Second Nature, Cumbria, UK
Insulating buildings using sheep's wool
Christine Armstrong wanted to use loft insulation made from natural fibres when she was renovating a 17th century farmhouse. There was insulation available made from sheep’s wool, but none of it was produced in the UK. Yet the coarse wool from UK highland sheep often went to waste, because it had limited use in the modern textile industry.
Rather than just bemoan this waste of resources, Christine took action. She set up a business, Second Nature, which developed Thermafleece, an effective roof-insulation material made largely from sheep's wool, which was launched on the market in 2001. Although more expensive than conventional mineral alternatives, it had much lower embodied energy, was safer to handle and helps to create breathable structures. This is particularly valuable when insulating historic buildings where moisture accumulation might cause wood to rot.
By 2010, over 200,000 m2 of Thermafleece had been sold, and two new types had been added to the product line. Second Nature is however no longer trading.