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Developing Homegrown Natural Fibre Insulation Products

29 Mar 2012
This event has now finished and the information below is for reference only.

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Where: K505, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow
Times: 12.30 -14.00 [GMT] (12:00 for lunch)

Kraft Architecture & Research has been developing a variety of novel natural fibre building insulation products for use in hygroscopic or 'breathable' wall construction.

Our interest in exploring hygroscopic Breathing Walls is in response to conventional contemporary building practices that require new homes to be very airtight. Walls built today are very energy-efficient but cannot handle the inevitable intrusion of moisture, resulting in potential mold, ill health for occupants and structural damage.  Many know the maxim of "build tight, ventilate right," less are aware of the argument to construct an envelope that is "waterproof but vapour permeable."

We are interested in developing insulation products which have a high recycled content and that make use of the hygroscopic qualities of natural fibres.  In tandem with this aim, the development of these products seek to create insulation products which use 100% low grade material / clean waste streams.

The work has involved identifying appropriate fibres, trialling production and testing a variety of waste streams including wool, cotton, wood, cellulose, denim & feathers.

The aim of this study was to test the thermal conductivity of a variety of natural fibres formed using a non-woven bonding process at different densities to see whether this had an impact on their performance.

A test wall construction with a prototype insulation product manufactured using scottish waste wool has also been tested.

Our presentation will discuss the processes, results and future work ahead for this project.


Dr Paul Baker, RICH Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University

Bruce Newlands, Kraft Architecture

Bruce studied architecture at The Scott Sutherland School, Aberdeen & at IIT, Chicago USA. He previously worked at anderson bell + christie, glasgow for over six years and held the title of associate within the practice before going on to found kraft architecture in August 2007. His work also includes innovative residential developments including Phase F of the Crown Street Regeneration Project, award winning sustainable rural housing developments, a Primary School for Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties and a Turning Point Alcohol Rehabilitation Unit in Glasgow.

He has a keen interest in sustainable issues and in the deployment of passive systems to create healthy, zero carbon environments for both living & working.

He is a member of the Scottish Ecological Design Association and an approved Energy Certificate Certifier.

Bruce also teaches on a part-time basis at The Scott Sutherland School, Aberdeen, where he is part of a wider practice based research group into sustainable constriction and material selection.

He has also taught at the Strathclyde University’s Department of Architecture & The Architecture Department, Northumbria University.


There are two ways to attend this event.

All CIC Start Online members will be invited to attend the online webinar and will receive an email with the meeting link. This will provide a live video feed, presentation and chat area - with the opportunity to contribute to the discussion using the Q&A (online chat) facility.

Online attendance is free of charge to CIC Start Online members.

Please register as a member here – project membership is free.


You can also attend the seminar in person.

A buffet lunch will be provided before the event, providing opportunities for networking with fellow delegates and the seminar speakers.   Lunch and registration starts at 12:00, with the seminar commencing at 12:30.

If you wish to attend the seminar in person, please complete the registration form below.

The price is £70 per delegate (£50 for CIC Start Online members).


The seminar fee may be 50% funded by Skills Development Scotland if the business employs less than 250 people and meets Skills Development Scotland's criteria.  After booking the course, please contact or call 0300 456 8731.



Sorry this event is now fully booked.


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