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Insulation & energy efficiency


While natural insulation products have historically been seen as a niche, eco product, the benefits they offer in terms of building comfort make them an ideal solution for social housing


an ideal solution for social housing. This is because they are free from chemical components and exploit natural properties of the material to offer both excellent Lambda values and breathability. As a result, they contribute to healthier buildings at lower risk of common problems such as damp, mould and condensation. Among the proven types of natural insulation products available in the UK are


wood fibre insulation and natural jute. Made by processing timber offcuts grown in sustainable forests, wood fibre can be fabricated with tongue and groove edges to facilitate a gap free installation, ensuring excellent U-value performance is achieved. Meanwhile, natural jute insulation is manufactured from recycled


‘gunny bags’ used to transport cocoa to Europe. The fibres contain no proteins, which prevents any possibility of mould growth or insect infestations, and the insulation material is soft and flexible, enabling it to be used in a variety of locations, including between rafters, ceiling joists and floor joists, and in partitions and stud walls. Indeed, wood fibre and natural jute can be used in combination on a property as the rigid wood and flexible jute have varying advantages for different areas of the build.


SUSTAINABILITY & PERFORMANCE As we look to ensure greater social sustainability through the provision of homes that stand the test of time, it’s important to remember that building performance also plays a critical role in the long term effectiveness


of social housing environments and the health and wellbeing of those who live in them.


Fintan Wallace is the architectural technologist for Ecological Building Systems


www.housingmmonline.co.uk | HMM March 2018 | 43


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