Natural Fibre Insulation and Traditional Buildings


The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products and the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA) hosted a webinar exploring how natural fibre insulation can help meet the challenges of retrofitting traditional buildings.

Natural fibre insulation (NFI) products and systems are derived from natural materials such as wood fibre, wool, hemp, cellulose and straw. NFI is now the fastest growing insulation segment in the UK and its share of the market is expected to grow significantly over the coming years.

Traditional buildings are generally defined as those constructed before 1919 using solid wall construction methods and materials, including stone, earth, brick, wood and lime renders & mortars.

Recent ASBP events organised in collaboration with the ASBP Natural Fibre Insulation Group have attracted 1000+ attendees, with interest in natural building materials at an all-time high. These webinars highlighted the multiple roles of natural insulation materials, which include thermal performance, moisture control and indoor air quality benefits.

A March 2024 briefing note from STBA highlighted both the opportunities and the challenges around the use of natural insulation materials in retrofit. It is well documented that natural ‘breathable’ materials are often the most appropriate option for retrofit, particularly for solid wall traditional buildings. However, barriers exist, particularly around guarantee requirements for insulation when specified in publicly funded retrofit schemes.

Webinar recording

Speaker timings and presentation downloads

00:00:00 Welcome from STBA and introduction to briefing note: The Use of Natural Insulation Materials in Retrofit – Michael Netter, Director, STBA

00:03:15 Welcome from ASBP and recap of previous natural materials webinars 
Simon Corbey, CEO, ASBP

00:09:50 Natural fibre Insulation: Thermal performance, moisture control and indoor air quality – Mark Lynn, Chair, ASBP

Presentation – Mark Lynn

00:30:46 Natural materials: System performance and applications to traditional buildings
– Toby Cambray, Greengauge Building Energy Consultants

Presentation – Toby Cambray

00:51:38 Natural materials and traditional building case study: Lewes Quaker House
– Jo Saady, Ecotecture

Presentation – Jo Saady

01:15:30 Panel discussion & audience Q&A

01:19:25 Close

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