The home building industry has had a rough few years. The home builders that have survived were the ones who adapted to the changes in the market and became leaner. When a market shrinks, like the new home building market did only the strong survive, and the strong companies are the ones who are able to do less with more. A large part of new home construction is the framing of the house. Framing is more or less, the guts of a house. A good way to think of this is everything that is made of wood that you do not see in the finished product is framing. This includes the walls, roof and ceilings, structural engineering, and everything in between. Needless to say, it is one of the most expensive and time consuming parts of building a new home. There have been many new framing techniques and strategies that have evolved in order to improve a home’s energy efficiency. Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) describes these methods. |
For the consumer, by using the optimum amount of lumber, there is more space for insulation in the exterior walls. This helps to eliminate cold or hot spots, which are susceptible to condensation that leads to mold. Also, this helps to lower heating and cooling bills. For the producer, according to the Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH), OVE saves $500 for 1,200 square foot homes, and $1000 for 2,400 square foot homes in materials alone. Labor savings are estimated at three to five percent.
It is very important that the time and effort is taken to make sure that these new practices are performed correctly. As in any work place when processes and procedures change there is room for error, therefore it is important that OVE is implemented properly. Many builders have utilized an implementation approach. This allows the carpenters to learn a small number of tasks initially and to perfect them before moving on to the next set. This helps to allow workers to learn new practices without becoming overwhelmed, while also allowing the home builder and inspectors to evaluate the new processes and address any issues quickly so that this cost saving measure does not end up costing anyone in the long run.
Reference: United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2010). Reducing Waste (Green Building). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ReduceWaste.htm
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