With almost the whole of 2019 to look forward to, we look briefly back on 2018 and remember what’s been achieved, how far we’ve come, what we’ve learned and how we can use this moving forward; not just as a company but as a whole sector.
2018 was a massive year for NBT with sales of the Pavatex range of woodfibre insulation never being stronger. There have been a number of factors in this, including supply chain issues for some other insulation materials and concerns about the combustibility of others. Most encouragingly of all, however, we’ve really started to see a difference in the way that projects are specified, with architects increasingly concerned about the integrity of every element of the building structure and how different materials can work together.
There’s also a resurgence of appreciation of wood and timber products as robust and versatile building materials that lock up carbon to counter the effects of climate change. The growth in interest in woodfibre insulation is reflected in a renaissance of timber frame construction and the innovation that’s being seen in CLT construction around the world. Earlier this year we highlighted the planning approval gained for a 19-storey timber-built tower in Vancouver, which will be even taller than the city’s Brock Commons hybrid mass timber student residence. We were also selected to be part of an exhibition about the versatility of timber products at the V&A as part of an exhibit submitted by Waugh Thistleton; an architectural practice renown for its CLT projects.
Moreover, we’ve taken some giant leaps into mainstream house-building over the past year. While we’re still the insulation system of choice for Passivhaus projects and environmentally-conscious builds, the pioneering work of Taylor Wimpey in using Pavatex systems on prototype homes within a major development over the past year demonstrates that there is interest for all elements of the market in how woodfibre insulation can be part of a strategy to build more thermally-efficient, comfortable and sustainable homes.
We’ve also seen a huge boost in the number of heritage projects using our internal wall insulation systems in 2018. Upgrading the thermal performance of a solid brick or stone built building without upsetting the delicate building physics of the structure and causing damp can be difficult but we have proved that it can be done effectively with woodfibre at projects as diverse as the Aberdeen Art Gallery and the RAF Museum.
There is uncertainty in the air as we begin 2019 but, at NBT, we are confident that the positive trend in the specification of woodfibre insulation is set to continue. We would love to help you explore the next generation of insulation solutions through your projects in 2019.