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Architectural Flexibility

Wood construction offers fl exibility in design. It is economically feasible to add features that add interest and appeal, especially for roofs. In addition, wood-frame construction is easy to modify in the event that an addition, window, or other feature is desired in the future. Wood-frame construction also provides:

• Space economy: Wood-frame walls include weather protection, structural rigidity, thermal insulation,
and interior fi nish surface in a compact assembly that maximizes liveable floor area. For example, a wall with 38 by 140 mm wood studs can accommodate insulation with an RSI of 3.5.
• Ease of installing electrical and mechanical services: Interior wall and fl oor cavities are used to route vertical and horizontal services, including electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating ducts. (Photo 4).
Photo 4 J. Burrows Services are easily accommodated in interior wall assemblies.
• Interior fi nishes: Typically, wood-frame construction includes gypsum board fi nishes on all interior walls (Photo 5). This surface is economical, provides a smooth substrate for paint and wallpaper fi nishes, and provides some inherent degree of fi re resistance. On exterior walls, the gypsum board can also serve as the air barrier and enclose the thermal insulation. Wood-frame fl oors accommodate a variety of fl oor fi nishes including resilient fl ooring, wood strip fl ooring, ceramic tile, and carpet. In addition, concrete or gypsum toppings can be added prior to the fi nished fl ooring to affect certain performance factors or accommodate
in-fl oor radiant heating systems.