[Strawbale] Strawbale roof insulation

Mark and/or Jan Bigland-Pritchard hyphen at dial....com
Wed Sep 18 00:59:45 CEST 2002

Dear all,
Excuse me while I ramble off in a few directions simultaneously - a sign 
of woolly thinking?...:
(1) I can't help thinking, despite what has been written here, that wool 
insulation won't fully take off until it can be insect-proofed safely 
without being smelly, and this at a reasonable cost.
I'm still not sure why this seems so impossible at the moment.
(2) Have fire tests been done on unwashed wool? - my understanding was 
that extracting the lanolin is as much to reduce flammability as to 
eliminate smelliness.
(3) Can you give us more details, Andre, of what this good French book 
says?  What is the chemical treatment it refers to, and what health 
hazard does it pose?  (Most of the installations I've heard of use
I'm not aware of any significant health hazards associated with it but 
would certainly like to know - plus preferably see the evidence - if 
there are.)
(4) I'm sure there's plenty of research still to be done on sheeps wool.
To take one example, how significant is carding in the process of 
insulation production?  (CAT seem to think it was important in their 
building.)  The argument is that with less lumps you get less 
coldbridging and so a better insulant - but by what margin, and how 
would the lifetime savings compare with the energy costs of the carding 

Andre de Bouter wrote:
> > Industrially processed sheepswool is clean, easy to handle and does 
> > not smell a lot.
> It also costs a lot more since they wash and treat the wool, plus 
> they (and the reseller) need to make a buck. I'm told (by a good 
> French book on Ecological Insulation) that the chemical treatment 
> used by almost all companies is not a healthy one for neither builder 
> nor owner.
> But hey, it looks and smells really clean ;-)
> Andre

Harald Wedig wrote:
> > Hello Barbara,
> > people have made mistakes with sheepwool insulation, just as with chaff
> > ( is that the right word for grain shells ?) and other organic
> > materials. We all know, that organic materials are very sympathetic to
> > ALL liveforms; not only to humans.
> > We need to understand  wool like we need to understand straw, before we
> > can use it without any risk.
> > Industrially processed sheepswool is clean, easy to handle and does not
> > smell a lot.
> > Cheers, Harald
> >

Barbara Jones wrote:
> > > Hi Harald
> > > Glad to hear it is possible after all. I was sure it would be. Still 
> > > don't understand then the need for such commercialisation of sheeps 
> > > wool as a product, though am glad it's coming into mainstream. 
> > > Perhaps because the "ordinary" buyer wants something that looks like 
> > > rockwool?
> > > Best wishes
> > > Barbara

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