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This month sees us talking to Judith Thornton from Aberystwyth University.

Judith is looking at alternative natural insulators that can be grown. She has a particular interest in how we stop biodegradable materials biodegrading.

Judith was just involved in building the world’s first miscanthus insulated house. The Miscanthus was baled up like a regular straw bale and the house was build in the same way that a regular straw bale house would be.

Why does she want to improve on current straw bale materials?

  • She is looking for plants that are perennials, which are therefore better for soil quality and require less intensive farming.
  • She is looking for plants that have a higher resistance to biodegrading should there be a moisture issue in a house, or freak plumbing accident.

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