The market for insulation material in Europe was calculated at 235 million cubic metres in 2014. It is expected to grow at over 3% per year until 2022. The most commonly-used insulation material is synthetic mineral wool, followed by polystyrene and polyurethane. Mineral wool is a low-cost material that is easy to transport, but little of it is recycled: over 90% goes to landfill.
LIFE_PHIPP will demonstrate the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of a new type of building insulation material made of recycled paper and hemp fibre. This will be manufactured at a pilot facility in Latvia. The new insulation mats are designed to be easy-to-install, structurally sound and with thermal insulation properties comparable to those of mineral wool. Other advantages will include breathability, recyclability and health safety benefits. The product will be manufactured at about one-third of the cost of pure natural fibre material. It will be displayed in retail building material stores making it widely accessible to individual home owners.
This LIFE project is in line with the objectives of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. It addresses the circular economy concept through actions spanning the value chain or ensuring the use of secondary resources / scrap materials / wastes in other industries or value chains.