Thermal and acoustic insulation in houses

Much of the energy consumed by buildings is lost through their walls, roofs and openings. Improved insulation could contribute more to long-term performance.

High levels of insulation and airtightness are an absolutely essential part of the energy-efficient Passivhaus concept, but elsewhere improved insulation is not necessarily seen as a key part of the energy-efficient Passivhaus concept. a sustainability strategy.

However, as most thermal insulation is part of the building, material choices will have a long term impact on carbon emissions which is difficult to reverse and therefore needs to be taken with some caution.

There are a wide range of factors that could be considered when determining the appropriate insulation solution. Although the goal of an absolute reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions should be the main one.

Thermal and acoustic insulation in houses 1

Today we have at our fingertips many solutions such as mineral wool or extruded polystyrene thanks to companies such as URSA, leader in this sector in Spain.


When it comes to thermal insulation, inefficient resources and poor installation techniques tend to harm the environment. Sustainable building materials, on the other hand, can significantly increase the energy rating of buildings. Here are some of the most common green insulation materials:

  • Glass or mineral wool
  • extruded polystyrene
  • Sheep’s wool
  • Cellulose


Glass or mineral wool insulation

This inexpensive option is made from recycled glass bottles, sand and other materials. It is naturally flame retardant, making it a good choice for areas where fire is a serious risk. The downside is that it stings on contact, but this is mitigated by wearing protective gear during installation. Glass wool does not rot or attract vermin, so you can see why it is so popular.

extruded polystyrene insulation

You can recycle this product and there is no risk that it stings on contact with it. Styrofoam is made from synthetic materials, including recycled plastic bottles. It is certified non-flammable and only burns when exposed to relatively high temperatures. Asthmatics will be happy to know that there are no dust particles or breathable fibers.

sheep wool insulation

It is one of the most natural resources, since it is obtained directly from the back of a sheep. Wool fibers trap air and provide a thermal barrier. Sheep’s wool works well to regulate moisture. Does not sting or burn easily when exposed to heat. In addition, this material can help absorb harmful substances from the atmosphere.

cellulosic insulation

When it comes to eco-friendly insulation, it’s one of the more sustainable options, as it’s mostly made from recycled newspaper. It is affordable and highly resistant to air leakage, making it an effective insulator. Cellulose is treated with a flame retardant chemical, but it is still a difficult material for firefighters to handle.


Insulation made from durable building materials must be installed correctly to work well.

Otherwise, what happens is that the heat escapes us during the colder months. The most common places where air escapes are outside corners, outside faucets, electrical outlets, and door and window frames.

Compression, air leaks and humidity are the main culprits of poor insulation. For example, insufficient space between the roof and the roof contributes to leaks. Some recessed lights and fans also cause problems because they let air and heat escape.

Luckily, it all comes down to minor construction and design issues, which can be solved with a conscience.

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