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Green Home Under Construction – Advanced Framing Techniques

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJzubBfK9FU&hl=en&fs=1&]Today I’m posting about the advanced framing techniques being used by Sovick Design/Builders to construct a new green home available for purchase at 404 Park Street in Old Town Fort Collins.  These green building methods will minimize the use of dimensional lumber during construction, maximize insulation in exterior walls and reduce thermal bridging as compared to conventional framing techniques.  The benefits for the future owner are improved energy efficiency and comfort year round, and knowledge that their home was built in a manner more mindful of the natural environment.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the rest of the series documenting the construction of this green home and learn from the very experienced builder doing the work.  Now, let’s take a virtual tour with that builder, Dennis Sovick, via the YouTube video above to learn about a number of advanced framing techniques.   Or check out the stills and descriptions below.  Or both!

2 x 6 Studs
This image shows 2×6 studs spaced every 24 inches. The standard is 2×4 studs spaced every 16 inches.  The larger studs allow for a greater depth of insulation (R-20 or more compared to R-13) and wider spacing means fewer studs and less thermal bridging to the exterior.

Insulated Header
Many engineers and/or framers spec/use two 2×12’s for headers to be sure they are “covered” no matter what the load.  Sovick Design/Builders size their headers for the specific sized openings as shown in the above picture and incorporate rigid insulation into the header to break the thermal bridge created by the header.

Insulation Corner
This photo shows a special exterior wall construction detail that allows the corner itself to be insulated.

No Cripples
Standard practice is to add single studs under each end of the window sill.  These are known as “cripples”. They serve no purpose. In the image above, they are eliminated and only the studs on planned spacing are included. By eliminating the cripples, insulation space is increased and thermal bridging is reduced.

Interior and Exterior Wall Connections
With advanced framing, interior walls are attached to exterior walls with a ladder frame constructed from scrap lumber. Framers typically use three full studs for this purpose. Another benefit is that insulation can be positioned between the ladder framing and exterior surface of the wall, breaking a very large thermal bridge.

Engineered I-Joist
All floor joists are engineered I-joists made from waste wood materials. In addition to being a greener material, these joists are stronger and straighter than dimensional lumber.

By now, you should be getting a sense that this unique green home will have very solid “bones” and an energy-efficient “shell”.  If you are interested in owning a home such as this in the future  get in touch with The Green Team Real Estate. We are the Northern Colorado go-to company for more sustainable homes and we are best prepared to get you connected with  a builder, or help you find an existing home that will meet your needs.

  1. Gregory Ricca
    January 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm | #1

    Great Work. Thank you for taking the time to make the videos you have posted. I just saw the one on Advanced Framing Techniques. It was very informative and helpful. I learned a lot. I plan to watch all your other videos. You have provided us with a great service. Everybody building a home should watch them.

  2. April 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm | #2

    Nice reminders, thank you

    Aspen Mountain Home

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