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  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research

    ALTERNATIVE FRAMING MATERIALS IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION: THREE CASE STUDIES

  • ALTERNATIVE FRAMING MATERIALS

    IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION: THREE CASE STUDIES

    Prepared for

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research

    Prepared by

    NAHB Research Center Upper Marlboro, MD

    Instrument No. DU100K000005911 July 1994

  • Notice

    The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report.

    The contents of this report are the views of the contractor and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.

  • Acknowledgments

    This report was prepared by the NAHB Research Center under funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The principal author was Timothy J. Waite, P.E. with review by E. Lee Fisher. Technical support was provided by Mike Bruen, Bob Dewey, Eric Lund, and J. Albert van Overeem. Special appreciation is extended to William Freeborne of HUD for guidance throughout the project.

    Appreciation is also extended to the builders and manufacturers who participated in the construction of demonstration homes: Mickgreen Development, Desert Hot Springs, California; Bantex Building Products, Santa Ana, California; Sunset Ridge Limited, Imperial, California; Western Metal Lath, Riverside, California; Insteel Construction Systems, Inc., Brunswick, Georgia; Del Webb California Corporation, Inc., Bermuda Dunes, California; and Bowen & Bowen Construction Company, Norcross, Georgia.

  • Contents

    LIST OF TABLES, FIGURES, AND PHOTOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

    INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    BACKGROUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    USE OF LUMBER IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    THE COSTS OF BUILDING WITH LUMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    CASE STUDY RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    FOAM-CORE PANELS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    Product Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    Demonstration Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

    Tools and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

    Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

    Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    Productivity Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    Cost Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

    LIGHT-GAUGE STEEL FRAMING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

    Product Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

    Demonstration Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    Tools and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

    Productivity Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

    Cost Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

    WELDED-WIRE SANDWICH PANELS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

    Product Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

    Demonstration Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

    Tools and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

    Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

    Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

    Productivity Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

    Cost Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

    CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

    FOAM-CORE PANELS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

    Wall Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

    i

  • Roof Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

    LIGHT-GAUGE STEEL FRAMING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

    Wall Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

    Roof Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

    WELDED-WIRE SANDWICH PANELS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

    Wall Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

    Roof Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

    CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

    ENGINEERING COSTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

    RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

    APPENDIX A--TIME AND MOTION STUDY DATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-1

    APPENDIX B--COST DATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B-1

    APPENDIX C--SUPPORTING CALCULATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C-1

    APPENDIX D--CONVENTIONALLY CONSTRUCTED BASELINE HOUSES . . . . . . . . D-1

    APPENDIX E--CONTACTS FOR INFORMATION AND MANUFACTURERS . . . . . . . E-1

    ii

  • List of Tables, Figures, and Photos

    Tables

    Table 1. 1990 Construction Framing Materials in New Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    Table 2. Cost of Lumber in a 2,000 Square Foot Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    Table 3. Foam-Core Panel Strength Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

    Table 4. Wall Framing Productivity: Foam-Core Panels versus Conventional

    Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    Table 5. Roof Framing Productivity: Foam-Core Panels versus Conventional Wood . . . 20

    Table 6. Wall Framing Unit Costs: Foam-Core Panels versus Conventional

    Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

    Table 7. Roof Framing Unit Costs: Foam-Core Panels versus Conventional Wood . . . . 22

    Table 8. Properties for Selected Gauges of Sheet Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    Table 9. Wall Framing Productivity: Light-Gauge Steel versus Conventional Wood . . . 34

    Table 10. Roof Framing Productivity: Light-Gauge Steel versus Conventional Wood . . . 35

    Table 11. Wall Framing Unit Costs: Light-Gauge Steel versus Conventional Wood . . . . 36

    Table 12. Roof Framing Unit Costs: Light-Gauge Steel versus Conventional Wood . . . . 36

    Table 13. Wall Framing Productivity: Welded-Wire Sandwich Panels versus

    Conventional Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

    Table 14. Roof Framing Productivity: Welded-Wire Sandwich Panels versus Conventional

    Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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