Fabric First: Sustainable Architecture & Eco Design
What is the most sustainable method of keeping your home warm? To not have to heat it at all!
‘Fabric First’ is a building approach that focuses on using high-quality insulation and air-tightness measures in the construction of a building to prevent heat loss. This approach aims to reduce the amount of energy that a building requires for heating or cooling, making it more sustainable and cost-effective.
A common question is ‘but won’t this cost more to build?’ and the answer is yes. This approach will cost more money upfront so it is not suitable for everyone, but for people looking to make their forever-home or can see themselves living in their home for the next 10 years, it could be well worth considering.
When is the best time to consider a fabric first approach? Ideally, as early as possible. The decision could be made at a later stage, like after planning, but as the increase in insulation requires deeper walls, it is best to take this into consideration during the initial design stage so you don’t end up sacrificing floor space to go this route.
I live in an old property and making it air-tight may not be possible, does that rule this approach out? Not entirely. Yes, combining a high level of insulation with air tightness does decrease the amount of heat loss significantly. That being said, if achieving an air-tight home is not possible don’t let that put you off incorporating more insulation. It may not be as effective, but it will still help reduce the rate of heat loss and through other ventilation methods (natural, cross, or passive) you can still achieve a pleasant level of thermal comfort.
As our world becomes more focused on sustainable living, Fabric First is a crucial step in designing buildings that will serve us for years to come.
If you are considering a new project and want to find out if a Fabric First approach is right for you, say hi and we would be happy to help!