Optimum Value Engineering Framing

Optimum Value Engineering Framing Can Provide Significant Savings

Optimum Value Engineering
Optimum Value Engineering. By Peg Syverson

Optimum Value Engineering

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

  • Reduces construction waste

  • 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 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. In addition, 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.