete for cash prizes totaling more than $25,000 and roles in the design and construction of a raised wood floor home in the Greater Houston area. Over the coming six months, the Grand Prize winning design will be selected and the winning builder will construct the raised wood floor house.  Open houses will be held throughout the construction process to promote wood floor and wall systems to Houston builders and designers. Learn more about the Houston Design Challenge.

The Houston Design Challenge builds on the success of last year’s design challenge in Florida that resulted in the President’s Project, a raised wood floor demonstration home recently completed in Jacksonville.

Carbon Challenge Residential EcoCalculator Now Available

November 2010

ATHENA EcoCalculator for Residential AssembliesThe ATHENA® EcoCalculator for Residential Assemblies provides instant LCA (life cycle assessment) results for commonly used building structure and envelope assemblies. Carbon Challenge participants are provided with free access to the EcoCalculator software to determine the LCA global warming potential impact measure for their design. That score is based on cradle-to-grave life-cycle (from extraction of raw materials, to product manufacture, to completion of structure, to structure demolition) and includes fossil fuel energy use. Learn more about the free Residential EcoCalculator.

Carbon Challenge Design Competition Kicks-off in Florida

November 2010

Carbon Challenge 2010 Florida Design Competition Kick-Off EventMembers of the local building community gathered in St. Johns, Florida last week to kick off the Carbon Challenge, a Florida design competition presented by APA that will award more than $15,000 in cash prizes. Approximately 75 building professionals attended the October 28, 2010 event held at the RiverTown home site selected for the design competition. RiverTown is a residential community near Jacksonville being developed by St. Joe Company.

Read the full story.
Visit the Carbon Challenge website.

Carbon Challenge to Award Over $15,000 for Lowest Carbon Footprint

September 2010

Carbon Challenge Florida Design CompetitionThe Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition, a new competition cosponsored by the Raised Floor Living program, is challenging Florida designers to design a house with the lowest carbon footprint. $15,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winning entries, determined in part by global warming potential score (based on a scientific life-cycle assessment). For more information, visit the Carbon Challenge website or read the APA news release.

Raised Floor Living Announces Houston Design Challenge

September 2010

Builders and home designers in southeast Texas are being invited to compete for cash prizes and roles in the design and construction of a raised wood floor home in the Greater Houston area. Cash prizes totaling more than $25,000 will be awarded to the winning builder and designers. Sponsored by Raised Floor Living and the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA),  the Raise the Floor Houston Design Challenge begins November 4 with an evening kick-off event at the GHBA headquarters.

"Our kick-off event will be a fun evening with music, food and drinks and a chance for local builders and designers to network and explore the benefits of a raised wood floor home,” says Russell Richardson of the Southern Forest Products Association.  Tabletop displays from home construction vendors will offer the latest product information.

The competition will be staged in two phases. First, builders wanting the opportunity to build the winning design will submit applications, and Raised Floor Living will select a winner based on designated criteria. Builder entries must be submitted by November 24, and the winning builder will be selected in early December.

As part of the second phase, designers will be invited to submit designs that celebrate the attributes and aesthetic appeal of wood-framed homes constructed on raised floors.  Designer entries are to be submitted by February 18, 2011.  A jury of judges will review the entries, select the finalists, and work with the winning builder to select the winning design. The resulting home construction project will be used as a working classroom for educating builders and designers throughout Greater Houston about raised wood floor construction methods and details.

Once the judges review all entries, the winning design will be announced in March, and construction will begin in the spring.

For more information about the competition, related events, and entry forms, visit www.raisedfloorlivingpro.com/raisethefloor.shtml

Raised Wood Floor Program Funding Awarded

August 2010

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council has awarded APA and the Southern Pine Council a $750,000 grant to help fund their joint activities to promote the benefits of raised wood floor foundations to builders, designers and developers. The grant represents the third consecutive year BSLC has added its support to the raised floor program. Additionally, APA is contributing $350,000 in staff time and contributions, including $150,000 in funding from the U.S. Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory, and the Southern Forest Products Association is contributing $300,000 in staff time and program dollars. Read the full story.

New Life Cycle Study Finds that Raised Wood Floors Are Less Fossil Fuel Dependent Than Slab-on-Grade

July 2010

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Floor Systems, Form L400A life cycle assessment of two alternative floor systems – one wood, the other concrete slab-on-grade – confirms that wood is considerably less fossil fuel dependant and contributes far less to climate change than concrete. The findings are summarized in Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Floor Systems, Form L400, a free report now available for download from the APA Publications Library.

Based on data provided by the Athena Institute, the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Data Base, and Ecoinvent, the study compared the fossil fuel consumption requirements and greenhouse gas emission levels of the two systems, both based on a 2,500-square-foot single-story residential dwelling located in Atlanta, Georgia. Both cradle-to-gate and cradle-to-grave comparisons were analyzed. In the cradle-to-grave comparison, the wood floor system measured negative global warming carbon emissions compared to the concrete, with a difference of 18,822 kg of CO2 (the equivalent to annual emissions from 3.7 passenger vehicles), or nearly 180 percent, and significantly less consumption of both total energy and fossil fuel energy. Learn more.

Third President’s Project Open House Draws a Crowd of 78

June 2010

President's Project June 16 Open HouseThe sweltering heat didn’t stop a crowd of 78 building professionals from attending the third President’s Project open house to learn about energy-efficient design in residential construction. Temperatures climbed to 99 degrees during the June 16 event in Jacksonville, Florida, but the discussion remained lively amongst the crowd of designers, builders, inspectors and others in the trade who came for a closer look at the energy saving features of the winning design from last year's Raise the Floor Design Challenge.

Read the full story on the NEFBA 2010 President's Project Updates page.

Design Your Dream Home Winning Homeowners Announced

June 2010

Raised Floor Living has announced winners in the Design Your Dream Home promotion. Each winner will work with a winning designer from Raised Floor Living's 2010 Design Challenge. In North Carolina, winning homeowner Sarah Morrison will work with award-winning designer Heather Wojick of Creative Design Solutions in Charlotte, North Carolina to design the raised floor home she’s been dreaming about. Morrison and Wojick appeared on WBTV News in Charlotte on June 10, 2010. In Texas, homeowner Yolanda Camacho has won the services of award-winning designers Kathleen Reardon and John Dazey of RD Architecture, LLC. Camacho and Dazey appeared together on the television program Great Day Houston on May 31, 2010. View more Raised Wood Floor videos.

2010 Raised Floor Living Design Challenge Winners Announced

May 2010

2010 Raised Floor Living Design Challenge WinnersRaised wood floor home designs from Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina have won the 2010 Design Challenge presented by Raised Floor Living. Kathleen Reardon and John Dazey of RD Architecture, LLC submitted the winning design in Houston and Heather Wojick provided the winner in Charlotte.

Winners received $5,000 towards the design of working drawings for the winners of Raised Floor Living’s concurrent Design your Dream Home promotion in both Houston and Charlotte markets.

Raised Wood Floor VideosRaised Floor Living on TV

May 2010

APA and the Southern Pine Council are taking Raised Floor Living to the airwaves with a series of in-depth television features appearing in several key markets throughout the Southeast, including newscasts and talk shows in Houston, Charlotte and Jacksonville. Tune in to our new Raised Floor Living Video page to view the videos.

Construction Begins on NEFBA 2010 President's Project

April 2010

Raise the Floor 2010 President's HouseGroundbreaking on the NEFBA (Northeast Florida Builders Association) 2010 President’s Project, the winning home design in the Raise the Floor Design Challenge, took place on April 1, 2010 in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida. The house will serve as a raised wood floor demonstration home for NEFBA members and will feature green building techniques and new building products and systems. Several builder education events, highlighting raised floor construction, advanced framing techniques and other building systems, are being scheduled in coordination with construction.

Groundbreaking of President's ProjectThe President’s Project developed as a result of the Raise the Floor Design Challenge, a three-part competition with a winning builder, a winning designer and a winning homeowner. The Design Challenge is sponsored by Raised Floor Living, APA, NEFBA and the Florida Wood Council.

Additional updates regarding the President’s Project and the Raise the Floor Design Challenge will be posted on the Raise the Floor 2010 President’s Project page.

Closed Crawlspace Featured in Residential Green Design Seminar

March 2010

Home designed by LaVerne Williams of Environment AssociatesLaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED® AP, a pioneer in green building concepts, joined APA experts to showcase residential green design in a seminar and open house tour in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Approximately 35 local building and design professionals attended the seminar and toured a home designed by Williams. The raised wood floor home features a closed crawlspace – the first in a Houston floodplain area – and many other innovative building systems and techniques -- such as breeze redirection, natural lighting and use of solar energy -- designed to improve energy efficiency. During the seminar, Williams spoke about green and sustainable living, while APA’s Bob Clark discussed energy efficient walls.

The house is featured in the APA publication, Raised Wood Floors: Case Studies in Progressive Home Construction.

Raised Wood Floor Case Studies Featured in New APA Brochure

February 2010

Raised Wood  Floor Case Studies brochureA variety of residential raised wood floor construction methods are showcased in the new publication, Raised Wood Floors: Case Studies in Progressive Home Construction, Form K110. The brochure is published by APA, in cooperation with the Southern Pine Council, as part of a Raised Floor Living campaign to promote the advantages of raised floor construction using sustainable wood products in the Southeastern U.S.

Eight case studies are featured in the brochure, a "diverse compilation that shows how builders and designers are experiencing success with raised wood floors,” said Bob Clark, APA Raised Floor Project Manager. Key builder benefits of designing and building raised wood floor systems are also detailed. Download a free PDF of the brochure or view the case studies online. For more information, read the related news release

Raised the Floor Challenge Winning Designer Announced

November 2009

Bob Esposito of true design studios in Florida was announced as the winning designer in the Raise the Floor 2009 Design Challenge presented by Raised Floor Living. Learn more.

Raised Wood Floor Construction Featured in Tour of Houston Homes

October 2009

Sixty Houston builders toured progressively-built homes in a progressive dinner event presented by APA and the Southern Pine Council on October 20, 2009. Learn more.

Home Builders and Designers Compete to Raise the Floor

July 2009

Raise The Floor Design Challenge Kick-off EventOver 200 home builders and architects gathered in Jacksonville to kick-off the Raise the Floor 2009 Design Challenge -- a competition for the opportunity to design and build an award-winning raised wood floor home -- presented by APA and the Southern Pine Council. The July 23, 2009 event featured a full-size raised wood demonstration floor and exhibits by 14 manufacturers and local building material vendors. Read more.

Alabama News Segment Features Raised Floor Systems

March 2009

During March, WKRG News ran the third segment in the Mobile Habitat series, Cost Effectiveness and Wind Resistance. In this segment, APA's Bob Clark discussed why wood and the raised floor system saves the home owner money while providing protection from high winds. View the 2-minute segment.

APA Energy Efficiency Seminar Draws Crowd

February 2009

Green building and wood construction were the topics of a recent APA seminar, Energy-Saving Techniques in Wood-Framed Housing, on February 4, 2009, in Houston, Texas. The free seminar was attended by more than 50 builders, designers and engineers. The seminar also addressed raised floor construction and other disaster-resistant building techniques that meet the building demands of the Gulf Coast. Read more.

Mel's House on TV

December 2008

Construction of Mel’s House, an APA and SFPA E3 demonstration home in Houston, Texas, is being chronicled in a series of televesion stories on KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston. In a segment that aired on December 19, 2008, APA’s Bob Clark discussed methods of improving energy efficiency in new home construction. A segment that aried last month featured APA’s Bryan Readling discussing wind resistant construction. Other segments have addressed other issues related to green building and disaster-resistant construction with wood, including raised wood floor systems, home durability, resisting floods and green finish materials. Learrn more.

Moisture Control & Closed Crawlspaces Take Center Stage

December 2008

APA held its third open house at the E3 demonstration home in Houston on December 10, 2008. Held in conjunction with a seminar on moisture control and closed crawl spaces, the half-day event attracted an audience of more than 40 architects, builders, engineers, energy raters, building scientists and city code officials. “We had great diversity in the turnout to showcase what we’re doing in that home,” said Michael Strong, builder of the demonstration home and principle with Greenhaus builders. Read more.

City Of Houston Approves First Residential Closed Crawl Space

November 2008

GreenHaus Builders became the first Houston builder to gain approval for a sealed, conditioned crawl space in a residential structure in the nation’s fourth largest city. Closed crawl space systems, with no vents to the outside, can provide greatly improved moisture control and significant energy savings. Read more.

Mel's Open House Turns Into Classroom

October 2008

Mel’s second open house took place in Houston on October 28, 2008. Held in conjunction with a two-hour APA training seminar nearby, the format proved to be effective as more than 30 designers, builders and code officials gathered for a lunchtime tour of the two-story structure. Read more.

APA Wind and Flood Seminar/B.C. Daniels Open House Draws Crowd

October 2008

BC Daniels Open HouseAPA’s seminar in Mobile, Alabama drew 70 builders, designers, engineers, code officials and product suppliers. High winds are an obvious issue in Mobile, Alabama, situated near the head of Mobile Bay, 15 miles from the Gulf Coast. APA presented information on wind resistant design including details of combined shear & uplift and construction strategies contained within the Wood Frame Construction Manual, an AF&PA publication. The attendees indicated that the information was right on target as many in the audience were not familiar with these wood frame building techniques. In addition, the seminar covered aspects of raised wood floor construction another vital topic in this flood prone region. Read more.

Open House Featuring Raised Wood Floors Nets Local Interest

September 2008

Raised wood floors were top of mind for a group of local builders and designers gathered for a recent open house staged by APA and Champion Builders in Port Allen, LA. Read more.

Construction Underway on GreenHaus Builders’ Next Green Home

June 2008

The ground has broken on Houston’s next certified green residence, a 3,000 square foot, traditional style, two-story home that will meet national and local green certification standards for design and construction. The home will also serve as a demonstration for professionals interested in engineered wood products and applications and how green building translates from the drawing board into a certified home. Michael Strong, a principal with GreenHaus Builders has tentatively scheduled the first open house for July 14 to showcase the raised wood floor system. Partnering with Strong are APA, The Southern Pine Council (SPC) and a number of engineered wood manufacturers. Read more.

APA Raises Floors and Hopes for Habitat Homeowners

May 2008

habitat for humanity houseDespite torrential rain, thunder and lightning during the final two days, the week-long Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project ended on a high note – raised wood floor systems for 30 new Habitat for Humanity homeowners. APA, the Southern Pine Council (SPC) and their many manufacturing and industry partners are delivering construction strategies, product support and educational outreach to help rebuild flood- and wind-ravaged Gulf Coast communities. Read more.


Raised Wood Floor Case Studies

Raised Wood Floor Construction Case Study

Raised Wood Floors: Case Studies in Progressive Home Construction
More and more builders are benefiting from the competitive advantages of a raised wood floor system. Download this free PDF to learn how.

Case Study: Murray House
This 2-page brochure features the construction of owner/builder Scott Murray's raised wood floor home in St. Augustine, Florida. Download this free PDF to learn how.