Due to the 2nd and 3rd floor, it's structurally required for the 1st floor. The cost isn't much extra compared to 2x6's on the 2nd and 3rd floor, can shove more insulation, wiring, and plumbing in the wall.
Thanks. I've seen quite a few hotels built that are 3 stories tall and they all used 2x6's. I've never heard of anybody using 2x8's because of the extra money and dealing with how much heavier they are. But I've never built or lived in PA, so that's all new to me.
A buddy of mine works for a lumber processing company that supplies other lumber companies that contractors use. Due to the virus and loss of business they're opening up to employee's buying materials. he said he can buy it for me at his cost, which is going to save me thousands. The only catch is i have to pick it up myself. Which means I get to buy a new trailer!