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A Re-Introduction to Wood Fibre Insulation

Wood Fibre Insulation Courses

We’ve developed the first free, online wood fibre insulation courses. Designed for architects, builders and self-builders, the courses covers how to specify, source and use wood fibre effectively.

Need Materials?

If you’re looking to buy wood fibre insulation for your next building project, head over to Back to Earth and speak to one of their knowledgeable team.

Wood is a fantastic natural material that has extremely useful properties when made into insulation, properties that are rarely, if ever, matched by synthetic insulations. It is a carbon negative material (locks up carbon) rather than emitting carbon during manufacture and massively reduces the impact that newly built or refurbished buildings have on the environment.

Wood fibre insulation has low thermal conductivity and a combination of flexible and rigid insulations are used to create very thermally efficient roofs walls and floors, from simple extensions to super-efficient Passivhaus buildings.

As the name would suggest, wood fibre insulation is made from wood which has been fiberised and turned into insulation. This is all from timber that cannot be used for structural timber of more valuable commodities such as ply and so is waste. The insulation it makes is dense and absorbs sound extremely well, preventing the issues around privacy and noise pollution that occur if using very lightweight synthetic insulation.

Because of its high density wood fibre insulation also burns very slowly, in much the same way a thick book burns very slowly even in a hot fire. It doesn’t burn with a flame and does not release the cyanide or hydrogen chloride gases released by synthetic insulations. This makes it as safe for use in construction as any other timber product.

Being a natural material that we have used for millennia, wood fibre insulation does not irritate our skin or release toxic chemicals and so is safe for installers as well as building occupants. Because of the way it can store and release moisture the material is very durable, keeping timber structures dry and preventing decay in historic timber.

Wood fibre insulation creates very healthy, comfortable spaces because of the way it stores and releases heat energy. It will store more energy per kilogram than almost any other building material, which keeps buildings warmer in winter, reducing heating requirements by up to 25%. It also protects buildings from overheating in summer, a property that will become ever more vital as our summers become hotter.

In the UK we have a term called the ‘Performance Gap’ for buildings which highlights the difference in performance between the design standard and the built standard. Most buildings perform up to 35% worse than they were designed to perform. Using wood fibre insulation is very simple which ensures builders can easily instal the products to a high standard. Only when products and systems are installed correctly do buildings behave as they are designed, eliminating this ‘Performance Gap’.

In short, wood fibre insulation is an important material of our time. It addresses climate change not only with regard to emissions but also by addressing climate adaptation. With all of the resources available on this site we can help you design, build and achieve your ideal building.

If you have any further questions about this topic or sustainable building materials, please feel free to email at Chris@backtoearth.co.uk or alternatively give us a ring on 01392 861763.