Isabel Barros Architects - Blog

design + energy + excellence

Category: Sustainability (page 2 of 7)

Insulation Materials – All You Need to Know

It is easy to get confused when selecting insulation materials. There are different types of insulation, each with different forms and shapes, and a range of different properties.

Thermal properties are the primary consideration in choosing insulations.

The insulation material you choose depends on:

–  how you will use it,

–  where you will use it (there are recommended U-values for different areas of the building fabric, see below Diagram 1 from Part L of the Irish Building Regulations),

– and how much you are willing to spend.


We want to share with you two of our favourite articles/websites with helpful and unbiased information:

1 – What’s the best insulation material to use in eco renovation? by David Thorpe, and available in SuperHomes.

2 – Insulation materials 1 – Introduction by GreenSpec.


On these websites you can find answers to specific questions like:

Why should I insulate and where?

Which form of insulation material is best to use where?

How much insulation do I need?

What is the best insulation for health and climate?

Which is the best insulation for cost by volume?

What is the best insulation material for thermal performance?


You can also find detailed information about the properties of the different types of insulation:

Insulation materials 2: Plant / animal derived

Insulation materials 3: Mineral

Insulation materials 4: Oil-derived


In Ireland, Part L of the Irish Building Regulations deals with the conservation of fuel and energy. Part L is a complex and important regulation that provides guidance to ensure a better energy performance.

Diagram 1 of Part L summarises the minimum fabric insulation standards applicable in Ireland.

Part L - Irish Building Regulations - Fabric U-values


If you are still confused after reading all this information please contact us  before you make costly decisions. We can review your existing conditions, discuss options and make recommendations to improve the energy performance of your building in a sustainable and cost effective way.

Get Creative

We love the idea of recycling and reusing materials!

We found out about “ReCreate” and we are delighted with this idea. They source end of line, remaindered, surplus and unwanted materials, and make them available to their members.

ReCreate” works with local businesses to collect unwanted and surplus items, for use in early childhood education, schools, colleges arts & community centres. They also cater for Artists and Craftspeople, Art teachers and Creative facilitators, Community artists, students, hobbyists and anyone interested in creative expression or with a love for make and do.


ReCreate Materials

ReCreate” stocks a huge range of materials. We found a number of materials that can be used in interior design or decoration/renovation projects. All you need is to use you Creativity!

ReCreate” operates on a membership model. There is a wide range of membership fees starting at €60/year. Members are able to access a treasure trove of materials in their Superstore in Ballymount, Dublin.

Find out more about “ReCreatehere and start creating right now!


Renovating Europe is needed NOW

We start this new year of 2013 by showing our support for the ‘Renovate Europe’ campaign.

The ‘Renovate Europe’ Campaign was initiated by EuroACE (The European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficency in Buildings). It is calling for an ambitious roadmap to be drawn up on how to triple the annual renovation rate of the EU building stock from the current rate of 1% to 3% by 2020 and to ensure that the aggregate result of those renovations leads to an 80% reduction of the energy demand of the building stock by 2050 as compared to 2005.


Renovate europe - Resources_3


We can continue to burn money on ever more expensive imported fossil fuels. Or we can invest in measures that will help create up to 2 million European jobs, reduce our environmental footprint and prevent more Europeans falling into fuel poverty.


Renovate europe - Resources_1


The choice is yours. Support a 3% renovation rate of Europe’s buildings.


Renovate europe - Resources_2

Source: Renovate Europe


Visit to add your support to calls for policy measures that will help Renovate Europe.



OVERVIEW – Energy efficient renovation makes economic sense


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