We incorporate a variety of advanced framing techniques into our high performance building to support energy efficiency and Passive House principles:
We bridge a building’s corners with ladder blocking instead of three-stud corners used in conventional framing. This technique not only uses less wood but also allows insulation into the corners.
Studs are spaced 24 inches on center with single top plates. The roof trusses are stacked to provide vertical alignment, which creates a direct load path. This maximizes the wall cavity space where dense-packed cellulose insulation can be blown in, reducing thermal bridging and creating a tighter building envelope.
In line with Passive House principles, an airtight building envelope begins at the foundation and continues throughout the entire construction process and entire building. An under-slab vapor barrier, typically sandwiched between layers of insulation, ensures protection of the foundation. The vapor barrier extends up the walls of the building, sealed on top of the wall vapor barrier to continue the building envelope and prevent thermal breaks. Rebar installed in a checkerboard pattern reinforces the concrete foundation, preventing cracking and providing structure.
Open Building Methods
We often employ “open building” methods. This concept considers a building never completed; in a sense, it always remains under construction. In fact, it means future modifications to building systems remain easily accessible. We think of ways to provide access to electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems easy and adaptable. One of the simplest methods is by incorporating open web floor joists. As long as there are access ports to the floor joists, adding or servicing systems in the future become easy. Another principle of open building involves spanning the entire width of a building with load-bearing structure in order to reduce interior bearing walls. This enables easy interior reconfiguration of rooms in the future without the costly insertion of additional structure.