In 2004, Pulte Homes, one of the largest home builders in the country, conducted a study on advanced framing at its Hidden Lake development in Tracy, California. Pulte built test homes to determine how much money advanced framing would save in construction and to study its effect on heating and cooling costs. The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission. The per-home results were impressive:
- Using 2-by-6 wall framing on 24-inch centers cost $1,632 versus $2,749 for a conventionally framed house with 2-by-4 studs on 16-inch centers—a 40% savings in material costs.
- Advanced framing saved a total of 738 studs, amounting to more than 2,100 board feet of lumber.
- Energy costs in the advanced-framing house were a total of $710 (both heating and cooling) a year, compared with $1,003 per year for the conventionally 2-by-4 framed house.
- Whole-wall R-values jumped from 9.4 to 15.2 by switching to advanced framing.