Closed Panel

All Timber Frames is a dedicated timber frame construction company based in Cheriton Fitzpaine, eight miles from Exeter.

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All Timber Frames are able to offer clients two forms of closed panel construction. For clients who have the electrical layout established before the timber frame design work commences we can manufacture a frame where the insulation, internal membrane, electrical conduits and back boxes, and the Fermacell internal wallboards are all fitted in the factory.

For clients who have not settled on their electrical layout, or who are worried they may change their mind regarding the position of sockets we are able to offer a closed panel system, which incorporates a service void. After the insulation and internal membrane are fitted, battens are fixed to the stud work and the Fermacell wall boards are then fixed to the service zone battens. The advantage of this system is that it is the void between the internal membrane and the wallboard that gives an improved thermal performance to the panel. The costs of each of the closed panel systems is similar, however the electricians costs will be greater where there are no back boxes and conduits fitted in the factory.

The great advantage of the closed panel system is that more of the work takes place in the controlled environment of the factory and with the frame being more ‘finished’ site labour time is reduced. As soon as the frame is erected the electrical and plumbing first fix can begin.

Fermacell wallboards are used in our closed panel systems because we require a wallboard that is robust enough to with stand the stresses and strains of being transported to site and craned into position. The board does have a number of advantages over standard plasterboard when used in timber frame construction. Because it is very dense and robust it can be used as a racking board, it is excellent at reducing sound transfer between rooms, it is an half hour fire board and because of its strength kitchen units, radiators etc. can be hung directly off the boards without having to fix noggins between the panel stud work. Up to fifty kilograms can be hung off a single fixing. Fermacell is manufactured from recycled gypsum and waste paper so it possesses strong environmental credentials. The board is suitable for receiving a plaster skim finish.

Despite Fermacell costing over three times more than standard plaster board the overall cost to the client of a closed panel system compared to having an open panel frame and then insulating and wall boarding on site is no greater. Installing insulation, fixing the internal membrane and fixing the wallboards in the factory is far cheaper than doing the same work on site. Therefore the higher material costs are more than offset by the savings in labour costs.

For the self-builder there is also the advantage of having more of the build costs fixed from the outset which makes controlling the build budget easier. By having more of the work carried out in the factory means that the overall build programme is shortened which in itself can reduce costs.

As with the open panel system the closed panels can be manufactured using 140mm, 184mm or 235mm stud work.


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