Nature insulating us from energy inefficiency
(Straw roof insulation, Hostetin, Czech Republic. Photo by Pavouk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons) 

Nature insulating us from energy inefficiency

Insulation has been used for centuries to slow down the movement of heat in and out of buildings. One or a combination of several materials can be used as insulation. Nature provides some sustainable options.

Summary: One way of keeping our homes at an appropriate temperature is through effective insulation. Natural materials could be effective insulating materials for the built environment and are sustainable.

Why this is important: Conventional synthetic insulation materials are often derived from petrochemicals and thus have high embodied carbon as well as end-of-life disposal issues.

The big theme: The built environment, encompassing residential and commercial buildings, communal areas such as parks, and supporting infrastructure such as energy networks, mobility, and water supply, is an important sustainability theme. It is an integral part of societal existence and a major resource consumption problem (40% of global raw materials) and decarbonisation problem (40% of energy-related GHG emissions) that needs investor, government, business and consumer attention.

The details

Why this is important

The built environment is a significant GHG emitter across the different phases from inception to completion and operation.

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