Barriers to Increasing the Market Share of Wood-Framed Closed Panels
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The University of Oregon completed diagnostic testing of six units of housing which used open and closed panels. Open panels are built with wood studs and shipped to the site with sheathing, and sometimes windows and siding installed, but without insulation, vapor barriers, drywall, or wiring. Closed panels by contrast usually arrive at the site with insulation, vapor barriers, and electrical chases installed. The testing indicated that the units constructed of wood-framed closed panels performed better thermally than open framed panels. Despite the increased energy efficiency and value added, panel manufacturers are reluctant to produce wood-framed closed panels due to many perceived barriers. This report identifies those barriers as well as strategies to overcome those barriers. Strategies to reduce barriers include educating builders and the public to the benefits of wood-framed closed panels, educating builders to new construction techniques, revising of the code approval process at the federal, state, and local levels, and establishing manufacturing consortiums to share costs of code approval and marketing.
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