As you’d maybe expect, insulation goes back a fair few years. From Ancient Egyptians who used thick bricks to keep their homes cool in unforgiving heat, to Ancient Greeks and Romans who were the first to make use of cavity walls to keep their buildings both warm and cool; as knowledge and technology has developed, so has insulation.
That said, despite its early employment cavity wall insulation didn’t ‘take off’ around the world until relatively recent times because people used materials such as mud, cloth and as the Industrial Revolution hit its stride; asbestos. Of course, in the 1970s asbestos was proven to have a number of less than desirable qualities meaning that other insulation methods and materials were needed.
Types of Insulation
Insulation methods used now in UK and throughout the world are quite varied. Not all are particularly environmentally friendly or entirely energy efficient. At a most basic level cavity wall insulation is widely accepted as the best starting point and it is the material inserted into the cavity itself that provokes most disagreement. Options vary from the widely used glass fibre or rock wool to less common materials such as cellulose and polyurethane.
One material rapidly gaining in popularity is expanded polystyrene (or EPS for short). Used in the insulation of roofs, floors and walls, EPS is fast becoming a frequently chosen option for builders and planners due to a number of inherent positive characteristics. It’s easy to understand its popularity as the material is strong, offers good value, has high insulation values and excellent sustainability credentials.
The Future of Insulation
So, what’s next? Construction is at last starting to incorporate a scientific approach to development to see if cheaper and better materials and methods can be found that could revolutionise building in a similar way to recent car production advances. Relatively simple changes can have large effects and companies are starting to invest large amounts of money in new insulation concepts. One such example of a new forward thinking insulation technology is the Jablite Dynamic Cavity.
This technology uses dynamic air flow to recycle heat that would be lost to the air back inside a building and can lower energy use by up to 25%. Installation is simple and it can be fitted in existing cavity walls and designs making it easy to implement. In addition to saving homeowners money on their heating bills, the Dynamic Cavity has received A+ environmental accreditation in the BRE Green Guide meaning it’s environmental credentials are good too. Ultimately, making a home more energy efficient, however you do it, will help ensure there is a healthy planet for future generations to enjoy in centuries to come.