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View inside the OSB house

Inside View House using OSB

Inside View House using OSB

The Inside View House, under construction with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the APA Engineered Wood Association by Beechen & Dill Homes, shows how OSB (Oriented Strand Board) can be part of design plans to replace joists, studs, wall and floor framing methods to save energy, speed installation, and reduce waste. Source: Woodworking Network

The new home, a Keystone model by Beecher & Dill, is under construction in suburban Chicago and has become a learning tool for builders, architects, and code officials to experience and observe new more efficient framing practices.

The Inside View Project, a demonstration house, provides a look at straightforward energy-efficient construction techniques that can be replicated in nearly any house.

It features advanced framing practices such as 24-inch on-center spacing and corners and headers that provide more space for cavity insulation.

The robust floor system has 24-inch on-center spacing, allowing for ductwork runs while eliminating about one-third of the required joists and subsequently requiring one-third less labor and adhesive.

Higher-series, deeper 14-inch I-joists allowed the builder to avoid double joists and, in combination with an upgraded 7/8-inch OSB subfloor, resulted in a stiff floor system despite the wider spacing.

“With prices going up and labor harder to find, techniques such as these that reduce energy use while making more efficient use of materials and allowing for more efficient construction are the direction the industry needs to be going,” said Ed Kubiak, director of construction for Beechen & Dill.

Beechen & Dill opened up the Inside View house to building pros during a series of open houses giving the viewers an opportunity to tour the house under construction, with walls and floors left exposed for easy access to viewing and learning about these framing techniques.

“It’s good to be in a house that’s not dry-walled, yet, to be able to see and learn more about the techniques that they’ve been talking about,” said Karen James, community development director for the Village of Shorewood.

“It was a great idea to do this, especially to this extent,” said architect Bruce Obora of Chicago-based Obora & Associates, noting that his firm has designed one home using some advanced framing techniques but is continuing to research the methods in anticipation of additional projects in the future.

“Energy-efficient 2×6 framing can reap significant monetary savings for homeowners throughout the life of their home, while also helping the builder save on installation time and save costs in meeting the energy code. It’s a win-win,” said Tom Kositzky, director of field services for APA.

“What’s more, these techniques are not difficult to implement or understand; once designers, builders, and code officials get familiar with the practices, they can easily become a regular part of their routine.”

“Education is key to furthering the adoption of energy-efficient building techniques. The Inside View Project gives us an excellent learning lab where Beechen & Dill can share ideas and techniques with other design/build professionals in the Chicago area,” said Mike Ritter, assistant director of the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.