Whelp, it appears we're going to get a little advanced framing in the house. What's that? What's advanced framing? Glad you asked! Advanced framing is framing using modern principles of engineering and load bearing. Several things distinguish advanced framing from conventional framing:
1. 2x6s instead of 2x4s
2. studs on 24 inch centers instead of 18 inch centers (Centers are the distances between the center of the vertical boards in a wall.)
3. two stud corners instead of 3 stud corners (A stud is that muscular hairy dude winking at you from the end of the bar. It's also a board.)
4. single top plates instead of double top plates (Top plates are the boards on top of the stud wall.)
5. no jack studs instead of jack studs (Jack studs are short studs typically used to shore up the bottom sill plate for a window. If that muscular hairy dude winking at you from the end of the bar is named Jack, that's also a Jack stud.)
6. no cripples instead of cripples (Cripples are any studs that don't extend the full length of the wall. A jack stud is a special case of a cripple. [Must. Resist. Cripple. Joke.])
7. single or no headers instead of double headers (Headers are horizontal boards typically used at the top of an opening such as a window or door. A double header is when two boards are used to frame the top of an opening. A double header is also when you pay pay one price to see two movies.)
So what are the advantages of advanced framing?
1. It uses less wood (5 to 10 percent less). That means less wood to buy which means less cost.
2. There are fewer pieces to install (30 percent less!). That means less labor which means less cost.
3. It has a 60 percent deeper cavity which means more insulation. More insulation means greater energy efficiency and lower energy bills.
4. Because there are fewer boards, it reduces thermal bridging through the wall by 40 percent.
5. Fewer places (if not any places) where there are multiple boards against each other means a better air seal. A better air seal means greater energy efficiency and lower energy bills.
6. Fewer holes for plumbers and electricians to drill and route wires and pipes through.
7. Looks cool 'cause everything looks clean and lines up!
There are some challenges. Some of those double boards are there to assist in hanging drywall, but there are ways to get around that.
For more on advanced framing (and the source of the information above) please visit the good folks at Building Science Corp.