Building Designing for Two-Foot Modules

Thursday, October 26, 2017

If you really want to optimize re- sources, create the least amount of waste and cut your base construction costs, design the building on two-foot increments. Most building materials come in two-foot incremental lengths or widths. Most lumber and millwork come in 8-, 10-, 12- and 16-foot lengths and sheathing, decking and drywall materials in 4 × 8, 4 × 9 or 4 × 10 sheets. Designing for two-foot modules is one aspect of Advanced Framing, which is a more efficient way to frame from both a materials use and energy use perspective (more on this in Chapter 4). So, overall exterior wall dimensions on your plans should be exact two-foot increments, and plate (ceiling) heights should be 8 feet, 9 feet or 10 feet (there is no reason to go over 10 feet) for optimal material efficiency and cost.

The same is true for interior room dimensions, but more with respect to  finished  flooring materials. Sheet goods (carpet and lino-leum) come in sheet widths of 6 feet, 12 feet or 15 feet, and tile and wood products typically come 25 square feet to a box. If you are not designing to those increments, you are going to waste a lot of materials.  e worst case would be to design a room 12 feet and 7 inches wide or 15 feet and 2 inches long. If you are specifying sheet  flooring, your installer will need to cut a 7-inch-wide piece to  finish o  the 12-foot standard roll width. Or for boxed goods, cut 2-inch strips to  finish o  that 15-foot full square on each run. Since some wood  flooring is tongue-and-groove, once the two opposite edges of the piece are used to  t the adjoining pieces, the rest of the square is waste as there are no usable edges remaining, or will require additional labor to router onsite.

Your building designer should hand you the  finished plan sets, and you should easily see that overall building dimensions (not including exterior cladding) are measured in even 2-foot increments.  is means that from corner to corner, sole plates, top plates, stud spacing, etc. all  t within the standard measurements that wood framing is manufactured to, so no waste.  is is the most efficient use of your money, as there is nothing worse than wasting it on material scraps in the dumpster!

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