Healthy Housing Insight

Alternative Floor Systems

The Healthy Housing principle of resource efficiency may be applied to floor systems by considering alternatives such as engineered wood products (F.WPs). EWPs may take the form of engineered structural members which replace conventional dimensional lumber, or specially manufactured sheath-ings which replace plywood.

Commonly available alternatives to floor joists are wood I-joists and floor trusses. In addition to being capable of providing stiffer and quieter floors, these systems also make installing ductwork and piping much easier.

On average, wood I-joists and floor trusses use 20 percent less material than a conventional flooi constructed with dimensional lumber, and may permit a wider spacing between members leading to even further reductions in material requirements.

Manufactured in lengths which well exceed those available in conventional lumber, these engineered floor systems may often clear span the building, avoiding the need for interior bearing walls. This enhances the future adaptability of the house plan while further reducing the amount of material and labour required.

Alternatives to plywood floor sheathings include waferboard and oriented

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Continued from page m strand board. Wafeihoard is manufactured using waste wood wafers which are pressed together and bonded to one another with adhesives. Oriented strand board is similar to waferboard. however, alternating layers of wood strands are uniformly oriented to improve strength.

Whenever using engineered wood products, it is important to strictly adhere to manufacturers' installation instructions.

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wood I-joist anchorage for the floor-framing members. The filler pieces are removed, together with the wall forms, when the concrete has set. The same method can be used when the finish of the exterior wall is masonry (Fig. 38).

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