Courtesy of Matt Risinger
A lumber frame is (obviously) great for providing a home with its structural integrity. But that same framing is also a massive weak spot in the insulation of a wall, through which external air can easily infiltrate. Traditionally, house wrap or another form of external insulation is used to cover a house and blanket those weak-points, but a new innovation in framing lumber might change that.
“Tstud” is a new engineered framing product that is essentially framing lumber with insulation built into its core. The Tstud consists of two long wooden members connected by crisscrossing dowels that are then filled in at the factory with closed-cell spray foam. That foam core gives Tstud lumber a built-in R-Value of 20, which is way more than the R-6 value of traditional framing lumber and just as good as a cavity filled with a batt of insulation.
Courtesy of Tstud
What are the benefits?
Tstud’s thermal benefits are undoubtedly the main draw of the system. The closed-cell foam in the core of the Tstud gives it roughly three times the insulation value of a standard wood stud. By framing with Tstuds and filling in wall cavities with batts of insulation, builders create a fully insulated wall with no need for exterior insulation. The studs, which before would have been area of weakness through which exterior temperatures could seep into a home, are now just as insulated as the fiberglass insulation sat next to them.
There are also several structural benefits that come with using Tstuds. According to Tstud, tests conducted by an engineering firm have shown that Tstud prototypes are up to three times stronger than #2 2X6’s and four times stronger than traditional 2×4’s. Walls built with Tstuds can be up to 16 feet tall; floor and roof Tstud systems are now in the research and development phase.
The image below shows how Tstud lumber can be used in a variety of ways when framing walls, from serving as a single top plate to stacking together to make a code-compliant header.
Courtesy of Tstud
For more information on the availability of Tstuds in your area, click here.