The old-standard, framing houses with 2×4 at 16” on-center, considered today as wasteful and inefficient, has been replaced with 2×6 at 24” on-center. It also includes 2-stud corners, single top plate, no jack studs, no cripples, and single or no-headers. Many “renegades”, including myself, are not 100% in, due to large home design that require us to still do double top plates, and right-size headers. Basically, overall, it’s easier, faster and cheaper.
Advanced Framing, aka Optimal Value Engineering (OVE), offers material conservation and cost reduction. It uses 5-15% less board-feet lumber, which can be 20%+ number of pieces. On energy efficiency, it allows to install up to 50-60% more insulation, with deeper cavities and less lumber. With less lumber, it’s easier to install and fit plumbing lines, drains and vents, as well as electrical wiring and conduits. Structurally, must wall studs, floor joists and roof framing load paths line up, and best of all, we waste less material, which reduces material to the City dump.
As you can see in a great article and detail by the GreenBuildingAdvison.com, everything lines up, the 2-stud corners allows to install insulation on the corners. We install insulated and right-size headers. There are some adjustments we need to do to install sheathing, drywall, rain-screen, rigid foam, and trim support. Windows and doors need wider frames.
All of our wall assemblies go through a Permeability and Dew-point Analysis, depending on the climate zone we are designing a home, to determine which products work best to protect the house from condensation, which could lead to mold, and finally rot. It can also lead to a myriad of health issues, like ASTHMA.
All our wall assemblies use taped and sealed plywood or oriented stranded board (OSB) structural panel sheathing, with taped and sealed rigid foam, on top of the sheathing, a water resistant barrier, rain-screens or space, depending on cladding, and dense-pack cellulose in the interior wall cavity, to deliver a cost-effective and efficient wall system without compromising strength, durability or efficiency.
The American Plywood Association has a good video on Advanced Framing. This video showcases all components and techniques used to meet structural and energy codes requirements. The Energy Star program offers a good PDF with Advance Framing Fact Sheet.