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Nviro rejoices over new fire test: “One test is better than 1,000 assumptions”

The Danish Fire and Security Institute has recently carried out a series of extensive fire tests on bio-based insulation constructions. The studies show that the bio-based constructions of, among other things, paper wool meet the desired functional requirements and can thus replace conventional types of insulation in multi-storey buildings. This is welcomed by the insulation supplier Nviro, who hopes that the new test results will dispel previous prejudices about fire safety in the ground.

The construction industry accounts for 30 percent of Denmark’s total CO2 emissions, and if this is to be seriously cut, bio-based building materials must have an even larger share in future construction. In order to accelerate bio-based construction, the Danish Fire and Security Institute (DBI) and the contractor Logik & Co. created the national project Wood:UpHigh. The purpose is to gather documentation that composite bio-based constructions can find wider and easier use in multi-storey buildings.

In the project, among others, the insulation supplier Nviro contributed with sparring and supplied bio-based insulation constructions with paper wool and wood fiber insulation, which have recently undergone extensive fire tests in DBI’s test hall in Hvidovre.

The tests show that a fire in various wooden constructions combined with bio-based material of, among other things, eel grass, wood fibers and paper wool meets the desired functional requirements. According to DBI’s own conclusion, the bio-based insulation materials can thus replace rock wool, for example, if they are wrapped in plaster or clay plaster.

The new studies are a source of joy at Nviro, which is particularly excited that the results cover the entire industry – and not just a single product. According to Nviro, this will hopefully create even greater safety in general with wooden construction and bio-based insulation solutions:

The new fire tests are not really new knowledge for us at Nviro, but the fact that we now have the conclusions from an independent Danish institute such as DBI is good news for the entire bio-based insulation industry. It is incredibly positive that the bio-based products are highlighted and that we gain increased knowledge about the fire safety of everything from eel grass to paper wool. It is important that we act from a knowledge-based approach – and not an emotion-based approach – so that we can spread more climate-friendly building materials. And here a test is better than 1,000 assumptions, says technical director at Nviro, Per Thomsen.

A fire doesn’t care about national borders

Nviro, which is part of Nordic Wood Industries, sells bio-based insulation produced from recycled newspapers from Isocell, and wood fibers from Hunton, both domestically and abroad. According to Per Thomsen, Nviro encounters several prejudices about the fire safety of the insulation solutions in Denmark. Abroad, the company generally experiences both a greater knowledge of and more experience with bio-based insulation.

The materials and principles for the constructions that have been tested are used in many places in the world, including Germany and Austria – and bio-based insulation is generally in high demand abroad. But in Denmark, people have previously been a little more reluctant, perhaps due to a lack of knowledge of fire safety. But a fire burns in exactly the same way regardless of national borders, says Per Thomsen and continues:

A project like Wood:UpHigh undoubtedly helps to open up even more opportunities for the industry as a whole. Many builders would like to build with more bio-based materials and insulation, but it takes time and resources for a builder to familiarize himself with the area. Therefore, this project is completely unique and will hopefully help to emphasize the bio-based solutions as just as safe as more traditional insulation solutions.

The Wood:UpHigh project is supported by Realdania and the Danish Agency for Education and Research. The project is managed by DBI, which takes care of all the project’s activities, while Logik & Co. takes care of the construction of test items for the fire tests in collaboration with a broad following group that represents both know-how and know-why about bio-based construction, including Nviro.

Read more about Nviro here.

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