The ISOBIO project is aiming to keep insulation technology at the top of the construction industry agenda. Supported by the European Union Horizon2020 programme, within the ‘Materials for Building Envelopes’ call for Energy Efficient Buildings, they are pushing innovation in bio-based materials.
The project is collaborating with a partnership of 12 industry, research and academic partners including: Modcell (developing a pre-fabricated straw construction system); Cavac Biomatériaux (who specialise in the defibering of hemp and flax straw and “bio sourced” insulation products); and the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University of Bath.
In Europe, 32% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by domestic households, and through innovation in bio-based insulators ISOBIO is aiming to produce a 20% better performance than conventional materials, leading to a 5% total energy reduction over the lifecycle of a building at reduced costs of 15%.
The ISOBIO project is playing into a developing sector. Market Research company Research and Markets report Global High Temperature Insulation (HTI) Materials Market 2015-2019, predicts the HTI market as a whole growing over the period at a compound annual growth rate of 6.44% between 2014-2019. However, they point to the bio-based sector as the one to watch. A team analyst commented, “One key trend emerging in the market is the development of bio-based insulation materials that are used to reduce global warming effects.” Much of this, according to the report, will be driven by the re-insulation market in developed nations. It seems, however, that there is work to do in generating awareness and policy development in developing nations, where construction companies are driven by short-term construction costs rather than the energy-saving performance and environmentally positive benefits.