There is no doubt about the fact that our homes are getting smaller and smaller, with each new home built in this day and age covering a considerably smaller surface area than the average home built a mere 10 or 20 years ago, but when it comes to environmental impact considerations, smaller homes are more efficient. It isn’t just a cut-and-paste thing, however – this eco-friendliness which comes inherent in a smaller, more modern home needs to be catalysed through the manner in which the home is designed and built.
One; the design and construction elements which can catalyse environmental friendliness in a home is the type of insulation used, on two fronts. One; effective insulation used means effective temperature control, which means lighter reliance on something like your home’s heating system in winter. Two; eco-friendly material used means less of an impact on the environment, which applies to the production of the material as well as its inevitable disposal sometime long into the future when you probably won’t even be around anymore.
So that said, there are quite a few choices in environmentally friendly insulation which you can insist be used in the construction of your home, if of course, you’re at that stage in your life where you are part of the process of the construction of your home as opposed to buying one which has already been built.
Yes, you read right – sheep’s wool is a great insulator, despite the fact that it’s perhaps an epitome of what natural resources really are. The idea of sheep’s wool being a great insulator shouldn’t be too mind-boggling because it’s Mother Nature’s design in keeping one of her own warm during winter and so naturally you’d expect nothing but effectiveness and efficiency. The efficiency lies in its ability to “breathe” while it captures air, and if done professionally, sheep’s wool used in insulation is surprisingly fire-resistant as well.
I see what? Well, you won’t be able to see it in action, but there is some magic contained in the material used for insulation called icynene – magic which will keep the temperature in your home regulated in a very eco-friendly and effective way. Icynene has the property of being able to expand up to 10 times its volume, which acts as somewhat of a physical barrier for air, but it also has the ability to trap some moisture along with air. This is where the need for an integrated air exchange and ventilation system comes to the fore, something which is usually installed along with icynene insulation.
It would be very hard to argue against cellulose being the ultimate epitome of green insulation as cellulose is mainly comprised out of newspaper. When sprayed or blown, cellulose boasts insulation properties which are very similar to fibreglass, except it’s much greener and doesn’t contain formaldehyde in the same way that fibreglass does. Cellulose is even better than fibreglass at plugging the smallest of air leaks, which makes it a top pick as eco-friendly insulation because it’s also extremely inexpensive.