UK’s first commercially viable homegrown wood fibre insulation

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Alongside partners we are aiming to establish the UK’s first commercially viable homegrown wood fibre insulation to validate its feasibility. This would drive the greater adoption of English-grown wood in construction, increase the amount of carbon stored within the built environment, and establish novel supply chains for forestry and manufacturing.

The UK has the renewable natural resources, internationally recognised expertise, and technical capabilities necessary to be at the forefront of a new approach to delivering a sustainable, resilient and manufactured built environment in response to the declared climate emergency and UN Sustainable Development Goals. To demonstrate this, project partners have collaborated for several years to develop novel and innovative ways to support the increased use of homegrown timber in construction.


This project proposes the next phase of that research. The aim of this project is to optimise the combination of English-grown hardwood and softwood, alongside suitable binders and additives, for the manufacture of commercially viable homegrown wood fibre insulation, at scale, for use in the built environment. This project will review the current supply chain capability, develop quality management systems for the manufacture of homegrown woodfibre insulation, and pilot manufacture small scale samples to determine the thermal, acoustic, and fire performance. Europe-wide, wood fibre insulation revenues rose by 30% between 2020 and 2021. Despite this increasing demand, no commercial UK wood fibre manufacturers currently exist. Furthermore, Forest Research suggests globally the UK is the second largest net importer of forest products, below only China.


This is despite every 1m³ of wood fibre insulation transported 100km contributing 1.1kg CO2eq road transport emissions. To mitigate this, we will develop the technical and quality assurance processes required to manufacture homegrown wood fibre insulation.


Reportedly valued at £1.16bn in 2019, the UK insulation market offers significant opportunities for reshoring a new manufacturing industry, underpinned by English timber. Data generated through the detailed design, engineering, manufacture, testing and evaluation of the prototypes will provide evidence-based solutions for the future business case of the UK’s first homegrown wood fibre manufacturing facility.

  • BE-ST
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Napier University