A woollen journey - New Zealand

Until just a few years ago, the notion of insulating houses in New Zealand wasn’t a widespread concern for most of the population. It is only relatively recently that the importance of insulation has been traversed in detail and has become paramount in our legislation.

In this context, with insulation a foreign concept for many, when it was used there was just one main option – fibreglass. That option remains the predominant choice in New Zealand, primarily Green Sheep’s Ben Small says, because it is simply what we know and what has always been done.

“Fibreglass has been used for so long that it is just what people think of when they think of insulation, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way of doing things,” Ben says.

In fact, fibreglass has a lot of drawbacks, and it far from a natural product. While now there are various options, the most natural and sustainable option is wool insulation, and that’s a topic Ben is passionate about. 

Green Sheep specialises in New Zealand-grown loose thrown and roll form insulation, both products that proffer various unique benefits in terms of performance and sustainability.

“The fact that wool breathes is its biggest benefit,” Ben says. “Because moisture leaving the house has to pass through any insulation that is installed, with wool insulation, that moisture is able to pass through it without becoming trapped.
“With fibreglass insulation, in comparison, the moisture becomes trapped and after a few years and cycles of it getting very damp, it is no longer effective and break down considerably over time as more moisture becomes trapped in its fibres.”

But fibreglass insulation remains the cheapest product available in New Zealand, with wool and polyester at the next price point. 
 

“What we’re finding is that wool insulation is getting people’s attention more and more,” Ben says. “I think that’s because more people are thinking about insulation, and they are then looking for natural alternatives to the norm.”

Green Sheep’s roll form insulation is made with 80 per cent New Zealand-grown wool combined with 20 per cent polyester, which is made of recycled plastic. “At the end of life, the polyester component is designed to be stripped away from the wool and recycled, and the wool can then be repurposed or composted.”

All Green Sheep insulation has a 50-year warranty, including its loose thrown pure wool insulation, which is ideal for retrofits where there is limited space in the cavities for insulation to be installed. 

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to fibreglass insulation, have a look at what woollen insulation can provide. Visit Green Sheep on ArchiPro here to find out more.