To bio or not to bio – Research into the characteristics and applications of insulation materials with a low environmental impact

Buildings have an enormous impact on our environment and are responsible for a large share of the primary energy use and CO2-emissions. Not only do buildings use a lot of energy during operation (e.g. for heating) but there is also a large amount of embedded energy in the buildings materials. As the energy performance of buildings increases, the environmental impact of the building materials that are used becomes more important. A large potential in a responsible handling of our climate lies in the reduction of the environmental impact of our building materials.

Within the TETRA project "To bio or not to bio" the potential of biobased insulation materials will be researched. The project aims at developing a knowledge tool that maps the materials characteristics and application possibilities of biobased materials and compares them with conventional insulation materials. The tool will be supplemented with construction details and best-practice examples from case studies. Additionally 3D scale models will be designed and built and will serve as demo material for workshops. Within the project UGent will also focus on the hygrothermal performance and possible damage risks of biobased materials in different building applications, and on the evaluation of the environmental impact through life cycle analysis.

The research project takes off in May 2020 and has a duration of two years. The research consortium consists of the research group Building Physics of Ghent University, Odisee campus Aalst and BBRI, various Flemish companies are also involved.


Research group: Building Physics
Start Date: 2020
Staff: Marijke Steeman and Lisa Van Gulck