Thursday, February 25, 2010

Optimium-Value Engineering (OVE)

This may be a good time to mention the subject of Optimum-Value Engineering (OVE) as it offers a method of framing that meets the structural needs of the building while reducing the amount of lumber used. Joseph Lstiburek's article The Future of Framing Is Here in the October / November 2005 issue of Fine Homebuilding magazine provides a good overview of this technique. Additional interesting OVE links are provided on the side panel under INTERESTING RESOURCES.

OVE is a good option to employ as the super insulated exterior walls are created by using two spaced stud walls. The framing techniques use common building practices with some modifications that would need some retraining of traditional framing crews. Not all the practices need to be Incorporated into the framing, i.e. a hybrid system can also be used. Courses need to be developed and offered at our provincial community colleges to train existing and future carpenters. Before materials are ordered and framing commences, the contractor and crews need to develop a plan of action so that everyone on the job site knows what is expected. Local building officials also need to contacted and buy into the OVE techniques to be used prior to framing so no surprises occur once work begins. As with all framing, unique conditions may require some specialized engineering. The designs I am offering attempt to make the framing as simple and straight forward as possible, however, beams, joists and lintels need to be verified by sound engineering.

Maison Cocagne House employs various OVE framing techniques in : two stud corners (see CONSTRUCTION DETAIL link Q. Corner Framing), properly sized window and door headers, stacked framing, single top plates, floating corners, etc. Windows are sized to fit within the 16" o.c. stud spacing. Allowances need to be provided for the 1/2 inch plywood boxes that surround the window opening plus rough opening clearance. The 16" o.c. spacing of the Maison Cocagne House super insulated stud walls accommodates 29-inch wide windows (30 1/2 inches between every second stud minus 1/2" each side for plywood box minus 1/4" play each side equals 29 inches). Spacing the super insulated stud walls at 24" o.c. would accommodate 21-inch wide windows (22 1/2 inches between studs minus 1/2" each side for plywood box minus 1/4" play each side equals 21 inches).

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