Hygrothermal properties of advanced bio-based insulation materials

Hygrothermal performance of buildings is one key element to the sustainable design, health, and comfort of the indoor environment. Building sustainability depends on all associated lifespan stages, from building design and material production to demounting and waste management. Many building materials are unsustainable in terms of their environmental impacts. One approach to reduce environmental impacts associated with buildings is the development and application of bio-based building materials. The aim of this study was to determine the hygrothermal properties of bio-based thermal insulators that promote energy efficiency and contribute in decreasing environmental impacts of buildings. Here, the hygrothermal properties of eight new peat-, recycled paper-, wood shaving-, and feather-based insulation materials were assessed. Measurements of these material properties will improve understanding of the energy efficiency, permeability, and sustainability of new buildings, building retrofits, or both. Data on these new materials will provide the necessary parameters to develop a hygrothermal dynamic numerical model. The studied bio-based materials appear to provide sufficient hygrothermal performance, which is comparable with conventional insulation materials with minimum embodied energy.
ENERGY AND BUILDINGS. 2021, vol. 253, issue 1, p. 1-11.
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