ENERGY STAR® Home Certification: Advanced framing techniques for comfortable, efficient homes
In the ENERGY STAR® Home Certification video, Engineered Wood Specialist Matt Brown describes the process for ENERGY STAR home certification, and how home builders can strike an optimal balance between energy efficiency, structural performance, and affordability through using advanced framing methods. Running time about 4 minutes.
Energy Efficiency and Advanced Framing
Adopting advanced framing is a cost-effective way to meet or exceed energy code requirements. Simultaneously maximizing space for cavity insulation while minimizing the potential for insulation voids, advanced framing delivers significant energy performance — and cost savings for the builder.
With advanced framing, 2x6 studs spaced 24 inches on center yield deeper, wider insulation cavities than the conventional 2x4 framing spaced 16 inches on center. This technique makes more space for insulation inside the wall, improving the whole wall R-value (resistance to heat flow).
In addition to maximizing space for cavity insulation, advanced framing simplifies the installation of insulation and air sealing. Conventional framing can leave voids and small cavities in the framing at wall intersections and corners that can be difficult to insulate and seal effectively. By installing fewer framing members, it is easier for the builder to apply complete insulation coverage and achieve a tighter building envelope.
As energy codes have become increasingly stringent, advanced framing has grown more popular in climate zones where high prescriptive wall R-values are mandated or desired. While framing with 2x6 studs spaced 16 inches on center is already common in many northern states with more restrictive energy demands, increasing stud spacing to 24 inches on center, insulating effectively, and fully sheathing with wood structural panels, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), allows builders to cost-effectively balance energy and structural code requirements.
ENERGY STAR® and Advanced Framing
The ENERGY STAR® program was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote the use of energy-efficient products and practices. Advanced framing can help builders meet the requirements necessary to earn the ENERGY STAR label for new homes. For more information on the ENERGY STAR program, visit www.energystar.gov.
Consult the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, M400, for more details on specific techniques.
Energy Efficiency Publications
Raised-Heel Trusses for Efficient, Cost-Effective, Comfortable Homes
Framing with raised-heel trusses (also known as energy-heel trusses) delivers cost-effective energy performance, especially when used with OSB or plywood sheathing. Raised-heel truss wall construction improves strucutral and energy performance and offers many savings that benefit builder and homeowner alike. To learn more, download Raised-Heel Trusses for Efficient, Cost-Effective, Comfortable Homes - Form R330.
IECC-Compliant Wood Walls
This illustrated guide, co-published by the International Code Council (ICC) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association, provides tips and recommendations tohelp builders construct energy code-compliant wood walls using continuous wood structural panel wall sheathing, describes how energy performance is measured in exterior wood wall assemblies, and outlines how to improve wall thermal performance to meet energy code requirements. To learn more, download IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies - Form P320.
Use of Wood Structural Panels for Energy-Heel Trusses
APA System Report SR-103: Use of Wood Structural Panels for Energy-Heel Trusses outlines an efficient, cost-effective construction solution for building with raised-heel, also known as energy-heel, trusses. To learn more about the system, download APA System Report SR-103: Use of Wood Structural Panels for Energy-Heel Trusses.
Build Energy-Efficient Walls
Building energy-efficient homes is easy and cost-effective with wood-framed walls fully sheathed with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) wood structural panels. Wood framed wall systems meet or exceed wall bracing and energy codes in every region. To learn more about energy-efficient wall systems, download Build Energy Efficient Walls - Form J440.
Coalition for Fair Energy Codes
The Coalition for Fair Energy Codes (CFEC) was established to advance the fair and impartial treatment of all building products in energy codes and standards. CFEC supports technically credible and cost-effective energy conservation; the use of the best available building science and technical data in support of the code development process; and construction industry options, alternatives and trade-offs for meeting energy codes.
Visit CFEC at http://www.fairenergycodes.org/.