Encapsulation Design: Insulating an Oak Frame Home

Oakwrights’ In the Frame podcasts and video documentaries share the company’s expert insight into the self build journey, so you can make informed decisions on everything from plot buying to house design and completion
Oakwrights Logo
by Oakwrights
29th August 2022

In episode four of the In the Frame video documentary series Tim Crump, Oakwrights’ founder, steps onto the design floor at the Herefordshire workshop to speak to Alex Knowles, manager of the Oakwrights Design Academy.

In this conversation, the two company specialists discuss the ins and outs of how to successfully design a beautiful oak frame house.

This includes factors such as efficient planning and insulation, with a specific focus on the benefits that the frame and encapsulation design process can have on your oak frame property.

In the Frame with Tim and Alex

Tim: What’s the first stage of the oak home design process?

Alex: Our clients’ oak frame journeys start with the architectural department. We then link together after planning has been approved and start bringing the architectural 3D model to life in our 1:1 scale CADCAM software.

The key thing to remember is that we not only have the prefabrication in the workshop using high speed wood cutting machines for both softwood and the oak, which obviously speeds up the site process, we also offer the full pre-manufacture of the house in terms of its design. This really does save a lot of time for clients.

Tim: What are the advantages of using 3D design software?

Alex: The beauty of designing the oak frame and putting the joints in within the CADCAM software is that we can actually go inside the timbers.

We also produce our encapsulation design in the same 3D model. This means we can see the construction of the wall system and the oak frame, so we can make sure all the areas meet together.

It’s where we divide the panels into the sizes that we’re going to send them to site in, and we use it to create all the window and structural openings, too.

A contemporary oak frame house built using Oakwrights’ WrightWall and WrightRoof encapsulation system

This contemporary oak frame home was built using Oakwrights’ WrightWall and WrightRoof encapsulation system, which encases the frame to a high level of airtightness. Photo: Mark Watts

Tim: How does the ability to walk through the design in 3D help self builders on their projects?

Alex: The software enables us to present a 3D model to our clients. We have all the external elements, brickwork, weatherboarding and the tile finish on the roof.

We also have the joinery and our face glazing system. As a result, we can walk our clients round the outside of their home at the design stage. It’s the first time they’re seeing their house in a 1:1 scale.

Once they’ve been round the outside, we’ll go inside via the front door, then through each room and each floor. The tour provides the opportunity to look at how the frame interacts with the internal walls, the kitchen, the stairs – everything that’s going to be inside their oak frame home.


Oak frame panels for encapsulation system being installed in roof

Once delivered to site, the panels for the encapsulation system slot into place to fit around the frame perfectly

Making the ‘Wright’ Choice

In 2009, we started wrapping our oak frames with our first WrightWall and WrightRoof encapsulation system. We then developed our WrightWall eco-friendly Natural encapsulation, which is designed to meet Passivhaus standards.

Nowadays, more than 95% of our clients use our WrightWall and WrightRoof encapsulation systems on their house builds when purchasing a structural oak frame. Quality design, efficient production and installation leads to a high performance home.

The Key Benefits of our Approach Include:

  • The oak frame and encapsulation system is designed efficiently and effectively using the same CADCAM software by using the same design team.
  • WrightWall and WrightRoof are designed to fit together perfectly with the least number of joints – vital for airtightness.
  • Site access and delivery are factored into the design of all the panels.
  • No oak, no problem – WrightWall’s structural integrity is calculated for areas with or without the structural oak frame.
  • Clients deal with only one supplier.
  • Prefabrication in our Herefordshire workshops makes for a high-quality, clean panel and a quicker build once components are delivered to site.
  • Good quality, joined-up design and prefabrication using high-quality materials produces an energy efficient, high-performance house.


Oakwrights is an STA Assure Gold company and is ISO 9001 Good Practice accredited. Discover more video documentaries and podcasts to help you make a success of your self build journey.


Leave a Reply

You may be interested in

Our sponsors