July 8, 2016

Introducing Havelock Wool: A Truly Sustainable Insulation

20150219_121337In the green building world we sometimes take time, effort, and research to replicate natural processes. Bill McDonaugh puts this eloquently when he notes we should create objects that aspire to the performance abilities and services of trees:

What if our homes and workplaces were like trees, living organisms participating productively in their surroundings? Imagine a building, enmeshed in the landscape, that harvests the energy of the sun, sequesters carbon and makes oxygen…

The best case scenario for the things we create and put out in the world, we aim toward biomimicry in order to mirror the already amazing effects of natural materials. And sometimes you just have to say, we are not going to do any better than this, and use that natural material as it is. That summarizes a key reason 475 is partnering with Havelock Wool. We focus on building healthy and safe buildings free from mold and rot, and wool insulation manages to be a highly effective solution toward those ends, without the aid of additives, chemical processes, or binding agents.




A message from Havelock Wool owner / founder, and wool services evangelist, Andrew Legge:

Wool is one of the oldest insulation’s we know of. Its usage has diminished simultaneously to the conversant and never-ending proliferation of synthetics. In other parts of the world, sheep (and wool) are a more significant component of GDP thus such a move has been muted whilst alternative usages sought. Accordingly, sheep’s wool insulation is quite common in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and various parts of Europe.

To further this sensible cause here in the US we are greatly appreciative of a recent collaboration with 475, which will allow for a natural, high-integrity fiber to enter the world of high performance building.

The US insulation market is continually dominated by products that are either not good for us or are mildly better than those we have become accustom to using. In either case, there is now a viable alternative that is based on one simple reality: the extremely high integrity of a wool fiber.

It is scientifically understood that wool manages moisture against 65% relative humidity, irreversibly bonds with formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, and the trade is responsible for the sequestration of static1.squarespacesome 525,000 tons of pure, atmosphere-derived carbon. It is also entirely renewable and sustainable in its creation, a great insulator that has evolved over thousands of years, and compostable at the end of an extended useful life. These claims are fact, not conjecture or marketing speak.

Havelock Wool is sourced in New Zealand and manufactured in the USA. Our products are fully tested, conform to the building code and are available in both batts and loose-fill.

Download the Havelock Wool brochure here. We’ll have more information and product pages to come on foursevenfive.com in the coming weeks. For now, if you are interested, looking for more information, or would like to get a quote for your project. Please contact us, we’re happy to help.

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6 Responses to Introducing Havelock Wool: A Truly Sustainable Insulation

  1. Larry July 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Any idea on the costs for this product?

  2. Andrew Legge July 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    As a general rule, despite a fair bit of geographic dispersion in pricing, insulation costs tend to exist in a spectrum whereby fiberglass and cellulose are at the bottom and closed cell foam is at the top. We tend to be a bit less than closed cell foam which, despite variability, often puts us at 2 or 2.5x those mediums at the bottom of the range.
    -Andrew Legge, Havelock Wool

  3. phillip July 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    how do you deal with wool moths?

    • John July 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi Phillip,

      As a rule, we find all pests are deterred by ensuring both sides of the envelope are sealed up tight with Pro Clima membranes. That goes for any insulation. Beyond that, Andrew let us know: insect repellent is applied to all Havelock Wool and no issues with moths have been observed or reported.

  4. Mary September 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    What are the ingredients of the insect repellent used in this wool insulation? Is there a spec sheet on this available somewhere?

    • Dave December 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

      According to the interview with Andrew in Fine Homebuilding magazine (Dec 2016), they use a small amount of boric acid in the wool for both insect repellent and flame retardant.

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