Brush Creek Farm – Advanced Framing

Beth recently made a trip to Middle Tennessee to check on the construction progress of the Brush Creek Farm Residence. The foundation is complete and the wall framing has begun. For Brush Creek Farm, we utilized a framing method known as advanced framing. The goal of advanced framing is to minimize the amount of framing material used and to improve the thermal performance of the wall. Compared to conventional framing, advanced framing uses deeper wood studs, spaces studs farther apart, minimizes the amount of framing at corners and openings, and aligns roof joists directly with wall studs in order to eliminate redundant structure. These may sound like minor details, but they make a big impact on material use and thermal performance—and, ultimately, energy use:

  • Resource Conservation: Compared to conventional framing, advanced framing can reduce the amount of framing materials used. Less material means fewer trees harvested for lumber and a reduction in both material cost and labor cost.
  • Thermal Performance & Energy Use: The larger stud sizes and greater stud spacing create fewer thermal bridges and allow more room for wall insulation, which can increase the wall R-value by as much as 75% over conventional framing¹. With a higher wall R-value, less energy is required to heat and cool the home.

Advanced framing is a great example of a sustainable construction practice that results in measurable economic and environmental benefits by simply changing the way we use standard building materials; no new technology or material is required.


Minimal framing at window openings saves material, reduces thermal bridging, and leaves more room for insulation.


Ladder framing allows interior walls to tie into exterior walls without creating a thermal bridge.