Are you looking to make your home more eco-friendly but don't know what insulation is right for you?
Learn about sustainable types of insulation in our handy guide!
When looking at low or zero-carbon construction and sustainability, it has been recognised that we should start with the building fabric and specifically the insulation within each element of the building.
There is currently no definitive guide as to what is ‘sustainable insulation’ however, the following factors should be considered:
- Manufacturing using low embodied carbon and/or energy
- Raw materials from a renewable or recycled source
- Transported to site in a short distance using low carbon means
- High thermal efficiency and high-quality materials designed to last the lifetime of the building without the need to be upgraded or continually changed
- At the end of the buildings life, the insulation can be removed and reused or recycled
What kinds of sustainable insulation are available?
Sheep’s Wool Insulation
Thermafleece CosyWool is a versatile insulation made from ethically raised British sheep’s wool and is the ideal choice if you are looking for all round performance and value for money. Research shows that using 75% wool in combination with recycled fibres outperforms alternative products with a higher percentage of wool. Thermafleece's rich blend ensures you get the full benefit of sheep’s wool with enhanced performance, durability and sustainability. Sheep's wool insulation can reduce CO2 emissions by many tonnes over the lifetime of use. What’s more, wool fixes carbon dioxide helping reduce greenhouse gas levels. It can also be recycled or reused at the end of its life.
Wood Fibre Insulation
Steico Flex wood fibre insulation is manufactured with fresh softwood which is left over (it uses timber not suitable for structural applications) from other timber production processes or harvested from sustainable sources. A key benefit of wood fibre in climate protection is the CO2 storage within the product. Woodfibre not only provides excellent insulation properties in winter it also gives high levels of heat protection in summer. (thermal mass 50kg/m3 to 110kg/m3) The vapor permeable nature of the product is beneficial for a healthy living environment within the home. At end of life the wood fibre can be easily recycled or re-used.
Thermafleece NatraHemp is a natural insulation manufactured using UK grown fibres from the hemp plant. Hemp is fast-growing, low-impact crop ideally suited to producing a safe, non-toxic insulation which does not cause irritation to the skin, eyes or respiratory tract. Suitable for use in roofs and walls, this durable, medium density insulation can help regulate temperature and humidity while also providing good acoustic performance. An ideal plant-derived, sustainable insulation for a healthy home!
Recycled Plastic Insulation
Thermafleece SupaSoft uses duvet and pillow technology to turn polyester fibres from recycled plastic bottles into a long-lasting, sustainable insulation for use in lofts. It can be used to insulate between and over joists or simply laid on top of existing insulation to improve overall insulation performance. SupaSoft contains no harmful chemicals and is completely safe and easy to handle. Converting plastic bottles into insulation helps divert many tonnes of waste plastic from landfill or incineration therefore helping protect our environment.
Natural Fibre Insulation
Sisaltech Sisalwool is a high performance 100% natural fibre insulation batt produced using recycled and Circular Economy materials, including recycled Harris Tweed and highly sustainable sisal fibres. Raw materials are ethically sourced from Sisaltech’s supplier Fair Trade Sisal Limited, which helps small-scale farmers in Tanzania increase their incomes. Sisalwool is vapour permeable, allowing buildings to breath and moisture to transfer, and unlike some conventional insulation products, Sisalwool can be handled safely with no risk of harmful chemicals or irritants. It also offers excellent acoustic performance and is amongst the lowest carbon insulation products on the market.
If you would like further advice on using sustainable insulation and how it can benefit your home, or to place an order, please get in touch today.