The use of natural insulation has become increasingly popular with architects and specifiers looking for alternative solutions for new builds due to not only the growing concern for the environment, but the need to ensure improved levels of health and comfort alongside the need to improve energy efficiency within new and existing buildings.
Natural insulations are typically made from materials such as wood fibres, flax, hemp, sheep wool, cork, etc. These insulation materials can offer significant advantages compared to the familiar traditional insulation materials if they are used in the right way.
Choosing wood fibre insulation
One example of a high-end natural insulation material on the market is PAVATEX by SOPREMA, a wood fibre insulation. This form of insulation material is made from coniferous wood fibres. Waste wood is collected from various sawmills, then heated and pressurised to create fibres. Insulation boards are then created from these fibres.
PAVATEX wood fibre insulation has a range of advantages:
- Outstanding thermal insulation:
Wood fibre-based insulation materials have a naturally high insulation value (lambda values 0.036 w/mK to 0.047 w/mK), as is the case for wood itself. This means that energy bills will be much smaller in the winter.
- Overheating protection
In summer, the material has excellent heat storage capacity keeping rooms cool.
- Outstanding acoustic insulation:
Due to the high mass of the wood fibre insulation and the porous structure of this material, Pavatex provides excellent acoustic insulation.
In a fire, the outer layer of Pavatex boards would carbonise. This layer prevents oxygen from penetrating to lower levels, which reduces the strength of the fire.
- Breathable Construction:
With an increase in insulation levels, now required for new builds, there is an increased risk of moisture vapour turning into liquid water within the building fabric. Vapour control membranes, the traditional way of stopping moisture entering the building fabric, are less reliable with these new higher levels of insulation. Pavatex allows moisture to move within a wall, or roof build up, regulating it at safe levels.
This type of insulation is made of waste wood and is therefore completely recycled. In the production process, both wet or dry production is possible. Lignin, the natural binding agent in trees, is used as a binding agent for the fibres in the wet production process. In the dry process, we use a Natureplus© certified binding agent. Thanks to the high-tech production process, we can limit the amount of binding agent. This material can also be recycled at the end of its long life. It can even be composted or used to generate energy!
PAVATEX by SOPREMA offers a complete range of new build and retrofit systems for walls, floors and roofs. It has several undeniable advantages for the environment, the building owner and Approved Contractor. With PAVATEX, SOPREMA are able to offer the complete solution for waterproofing and insulating a building. Contact us for more information.