LOCKPORT, IL - The Inside View House, now under construction with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the APA Engineered Wood Association by Beechen & Dill Homes, shows how OSB can be part of design plans to replace some joists and studs, among other wall and floor framing methods that save energy, speed installation, and reduce waste.

The new home, a Keystone model by Beecher & Dill, is under construction in suburban Chicago and has become a learning tool for builders, architects, and code officials to experience and observe new more efficient framing practices. The Inside View Project, a demonstration house by Beechen & Dill Homes, provides a hands-on look at straightforward energy-efficient construction techniques that can be replicated in nearly any house around the country.

Co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory and APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the Inside View home features advanced framing practices such as 24-inch on-center spacing and corners and headers that provide more space for cavity insulation.

The robust floor system also features 24-inch on-center spacing, allowing for ductwork runs while eliminating about one-third of the required joists and subsequently requiring one-third less labor and adhesive. Higher-series, deeper 14-inch I-joists allowed the builder to avoid double joists and, in combination with an upgraded 7/8-inch OSB subfloor, resulted in a stiff floor system despite the wider spacing.

“We’re always striving to be on the cutting edge. We were the first in the area to build energy-efficient homes and to guarantee energy bills; now it’s industry standard,” said Ed Kubiak, director of construction for Beechen & Dill. “With prices going up and labor harder to find, techniques such as these that reduce energy use while making more efficient use of materials and allowing for more efficient construction are the direction the industry needs to be going.”

Beechen & Dill opened up the Inside View house to building pros during a series of open houses July 28 and 30. Visitors had the opportunity to tour the house under construction, with walls and floors left exposed for easy access to viewing and learning about these framing techniques.

“It’s good to be in a house that’s not dry-walled, yet, to be able to see and learn more about the techniques that they’ve been talking about,” said Karen James, community development director for the Village of Shorewood, who attended with several code officials from the nearby town.

“It was a great idea to do this, especially to this extent,” said architect Bruce Obora of Chicago-based Obora & Associates, noting that his firm has designed one home using some advanced framing techniques but is continuing to research the methods in anticipation of additional projects in the future.

The Inside View home, located at 15328 S. Oak Run Ct. in Lockport, is one of 16 houses in the final phase of Beechen & Dill’s Creekside Estates development. The two-story, 2,880-square-foot house includes four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, along with a two-story family room, full basement, and three-car garage. As part of a partnership with the Environments for Living program, all of Beechen & Dill’s homes carry an energy bill guarantee, assuring potential buyers of long-term operational costs.

“Energy-efficient 2x6 framing can reap significant monetary savings for homeowners throughout the life of their home, while also helping the builder save on installation time and save costs in meeting the energy code. It’s a win-win,” said Tom Kositzky, director of field services for APA. “What’s more, these techniques are not difficult to implement or understand; once designers, builders, and code officials get familiar with the practices, they can easily become a regular part of their routine.”


Beechen & Dill Homes, Inc.
Founded in 1972, Beechen & Dill Homes is recognized as one of Chicagoland’s most buyer-friendly and distinctive home builders. The residential construction firm has constructed its award-winning reputation over 40 years and dozens of planned communities and custom home projects in Chicago’s south and southwest suburbs. Beechen & Dill Homes eliminates the hassle from homebuilding with superior craftsmanship, efficiency, and a can-do attitude that ensures homes arrive on time, on budget, and in line with the homebuyers’ unique vision. www.beechendill.com

USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) was established in 1910 in Madison, Wisconsin, with the mission to conserve and extend the country’s wood resources. Today, FPL’s research scientists work with academic and industrial researchers and other government agencies in exploring ways to promote healthy forests and clean water and improve papermaking and recycling processes. Through FPL’s Advanced Housing Research Center, researchers also work to improve homebuilding technologies and materials. www.fpl.fs.fed.us     

APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 162 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board, and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development. www.apawood.org

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