Concepts for a prefabricated wall panel to increase the uptake of straw and wool insulation in New Zealand

    Resendiz, Carla
    Rahimian, Farzad
    Dawood, Nashwan
    Rodriguez, Sergio
    Carnemolla, Phillippa
    Conference Papers
    Construction, Building Materials & Integrated Technology


Straw and pure wool are the only bio-based insulation materials produced in New Zealand (NZ) and occupy the vast minority of the market. While in Europe and elsewhere biologically sourced and biodegradable insulation products are common, the market dominance of inorganic insulation materials in NZ is limiting the uptake of renewable, zero-waste materials. The controlled interior environment and quality assurance offered by prefabrication has the potential to reduce the perceived risk surrounding bio-based insulation materials in NZ and would allow them acceptance into the mainstream market. Prefabricated panels using straw have had success overseas in the UK and Lithuania. This paper proposes concepts for three prefabricated wall panel designs that are insulated with straw and/or wool insulation to increase the market share of bio-based insulation materials in NZ. Panel designs 1 and 2 explore the use of both straw and wool in a prefabricated panel, and panel design 3 proposes an entirely pure wool insulated panel. The design proposals are assessed, compared, and discussed in terms of their weight and thermal and vapour resistance.

Keywords: Straw; wool; bio-based; prefabrication.


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