Advanced Stick Framing

Wall FramingAdvanced stick framing, also known as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) is a green building technique that optimizes lumber use to improve material efficiency and the energy performance of the building.

Some of the most common elements of Advanced Frame walls are the use of 2×6 studs 24″ on center instead of 2×4 studs 16″ on center, insulated corners in exterior walls, insulated headers and insulation in exterior walls behind partition intersections.

Advanced Frame ceilings are constructed to allow fulldepth attic insulation to be installed all the way to the outside wall. This framing technique eliminates the three- to four-foot strip at the building perimeter where conventional roof trusses compress attic insulation to zero. According to the Oregon Building Codes Division, this under-insulated strip commonly accounts for 25 percent of ceiling area.

One of the many advantages of Advanced Stick Framing is avoiding thermal bridging.  A thermal bridge is created when materials that are poor insulators (like the typical stud used in the wall of a home) connect the heated interior of a home with the unheated exterior, allowing heat to flow through the path created.  The offset timbers in the walls of an Advanced Frame home provide a break so you do not lose energy through the wall studs.

A second advantage is that the increased space in the wall cavity allows for more insulation, which further increases the energy efficiency of the home.  Advanced framing eliminates non-structural wood from the building envelope and replaces it with insulation.  “In this wall cavity we will use 1 ½” of spray foam insulation, put a web over the whole wall and fill with loose fill insulation that contains an acrylic binder to avoid settling.  The spray foam is very efficient at filling up the seams of the home and a joint tape on the outside further ensures minimal energy loss through gaps.  With this full insulation treatment, these walls will be in the range of R40 to R50, which is comparable to ICFs.  When all is said and done, these walls will only cost about 2% more than a track stick frame home.”  Shan explained during a Winsome Homes Building Better Buildings event, Brains and Bones of a Better Building, held in May, 2011.