Advanced framing, also called optimum value engineering (OVE), is a framing system that aims to pare the amount of lumber used to frame buildings to the bare minimum. Advanced framing was developed in the 1960s by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a way for builders to reduce costs.
In recent years, the decades-old framing system has been adopted by many green builders. These new advanced framing devotees are focused less on the cost-cutting aspects of the framing system than on its other virtues, including energy and materials savings.
If you want to adopt every principle of advanced framing, here’s what you need to do:
Even though optimum value engineering has been around for decades, that doesn’t mean your local code official won’t raise his eyebrows. As one advanced framing guide puts it, these details “are likely to inspire questions from the building official.” So it’s best to discuss your plans with your local officials before you begin framing.
The International Residential Code (IRC) now recognizes some, but not all, advanced framing details. For example, Figure R602.3(3) of the 2006 IRC allows the use of drywall clips at two-stud corners. Section R602.3.2 of the 2006 IRC allows single top plates, as long as joints are spanned by “a minimum 3-inch-by-6-inch by 0.036-inch thick galvanized steel plate that is nailed to each wall or segment of wall by six 8d nails on each side.”
If you are building in a seismic zone or a high-wind zone, however, many advanced framing details won’t fly with your local official.
Although advanced framing is often presented as a package of measures, some builders prefer to adopt some, but not all, advanced framing details.
For example, some builders who quickly adopt two-stud corners still retain double top plates, preferring…