The ‘shell’ of our house, i.e. the walls, floors and roof, is made from panels that contain sheep wool insulation. Although we have our own sheep on our farm we could not, unfortunately, use their wool as this would have been much more expensive than buying the left over wool from carpet manufacturers.
Wool is a brilliant insulating material (as we know from wearing woolen jumpers!) – it has loads of tiny air pockets which traps the cold air, which is why the wool is not packed in too tightly into the panels. Wool absorbs and releases moisture without impacting on insulation properties (unlike cellulose insulation). It is also supposed to be a brilliant acoustic insulator, which is something that we will be able to confirm once we have moved in to the house, as we have used the wool in internal partitions where we needed an additional noise barrier Before it can be used in walls it has to be treated with borax to enhance its fire protective qualities and to protect it against moths and other pests. Needless to say it is a very eco-friendly building material as it can be used over and over again and will not harm the environment once it has been disposed of.
Every panel gets a number which corresponds to numbers on a computer generated model of our house; when the builders are ready to install the panels each panel has an exact position it needs to be in. The (floor) panels slot easily into place and rest on the glulam beams as shown on the image below:
Once all the floor, wall and roof panels have been installed the joints are sealed on the inside of the house to help make the building air tight. The tape we used was incredibly strong, you can get it here from Tapes Direct!
Installation of the panels only took a few days as everything is put together like a LEGO house!