The Blue Sky Frame
California based Blue Sky Building Systems has been comparing it’s Blue Sky framing system to a piece of IKEA furniture, “It’s essentially a kit of parts,” says owner David McAdam. The frame is made of 70% recycled material and employs galvanized steel for a point-loaded, bidirectional, moment-resisting frame. The company uses steel fabricator AEP Span to shape and cut the framing to order and ship it to the jobsite. The system is then bolted to peripheral steel columns that raise the house off the ground to minimize site excavation and environmental disruption.
Since the system does not require load-bearing walls, the house span can be limitless. One project completed by Blue Sky was a 5,000 square-foot New England style farm house with a double pitched roof. Further, because there is no shear wall, glass can be incorporated into the system to open the space to natural light. Although the final price of the home depends on complexity, since the system only involves the framing, the framing alone costs between $15-$33 per square-foot. In addition to the low material costs, McAdam’s notes, “material cost does not illuminate the dramatic labor and cost-of-money savings that come with the reduced time-to-construct aspect that our frame brings to the building equation.”
As of August 2012, Blue Sky was working with 23 architects and had completed six projects. Two others were in plan check, seven more in active design mode, and 16 in predesign.
To learn more about Blue Sky and their framing system, visit their website at http://blueskybuildingsystems.com.