Tstud- A New Way To Build
A Tstud is a revolutionary new product to replace 2x6s in framing buildings. It is made by dowling together 2 -2” x 3”s at a 5 1/2” spacing and then filling the space between them with blown in foam. This makes a structural member about twice as strong as a 2×6. Tstuds have been seismic tested and hurricane tested up to 212 mph. This also breaks the thermal bridge by 99+% through the wall that a 2×6 is. It reduces sound through the wall by having the foam in the middle. Testing shows it is also better in a fire than the wood it replaces. A 2x 6 is a small blackened lump, and a Tstud still has 90% structural integrity after 10 minutes at 3500 degrees.
You use Tstuds for the top plate, the bottom plate, and stack them up for headers. You use the studs at 24” centers rather than 16”. The total wall R-value goes up 22% over traditional framing and the Tstud wall is strong. A 2×6 will hold up 900#, a Tstud will hold up 3600# up to 16 feet high. Whatever insulation system you use has better results with Tstuds. You do not need to add exterior insulation to a wall to make a better than code wall. In homes with tall walls in them Tstuds make great sense and can be had in lengths up to 24’ long. Studies show that a Tstud wall reduces the use of wood, needs fewer fasteners, needs less framing members and is easily done. The wall ends up costing a little more, but the energy advantage alone makes them a good value. The cost difference between standard framing and Tstuds on a 2000 sq. ft. home is about $1600. For the strength and energy savings, this is a very good value compared to putting foam on the outside of a wall.
In the future, hopefully, next year, Tstuds will be made to replace 2x8s. This 7.25” spacing will be even better. They will be stronger and the R-value will be around R-30. The DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are calling for R-30 walls. If the Tstud is at 30 and you blow in insulation like BIBS which is R-30 at that spacing, you end up with a thermally broken wall at R-30. There is no easier way to get this kind of performance in any other wall assembly, at that cost.
19 states are working on incentives to use Tstuds in their energy efficiency programs. 6 states have already included them in their programs, with up to $3500 allowed for Tstud use. Obviously, the states see the value of this wall system. There are plans to make green treated Tstuds, and treatments to prevent mold, termites, and fire prevention. Patents are being worked on in over 40 countries.
We had a study done comparing a Tstud home to a conventionally framed home using the same sizes throughout. We used the same insulation, R-23 BIBS, and added Wasco R-5 triple pane windows in the Tstud walls against R-3 double pane windows in the conventional house. Using Tstuds alone increased the total R-value 22.1%, and adding the Wasco windows the added another 14% to the wall R-value. This can add up to significant savings in a year and add more comfort, quiet and durability to the home. Call us for a quote! We can help you make a better home with little-added cost.