As the market for natural insulation has rapidly expanded, more and more designers, specifiers and dwellers are appreciating the vast array of superior technical properties which natural insulation inherently offers.
The range of natural insulation products currently available from Ecological Building Systems vary from wood fibre mats, hemp, sheep’s wool, woodfibre softboards and cellulose/recycled paper products. Each of these materials has a unique combination of key characteristics which helps to create a healthier, comfortable, energy efficient, durable construction.
Natural insulation materials do not underperform when compared to man made synthetic insulation. They are generally far better materials in terms of performance and durability and in addition are renewable and sustainable materials which meet key sustainability criteria. Natural insulation materials feature an array of characteristics which, when used correctly, can improve the buildings performance considerably.
From a sustainability and ecological standpoint natural insulation products are simply second to none. Many natural insulation materials not only reduce heat loss and CO2 in buildings, but also may absorb CO2 while being harvested, such as hemp or woodfibre. In fact, it has been proven that for every cubic metre of Thermo Hemp natural insulation produced, at least 13kg of CO2 is absorbed. This is quite an astonishing fact when one considers high levels of CO2 emitted in the production of other forms of insulation.
Historically natural insulation products have struggled to enter the mainstream of the built environment due to the incorrect perception that they cannot compete in the area of performance or cost. When we consider the array of benefits which natural insulation provides the reality is that natural materials outperform conventional insulation products in both these categories.
Living health, durability, and comfort are now considered just as critical as thermal performance. It is for this reason that natural insulation has now moved from being a fringe insulation material to the mainstream in Irish and British homes.
When one factors in the additional health benefits for the dwelling occupier, the fact that one can insulate a house completely both thermally and acoustically with natural insulation for approximately 3% of the complete build cost, the superior durability and the breathable features of natural insulation products, and the cost effectiveness of these natural insulation materials becomes more apparent.
When considering the energy efficiency of buildings one can not underestimate the positive contribution which natural insulation materials offer buildings on so many levels. Constructions which are energy efficient, durable, healthy, ecological and sustainable in every sense of the word should be designed with some form of natural insulation, the benefits of which are not only in the money we save, but in the environment in which we live, particularly as it is estimated that we spend up to 90% of our lives in buildings.
Whether natural or man made insulation is used in buildings, the airtightness of the building envelope is integral for building performance - please see our airtightness and windtightness area on the website for more information.
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