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Plumbing, framing, and energy efficiency

Today I was going through some old stuff (the moving van arrives in 9 days), and I came across an article that I cut out of Fine Homebuilding in 1988(!!). It's called, "Framing with the Plumber in Mind," and it talks about planning in order to avoid plumber butchery in floor joists, etc. It occurred to me that lot has happened since 1988, with things like PEX, advances in insulation, penetration sealing, etc., and yet this still is probably something that must be addressed.

My question: Is there a more up-to-date source of information (online, perhaps) on this topic? How have modern energy standards changed this? Are builders better able to avoid the kind of plumbing/framing butchery that I read about? (Are pigs learning to fly?)

I ask this because I'm going to be contracting to build a new house in 2013, as energy efficient as I can make it, and I want to know as much as I can going in. Any ideas welcome.

Asked by Gordon Taylor
Posted Dec 27, 2012 4:16 AM ET
Edited Dec 27, 2012 3:09 PM ET

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Gordon,
If you want to frame a building with energy efficiency in mind, you'll probably gravitate toward Advanced Framing. For more information on this topic, see:

Energy-Efficient Framing, a.k.a. Advanced Framing

The Pros and Cons of Advanced Framing

Concerning the advice provided in the 1988 article about plumbing rough-ins, I think that the advice still applies. Whether a house is energy efficient or inefficient, it's still important to avoid placing any floor joists directly under the middle of your toilet.

If any GBA readers are interested in reading the article that Gordon is talking about, it is available online: Framing With The Plumber in Mind.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Dec 27, 2012 7:51 AM ET

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