Biobased insulation materials: optimistic outlook for the European market

Granulated cork, mats made from hemp, fleeces made from sheep's wool or even blown-in cellulose flakes: Biobased insulation materials are increasingly competing with mineral wool and plastic foam.
KONSTANZ, Germany - Dec. 8, 2023 - PRLog -- Ceresana has been analyzing the market for insulation materials used for thermal insulation in the construction industry for 10 years. Now, for the first time, the market research institute is publishing a study specifically on the European market for insulation materials made from renewable raw materials. The new market report expects sales of these "green" building materials in Europe to exceed EUR 2.3 billion by 2032.

Building insulation saves money and energy

Well-insulated walls reduce the heating energy requirement or the cooling load of buildings – and therefore reduce not only costs but also carbon dioxide emissions. Renewable raw materials such as flax, straw or reed can further improve the energy balance and the "ecological footprint" of buildings. The demand for biobased insulation materials is expected to increase significantly over the coming years. Ceresana expects the highest growth rates of 3.4% per year on average in residential construction and slightly less in commercial construction. In many places, the construction of warehouses and logistics centers for the booming online trade, as well as data centers, is a ray of hope for the struggling construction industry. While new construction in Europe is only growing slightly, Ceresana is forecasting growth rates of up to 4% per year in the renovation sector.

Growing demand for biobased insulation materials

Natural materials are often even more expensive and less known than mineral or synthetic products. In some cases, they have to be specially protected against water, fire and pests. In many places, conservative building regulations and standards still make it difficult to use mushroom mycelium or other innovative insulating materials. Biobased insulating materials, on the other hand, are ideally non-toxic and biodegradable after their usage period. They can be combined with organic paints, organic wallpapers, organic adhesives and other environmentally friendly building materials. Many biobased insulation materials can absorb water vapor from the room air and then gradually release it again. In the event of a fire, wood panels, sawdust and other biobased insulation materials can be more predictable and less dangerous than plastic insulation made of EPS or XPS. As there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all requirements, different materials with specific properties are often combined, for example hemp fibers and supporting fibers made from the bioplastic PLA, straw fibers and flame retardants or sound insulation made from coconut fibers (low-frequency noise) and cork (high-frequency noise).

Further information about the new market study "Biobased Insulation Materials - Europe" (1st edition):

Martin Ebner
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