28 / BUILDING DIALOGUE / DECEMBER 2023 ELEMENTS Construction The Problem with Wood Framing and How to Solve It W ood fram- ing is one of the risk- iest scopes in con- struction. The fact that remarkably few wood framing subcontractors can be bonded is proof of this. Even if they could, the problems that can result from poorly managed framing – including schedule and quality issues that cascade into other trades – can’t really be fixed with a bonding Band-Aid. The good news is that the problem is simple, if not easy, to fix: Someone must take ownership of the wood framing process. Many entities have a piece of the puz- zle, leading to this lack of ownership. One glaring example is truss design. Structural engineers (who do not have truss software) rely on general design principles to complete framing plans. Truss company bids are based on these plans and will bid them as drawn, right or wrong. They have no incentive other than winning the job. In addition, these companies generally do not evaluate the project holistically: meeting architectural intent with MEP, structural steel integration, etc. Eventually, prob- lematic designs are passed to the framing subcontractor, whose only incentive is to finish fast and collect a check. When problems are caught, redesign can take weeks. This puts the whole project on hold if it’s early enough and leads to costly rework and associated delays if construc- tion is underway. To address these issues, a thorough preconstruction pro- cess is crucial. The first key to success is involving a gen- eral contractor with in-depth framing knowledge and its key suppliers, especially truss fabricators, with the design team. This collaboration results in framing designs that meet architectural and structural intent, ensure construc- tability, and seamless integration with other trades. The result is a project that can be built on budget, faster and with simplicity that improves quality before construction starts. A critical aspect of this is cultivating relationships with vendors and holding them to project specifications. This approach ensures quality and saves owners money – and not in a nebulous “preventing future issues” way. Myri- ad efficiencies can be built into the project at this stage. Pinkard’s recent efforts on Krisana Affordable Housing created a framing design that saved the owner more than $250,000. Once the project is set up for success, experienced and attentive on-site supervision is crucial. A dedicated fram- ing professional who leads the framing subcontractor and interfaces directly with the project superintendent can catch minor issues before they become major problems. This level of supervision ensures the project stays on track and all team members are held accountable for their work. Additionally, it allows for open communication between all parties involved and leads to a smoother and more ef- ficient construction process. On-site framing supervisors must have the knowledge and authority to make quick de- cisions and adjustments, saving time and money. Properly implemented, these strategies can be incredibly successful. Our recent preconstruction efforts for Boulder Dan Harris Manager, Pinkard Frameworks Unfound Door Pinkard created a framing design that saved on Krisana Affordable Housing’s owner more than $250,000. Construction continues on Krisana Affordable Housing.