Streif UK specialises in sustainable building systems constructed from advanced closed panel timber frames. But we’re often asked the difference between open and closed frames. Here we explore the distinctions between the two as well as the benefits for your next new-build.

What are the benefits of timber frame construction?

First, let’s go back to basics and consider why you should consider a timber frame construction over a build using other materials.

Responsibly sourced timber is an environmentally-friendly, renewable resource – the embodiment of CO² captured from the atmosphere. And, as the Structural Timber Association says, a timber frame, “supports climate change agenda for Net Zero”.

A timber frame combines strength with versatility and is an excellent natural insulator. Other benefits of a timber frame construction include:

  • Precision manufacturing for better quality, full compliance and exact sizing
  • A lighter frame for a simpler foundation
  • Easy installation with smaller teams and less reliance on favourable weather
  • A cleaner and quieter build with fewer vehicles onsite
  • Less material wastage than with other types of build
  • A quicker build than block and brick (on average, 30%)


What are open panel timber frames?

  • Structurally engineered panels made from treated softwood timber
  • The inside load-bearing part of the external wall
  • Openings formed in panels ready for onsite installation of windows and doors
  • Panels are delivered to site uninsulated
  • U-values range from 0.26 W/m²K to 0.15 W/m²K


What are closed panel timber frames?

  • Precision engineered timber panels constructed using high quality and robust materials under controlled factory conditions
  • Delivered to site insulated and boarded, ready for internal finishes
  • External cladding, windows, doors, electrics and plumbing may also have been factory-fitted
  • Usually heavier than open panel frames, making a crane necessary for installation
  • U-values range from 0.30 W/m²K to 0.12 W/m²K


Our advanced closed timber panel construction being installed by the Streif UK team onsite


What are the benefits of closed panel systems?

The benefits of closed panel timber frames cross over with the pros of timber frame construction. But the main advantage of closed panel timber frames over open frames is the additional premanufactured value which is achieved. Here’s a breakdown of all their benefits for your building project:

Quick – As closed panel timber frames are made offsite to exacting standards, onsite installation time is reduced. More exact planning with faster lead times can be achieved. With Streif UK’s advanced closed panel systems, machine automation allows us to manufacture standard panels rapidly and efficiently. Our production can be stepped up as needed and build times can be reduced by up to 40%.

High performance – The manufacture of closed panel timber frames in factory conditions allows for materials to be tried, tested and undergo continuous quality auditing. This means they provide excellent air tightness as well as the best U-values for an energy-saving fabric-first approach to construction. Our advanced closed panel systems also provide better strength, stability and fire-resistance than open panel timber frames.

Reduced waste – Offsite construction reduces the amount of waste onsite. But, as a natural renewable resource, any waste timber from closed panel timber frames could be reused, recycled or burnt for energy.

Cost – Though timber as a material can often cost more when compared to masonry, the outlay for labour is much less. This means closed panel timber frames provide an excellent return on investment. The pricing is also as predictable as the programming, helping the entire construction project stay on track.


More about Streif UK’s advanced closed timber panel construction

Streif UK’s advanced closed panel timber frame buildings offer premium thermal and acoustic insulation. This not only makes them more energy-efficient than your average new-build but also more comfortable to live and work in.

Our panels are constructed using a solid timber framework. Wall thicknesses depends on the structure and the client specifies the external finish. But our load bearing walls use 100mm thick timber studs (minimum) as standard.

The Streif closed panel wall is manufactured using British Gypsum Rigidur H a fibreboard product which we use for all internal linings. This is twice as dense, hard and strong as standard plasterboard. A perfect product for our offsite solution. This also ensures all our internal partitions achieve a ‘Severe Duty Rating’ in accordance with BS 5234.

Our advanced closed timber panel construction, manufactured in our German factory, puts quality and precision first. We build as much value as possible into our panels offsite. This reduces time onsite and achieves an estimated premanufactured value close to 75%. Our small, experienced team of specialists then install the building onsite – quickly and efficiently.

Contact the Streif UK team for more information on our sustainable building systems or to discuss your closed panel timber frame construction project today.