Now we are through week 2 of the framing, and the steel cross brace at the end of the living room is fully framed in, the downstairs minus the strawbale library is more or less rough framed, and the first walls on the second story are starting to go in. It really does start looking like a house quickly once framing starts!
You can see a couple of details at right with the curved wall on the way in to the library now framed, and a look up into the rafters to show the “engineered wood” including both the Oriented Strand Board (OSB) beams, and the engineered “I-Joists”. Both use considerably less virgin wood than dimensional lumber as they can be made with the “scrap” from traditional lumber manufacture, and are more consistent in their load bearing. They will emit marginally more formaldehyde in the first few years, but we intend to live with our windows and doors wide open (and have active ventilation when we don’t), so the tradeoff seems good.
The guys from O-R Builders are framing the whole house with “advanced framing techniques” (otherwise known as “optimum value engineering”) which minimizes solid wood use, and keeps the same structural strength in the house while improving insulation efficiency on the house by up to 30% over standard framing practices.