Wood fibre insulation project gathers pace

A consortium of organisations leading in timber technologies, including Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST), New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) in Hereford, and the University of Edinburgh, is spearheading a project to demonstrate the potential for commercialising homegrown wood fibre insulation.

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The primary focus of ‘Timber in Construction: Commercialisation of Homegrown Wood Fibre Insulation’ is to develop and validate English hardwood and softwood for use in the UK’s homegrown wood fibre insulation.


By doing so, the initiative aims to drive greater adoption of English-grown wood in construction, leading to reductions in embodied carbon within the built environment, as well as demonstrate that it is possible to use current supply chains for forestry and manufacturing to create this product.


The project kicked off the first of several planned stages in October. The initial phase involved desk-based research that delves into existing research, identifies gaps, and explores various aspects such as different tree species, fire testing methodologies, and bonding agents.


The insights gained during this phase will serve as the foundation for the subsequent steps. The next stage will involve translating the research findings into action.


The project will create different batches from various formulae for wood fibre insulation. These batches will then be tested with special attention given to fire testing. This approach aims to fine-tune the wood fibre insulation formula, ensuring it meets safety standards and can compete with existing alternatives.

Our ultimate goal is to develop the best formula for UK-sourced wood fibre insulation. We want to demonstrate the feasibility of commercialising this sustainable solution, utilising the raw materials and expertise we have available to us. This not only presents a huge economic opportunity but also contributes to reducing embodied carbon of buildings and promotes the health attributes of wood fibre. Robert Hairstans
Director for Centre for Advance Timber Technologies at NMITE