Natural insulation: the benefits of sheep wool

sheep wool, natural materials, natural insulation, koru architects, eco architectsInsulation is one of the best ways to increase energy efficiency within a space; it will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

There are no tricks as to what is in sheep wool – it’s the wool from a sheep. Now that that’s out of the way… let’s delve into its qualities.

The material is perfectly suited to structures made from wooden frames, as the wool has a natural synergy with timber. Interestingly, the fibres in the material draws out moisture, which conditions the wood and protects the fabric of your building.

Due to the crimped nature of wool fibres, they form millions of tiny air pockets that trap air, helping to provide a thermal barrier. Sheep wool is a renewable resource – thanks to the existence of sheep, we have wool. So as long as they’re here, we will have wool.

Advantages of sheep wool insulation

Wool’s ability to breathe – no other loft insulation material together with spray-on foam possesses this quality. As stated previously, it can absorb and release moisture from the air around it. When wool fibres take in moisture, they generate little amounts of heat energy – this warmth prevents condensation build-up.

Regulates humidity – sheep wool is able to absorb a large percentage of its weight in moisture, without compromising its insulating ability.

Stability – it has the ability to stabilise temperature and react to humidity, which means sheep wool acts as a buffering material as well as an insulator.

Purifies the air – it’s a natural protein made up of a number of different amino acids of which 60% have a reactive side chain. These allow the material to absorb odorous substances including nitrogen dioxide and super dioxide and neutralise them.

sheep wool, natural materials, natural insulation, koru architects, eco architects

Photo Credit: ArchiExpo

Not only that, but sheep wool is renewable, sustainable, safe to touch – unlike glass wool and rock wool that cause major irritation if you handle them – and fire retardant.

It’s the only fibre that naturally resists flaming and as soon as the flame is removed, it will self-extinguish. Sheep wool has a high nitrogen content, meaning that it will smoulder and singe instead of bursting into flames.  


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