Thermal and Acoustic Building Insulations from Agricultural Wastes

  • Zahra BaladorEmail author
  • Morten Gjerde
  • Nigel Isaacs
  • Marzieh Imani
Reference work entry


Global population growth and economic growth increase the demand for more buildings and thus more construction materials. Increases in production of construction materials lead also to greenhouse gas emission rise and depletion of natural resources. One of these materials is insulation, which increasingly plays a vital role in the energy performance of buildings and in the process reducing negative environmental impacts of the built environment. A number of studies have focused on finding substitutions for petrochemicals as a source for manufacturing building insulation. Some investigations have identified insulation materials that have lower environmental costs, for example, those that are made of natural or recycled materials. Manufacturing building insulation from agricultural by-products is one such approach. However, these are in their early stages of development, and there is a long way to have them on the market.

Alongside identifying matters that require additional research to enhance technical reliability, this study explores issues that can improve the market viability and help make natural and recycled materials more attractive alternatives. There are some common themes among these materials and earlier studies have revealed that each of these agricultural wastes has some advantages that can be exploited for specific purposes alongside disadvantages that must be overcome. From another perspective, it is important to compare the performance of these new materials with that of more conventional options. This is one of the first steps needed to modify the industry. This chapter refers to earlier studies discussed in the literature in discussing the technical behavior of bio-based insulations in four categories: thermal, acoustic, environmental, and mechanical behavior. This research reveals the hotspots where evidence is currently lacking and how to find evident opportunities for this market, thereby suggesting where future research should be directed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahra Balador
    • 1
    Email author
  • Morten Gjerde
    • 1
  • Nigel Isaacs
    • 1
  • Marzieh Imani
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Architecture and DesignVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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