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Cityscape: Volume 11 Number 3 | Chapter 14



Volume 11 Number 3

Framing for Strength and Efficiency

Dana Bres

Industrial Revolution

Every home makes compromises among different and often competing goals: comfort, convenience, durability, energy consumption, maintenance, construction costs, appearance, strength, community acceptance, and resale value. Often consumers and developers making the tradeoffs among these goals do so with incomplete information, increasing the risks and slowing the adoption of innovative products and processes. This slow diffusion negatively affects productivity, quality, performance, and value. This department of Cityscape presents, in graphic form, a few promising technological improvements to the U.S. housing stock. If you have an idea for a future department feature, please send your diagram or photograph, along with a few, well-chosen words, to

As with the articles in this issue, this introduction reflects the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Typical construction for a single-family home uses lumber to create a light-wood frame, commonly called "stick framing." This construction method can be refined to consume less material, cost less, and provide greater energy efficiency through the application of concepts collectively called Optimum Value Engineering (OVE). OVE techniques identify inefficiencies in the design and framing of a home, yielding a project that provides the necessary strength and performance more affordably.

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