Building physics

Paulina Faria, Ana Brás

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Currently, the European market of insulating materials is dominated by inorganic materials and organic foams, which account for 60% and 27% of the market respectively, whereas natural fibres and new technology materials account for less than 13% all together. The manufacture of thermo-insulating materials such as inorganic materials and organic foams is quite demanding as regards consumption of energy, raw materials and cost. Threats of uncertain petroleum supply in the near future and environmental concerns enhances the need of finding available alternative material resources. Renewable resources seem to be the advantageous alternative, not loading environment on the condition of consequent processing with low energetic demand.
Natural and bio-based construction materials represent a promising solution for optimizing buildings' environmental sustainability. The combination of bio fibres such as kenaf, hemp, flax, jute, henequen, pineapple leaf, coconut, wood, cork, cane, cardboard or sisal with polymer matrices from both non-renewable and renewable resources to produce composite materials are emerging as a viable alternative to glass fibre reinforced composites especially in building product applications. They are considered effective raw materials for producing insulating panels at a reduced cost.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerformance of Bio-based Building Materials
Subtitle of host publicationPerformance of Buildings
EditorsDennis Jones, Christian Brischke
PublisherWoodhead Publishing
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780081009925
ISBN (Print)9780081009826
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Publication series

NameWoodhead Series in Civil and Structural Engineering
PublisherWoodhead Publishing


  • Bio-based building material
  • Building physic
  • Thermal conductivity


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