My Insulation Experiment by Matthew Cutler-Welsh

By Matthew Cutler-Welsh
August 11, 2015

Overhead, the rain pelted down on the metal roof just above my head. I later found out that it was a record rain storm for Auckland. I believed it.

The roof of the circa 1920s house I was crouched in bore an almost identical resemblance to the construction and thermal performance of the simple corrugated steel shed where I’d stored bales of insulation the week prior. But there was one significant difference, there were people sleeping and living below this tin roof.

I’ve seen it many times before and much further south than Auckland, but going into a roof and seeing absolutely no insulation, still shocks me. How can this be? The occupants may as well be sleeping in the tin shed out the back. There’s is literally no difference.

My Insulation Experiment

The purpose of this exercise was to test a theory. I had two main suspicions and wanted to see if they were true.

  1. There are probably lots of houses in New Zealand that still need insulating.
  2. There’s probably a bunch of ‘spare’ insulation lying around that can’t be resold and isn’t being used.

Could these two suspicions be confirmed and then be matched up with the addition of a vital, third ingredient – willing installers?

I’m pleased to report that the answer is yes!

Knauf Insulation Earthwool Glasswool

Knauf came to the party, big time! Thanks to Murray Durbin and the team, I loaded up my car with a variety of half bales and random segments of Earthwool glasswool insulation. Just as I suspected, they had a pile of material that had been used, or partly used for demonstration purposes, testing or marketing. Now it was just taking up space in their office.

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