Last month, the World Green Building Council launched its new ‘Healthier Homes, Healthier Planet’ guide. The guide gives homeowners and tenants practical advice on making their homes as healthy as possible, for their own wellbeing and for the sake of the environment. It focuses on three key areas that determine how homes affect health; air quality, thermal & acoustic comfort and lighting.
The guide is an important document, and one that we hope is read far and wide by homeowners. Not least because of some of the stark statistics it contains. 50% of the air you inhale is in your home, and yet the World Health Organisation found that, for 92% of people worldwide, the air we’re breathing is doing us damage. So there’s a compelling argument to take the advice in the guide seriously.
High-performance, sustainable mineral wool insulation is an easy solution to address two of the three main factors of building health identified in the guide.
First, mineral wool insulation is the simplest route to thermal and acoustic comfort. The primary role of insulation is to keep buildings cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. But increasingly, homeowners are appreciating other performance benefits of insulation, in particular soundproofing.
Other insulation types perform less well when it comes to acoustic comfort. For example, foam boards absorb very little sound – external sound is transmitted directly through the material into the room, and internal sound is reflected back creating echoes.
Mineral wool is different. It’s an inherent quality of the structure of both glass and rock mineral wool that it absorbs sound waves. The sound energy bounces around between the strands of the material – a bit like a pinball – until it is converted into heat. In practice, this means that homes insulated with certain specialist products of ours, like our Acoustic Roll, will be quieter and therefore more pleasant places to live, work and play in. Noise from outside or the neighbours will be reduced and, if internal partitions are insulated, so will the sounds of shouting children and spinning washing machines.
The second area of the report where our products can help is indoor air quality. When properly installed in conjunction with a good ventilation strategy, mineral wool insulation helps create dry, warm homes with no cold spots where mould spores could propagate.
In addition to this, our products are manufactured using our patented ECOSE® Technology, which contains no added formaldehyde. Because of this, they have earned the best possible Eurofins Gold Certificate for Indoor Air Comfort.
If you haven’t already read the ‘Healthier Homes, Healthier Planet’ guide, you can view it on the World Green Building Council website. If you decide to make improvements as a result, consider Knauf Insulation as the best way to improve the health of your own home and any buildings you’re working on.
By Steve Smith, Head of Product Management and Business Intelligence, Knauf Insulation