Structural Building Components Association

Representing Manufacturers
of Engineered Floor, Wall and
Roof Structural Components

Framing the American Dream

FAD houseOver sixty percent of homes built in the U.S. use structural building components, which have revolutionized light-framed construction since their inception in 1952. Why should you use structural building components like roof trusses, floor trusses, and wall panels in your next project? Read on to learn why structural components are the future of framing!

Initiated in 1995, Framing the American Dream (FAD) was a project sponsored by SBCA (formerly WTCA), individual component manufacturers, supplier companies, and the Building Systems Council of NAHB, with the idea that building two identical homes side by side would provide a good comparison of stick-frame and structural building component (SBC) framing methods. In January of 1996, two 2600 square foot homes were built alongside each other in the parking lot of the Astroarena in Houston, Texas as part of the International Builders Show. 

FAD side by sideIn this demonstration, builders spent 148 hours framing the home with components. In contrast it took 401 hours to construct the conventional home, 67% longer than framing with components. In the same way, 15,100 board feet were used to frame the component home, while 20,400 board feet of lumber were used to frame the conventional home, or 26% more lumber than in the component house. Scrap generated was 4 yards for the component home, and 17 yards for the conventional home. The data collected in 1996 has been used by CMs since then to successfully market the many advantages of engineered and componentized framing, with the focus on reduced labor costs for installation.

This fall, two houses are being built on adjacent lots in the community of Jackson, Wisconsin, a suburb just north of Milwaukee. While the neighborhood is unassuming, and the homes themselves are of average size (2200 square feet), their impact on the structural building component industry will be significant. These homes will be the next chapter in the Framing the American Dream initiative. See the project in action as multiple webcams provide a live view of the jobsite, then learn more about the project and the generous sponsors who have made it all possible.