Choose any combination of wall, floor and roof systems to suit your style and fit your budget. Choose a framing style based on your desire for more visible natural wood, or one that allows brighter painted surfaces. Like the exterior of our homes, the interior of your home can be designed to have a more traditional or contemporary style based on your framing style choices. We will work with you to decide which framing system best fits your taste and budget.
What are the advantages of our wall system?
Beamed Exterior Wall System (standard)
Our unique wall system takes advantage of the ease of conventional framing along with the structural and aesthetic benefits of post and beam. Electrical wires and plumbing can be installed in a way that is familiar to contractors, saving you money.
A groove cut into the posts and beams to accept drywall eliminates the problem of gaps as the wood beams expand and contract with seasonal fluctuations in humidity. An airtight layer of Styrofoam insulation, together with housewrap around all wall sections, significantly reduces air infiltration and helps to deaden noise. Through the use of the highest quality materials, the Habitat Post & Beam wall system achieves an R-value of 21.
Full Exposure Exterior Wall System (optional)
This framing system has a more traditional look, as most of the posts and beams are exposed to the interior. You may opt to include knee braces for the exterior wall (the angled piece shown in the picture to the left). Other than having more of the posts and beams exposed, the specifications for this wall system are the same as our standard wall system above.
2x4s 16” on center with 1” Dow® Styrofoam bonded to 5-ply fir 1/2” CDX plywood, included for on-site application. The factory-bonded insulation and plywood is installed on site to wrap the exterior walls and post and beam frame. Factory rough openings are provided for exterior windows and doors. Housewrap air infiltration barrier provided for exterior coverage. With owner/contractor supplied high-density fiberglass insulation, this wall is designed to significantly outperform typical 2x6 wall construction.
The Habitat Wall System vs. Conventional Wall System:
Our wall system is designed to outperform typical conventional 2x6 wall construction. Dow® Styrofoam has an excellent pamphlet* that is available on the Web showing the benefits of using Styrofoam on the exterior of a wall, as we do with our wall system. They summarize with, "Compared to walls consisting of OSB and batt insulation, walls that incorporate Styrofoam brand insulation deliver improved insulation, reduced air infiltration and greater energy savings," and "Styrofoam brand insulation delivers superior insulation and moisture resistance. It's also Energy Star-approved, ensuring efficient performance."
There are many variables to take into account when determining the total performance of any wall system. The three main factors that are typically considered are the R-value, condensation control and air infiltration.
The total R-value of our wall system is higher than that of a conventional 2x6 wall and provides a tighter seal than a 2x6 wall. If you compare just the insulation values, it appears that our wall system is a slightly below a 2x6 wall. The problem with this calculation is that it does not take framing into account. The framing material used to build a conventionally framed wall accounts for an average of between 25% and 30% of the total wall volume, which leaves at least 25% of your walls with an R-Value of only 5.5.
With the Habitat wall system, all of the framing materials are covered by Styrofoam, adding much needed insulation. With a simple calculation accounting for the performance of our entire wall system, it outperforms a 2x6 wall.
Whether you are in a hot, cold or changing climate, moisture control is very important with all wall systems. Condensation can form inside of a wall, potentially leading to mold growth and wood rot. With our wall system, the Styrofoam becomes a moisture barrier that has a higher surface temperature, resulting in a decreased chance of condensation.
Air Infiltration -
Reducing air infiltration is extremely important so that your home is both energy efficient and draft free. The efficiency of a home drops significantly if it is not both well insulated and relatively airtight. This effect is analogous to going outside on a cold and windy day with just a wool sweater. The wind will go through the sweater and will make you cold. If you had just a windbreaker without a sweater, you would be cold. It would take the combination of both a windbreaker and a thick sweater to keep you warm. A house is the same in that you need to keep it reasonably airtight (windbreaker) and well insulated (sweater) to keep it warm inside.
Dow® Chemical Company
Search the Dow Web site for form #179-07978
The Habitat Wall System vs. Stress Skin Wall System:
Most stress skin manufacturers advertise similar R-values to both our wall system and 2x6 conventionally framed walls with high-density fiberglass. Stress skins are available in varying thicknesses and types of foam core, resulting in a wide range of R-values. Higher R-values can be specified, but that may not be the best use of additional expense (you can increase conventional wall R-values as well). You can more effectively increase thermal performance of your home and make it more comfortable by putting the money into areas where more heat is lost, such as additional roof insulation or higher quality windows.