Optimum Value Engineering Framing
Optimum Value Engineering Framing Can Provide Significant Savings
Optimum Value Engineering can result in a reduced quantity of material used and lower labor costs. Using either the complete Optimum Value Engineering system or applying it by components, the building will be improving its energy efficiency and its overall performance. Builders and Contractors starting to use this technique might require special training that can result in a decrease in framing speed until they become familiar with the system.
The main idea behind Optimum Value Engineering is to maximize material usage while still meeting stringent code regulations and structural requirements.
Optimum Value Engineering Benefits
Maximizes material usage
Improves energy efficiency by displacing unnecessary lumber with insulation
Saves cutting and waste on sheet materials
In a 28' x 40' two-story house, the savings are equivalent to eliminating about 35 studs
Wider stud spacing reduces heat loss by reducing the amount of through-the-wall-wood
Insulation levels up to R-21 can be achieved
The joists framing into the structural member are shortened.
The insulation in the exterior wall will be continuous past the partition framing
Ideal for buildings that will be repeated in on the same site
Saves material and labor costs and conserves resources by reducing the use of large-dimension framing
On non-bearing partitions, in a typical home, the equivalent of 2 to 3 dozen studs are likely to be saved
Optimum Value Engineering Drawbacks
Some building codes do not allow this framing method, especially in high wind areas
Additional planning is required
Extra labor and thought is involved in shortening the joists
Bearing and non-bearing walls might require additional bracing until the floor or roof above has been built
Special training will be needed at early stages or if crew unfamiliar with the methodology
Crews might be slowed down due to differences in frame spacing
Not recommended with odd dimensions and multiple small offsets
Thicker decking, cladding and finish materials might be needed
Where the Optimized Value Engineering system is used, blocking must be carefully placed to reduce interference with light switches and outlets. Also, drywall clips must also be installed in some instances where open corner framing technique is being used.
Optimum Value Engineering Innovations
Below is a list of innovations that form part of the Optimum Value Engineering System:
Wall and floor framing spacing - Can be increased to 19.2 inches or 24 inches on floor. Can be combined with modular layout and single top plate. (Some insulation manufacturers do not make insulation for 19.2" spaced framing, so using this spacing in an insulated wall may require changing the type or brand of insulation.) Important note: floor material, cladding and interior products must be sized to adequate span measurements without any additional deflection.
Modular Layout - Using 24” modules and 24” spaced framing members will maximize material usage. Take notice that the overall dimensions of the framing are the most important when using OVE. Special attention must be given to window size and placement.
Single Top Plate, Exterior, and Bearing Walls - Using a single top plate is possible if used with the modular layout systems and with the 24-inch spacing. If the wall is stacked, second floor and roof framing, then the plate will not be taking any vertical load. However, continuity must be provided by using steel plates or straps if there is no overlapping plate. Note: this particular action might not be approved by building officials in areas susceptible to high winds or areas with high risk of seismic activity.
Single Top Plate, Interior Non-Bearing Partitions - Any non-bearing partition can be built with a single top plate. However, if used with a normal double plate, you might be required to use the lengths of two studs.
Right-Sized Headers - Normally all headers in a building frame are designed to work against the maximum load and span that they can take. Using Optimum Value Engineering, each header must be tailored for its particular load and span conditions, reducing the needs for larger headers or additional material.