I have seen recently where someone was making a bunch of frames and made the statement that he hated the reliefs and from now on was not going to have reliefs in the sides. And sure enough made his sidebars poker straight up and down, with a little chamfer on the very bottom. I believe there was some teaser as to "guess why" but he offered no actual explanation. In my mind, this simply creates a box within a box, so the bees will have to make their own paths between the combs (I assume he wasn't using plastic foundation.) I believe they were still self spacing so the bees could get up and over the top of the frames to access supers, and get below them to access the previous depth. There was no other design difference that I am aware of.
I would guess this would keep the bees away from the inside walls of the boxes and supers, and I would intuit that they would work pretty hard on propolizing all the frames together. This does not seem like the best idea to me. Anyone know a good reason other than laziness of the builder to do this?