Energy Efficiency

IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies Updated for 2018 IECC

IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies

IECC Compliance Options for Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies, Form P320, has been updated by APA and the International Code Council (ICC) to include several examples of wood-frame wall assemblies that comply with the R20 and R13-5 prescriptive requirements of the 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The publication provides tips and recommendations that help builders construct energy-code-compliant wood walls using continuous wood structural panel wall sheathing.

Available as a free download, this guide describes how energy performance is measured in exterior wood wall assemblies and how to improve wall thermal performance to meet energy code requirements. Also provided are recommendations for reducing material costs by increasing the use of lower-cost cavity insulation, optimizing material usage with easy-to-apply advanced framing techniques, and boosting thermal performance with insulated headers and siding.


        DOWNLOAD NOW       

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 StarENERGY 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

Energy Efficiency Publications


Advanced Framing Construction Guide

Advanced Framing

The Advanced Framing Construction Guide details several techniques for energy-efficient and cost-effective framing practices, including 2 x 6 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. To learn more, download Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400.



Raised-Heel Trusses Construction Guide

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.




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.

CFECCoalition 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