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Timber frame home trials insulation combinations

An architectural technologist from Aberdeen has trialled different insulation methods for his low carbon home

Ian MacDonald is trialling different insulation types on a 300m² timber frame home which he is building for his family in Aberdeen. MacDonald has chosen to trial Actis wood fibre insulation, Sylvactis along with a multi foil insulation in his new home.

‘Wood fibre insulation has a nice tie in with the woodland nature of Scotland and its moist climate and it should work extremely well,’ says MacDonald.

‘It’s the first time I’ve used it so I’m testing the water. It’s good to work with, easy to fit, holds itself in place between timbers and compresses well for the smaller gaps. I’ve used Triso [multi foil insulation] extensively on builds over a number of years. It’s a great product that pushes up levels of insulation’, he adds.

The Sylvactis wood fibre insulation product which is being used on the house is made from 100 per cent recycled sawmill offcuts from sustainably maintained forests.

The wood contained within the insulation acts as a carbon sink reducing the embodied energy of the project.

The dry process used to make the insulation helps minimise water and energy consumption and the products can be recycled at the end of their life – and if combusted can be used to generate further energy.

The low thermal conductivity of Sylvactis reduces heat losses in winter and thermal inertia, absorbs strong temperature variations and slows heat transfer through the walls. 

SAP calculations carried out throughout the design process have shown the house can achieve a minimum energy rating of B, but this can be improved with further refinement of the insulation specification and the inclusion of triple glazed windows.

The house will also include solar panels, a back boiler on the stove and wood pellet boiler.

The project is due to complete towards the end of 2013.

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