The humble super hero
We've built one of the world's most sustainable buildings.
Our insulation system in the IndiHowf cabin demonstrates exactly what the IPCC climate report says the world urgently needs:
1. Use fast-growing crops to store carbon and
2. Insulate buildings to high standards.
Pic of our demo building ready to travel to the Scotland Build trade show and then to a Circular Glasgow event.
Our IndiHowf cabin made with our insulation system feeling the love at a Scotland Build trade show.
We’re experiencing climate catastrophe and
the sixth mass species extinction.
The construction industry takes half of natural resources, makes half of carbon emissions and its waste fills half of landfill. [i]
Our modest-looking demonstration
cabin reverses those problems.
Biotech + crops = no petro-plastics
Look in the heart-shaped truth window inside and you can see our innovative 100% plant-based insulation system called IndiBreathe® (made of our IndiTherm® batts and IndiBoards®). Unlike other bio-based insulations which use petro-plastics to ‘glue’ them together, we use biotech materials to bind our hemp fibres and left-over ‘shiv’ straw. Natural fire retardants are added to meet building regulations.
Part-funded by Zero Waste Scotland, this plastic-free [ii] building demonstrates better-than-zero waste circular design principles. It is designed for disassembly, meaning it can easily be taken apart at end of life. Our natural IndiBreathe® products themselves can be re-used, easily reprocessed into the same products or even composted.
This cabin is mostly made of renewable plant-based materials like plant-based oil finishes, timber and our hemp - reducing reliance on diminishing natural resources.
Conventional insulations use huge amounts of energy and carbon in production – melting toxic petrochemical foams or minerals like glasswools at 1400 degrees C. Our products actually have a net storage of carbon: there is more carbon locked up in our plant materials (when they photosynthesise) than the amount of carbon needed to manufacture them. This reduces the average home’s construction carbon footprint by a quarter.
Who needs heating?
Designed to be exceptionally high performing, we anticipate the IndiHowf will need almost no heating. Triple-glazed windows allow generous passive solar gain. Our double-layered batt and board IndiBreathe® insulation system creates a highly energy efficient thermal envelope which reduces heat loss through thermal bridging (heat loss through things like timber studwork).
The IndiHowf demonstrates a 'fabric-first' approach, which means that if you design a building in a smart way and use smart insulations (which have heat storage properties like IndiBreathe®), you can easily reduce energy consumption to almost nothing without relying on high tech energy solutions.
The future is plant-based
This cabin demonstrates exactly what the 2018 IPCC [iii] climate report says the world urgently needs: 1. Use fast-growing crops to store carbon and 2. Insulate buildings to high standards.
Breathe healthy air
This is an exceptionally healthy building, with no carcinogenic volatile organic compounds which off-gas inside from conventional building materials. Our products are 100% natural.
The cabin also safely 'breathes' out excess moisture to reduce risks of unhealthy levels of condensation and black mould, similar to how our traditional buildings used to before we started sealing them up in petro-plastics. Warm, comfortable and healthy air - naturally!
Your building lasts longer
This same vapour 'breathability' also means buildings last longer, reducing the risk of trapped moisture which leads to structural rot and decay. That is why Historic Scotland and Historic England recommend natural insulations for retrofits.
[i] UK Green Building Council and Zero Waste Scotland
[ii] Nearly plastic-free! The roofers put a membrane under the zinc roof. Other than that, we’ve removed all vapour and air barrier membranes. Peer-reviewed research shows this isn’t necessary when you design with the right materials and systems.
[iii] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Promoting our circular business at Circular Glasgow
Sam talking with architects at our Circular Glasgow event.
Bringing it to the masses at Circular Glasgow
Glasgow or bust! On the way to a Scotland Build trade show and then a Circular Glasgow event.
Clive installing one of our IndiTherm hemp batts