Regarding our decision to use wool as opposed to the expanded foam board that was recommended by the Tumbleweed plans:
Gabby has been very comitted from the start to build this tiny home with the least amount of synthetic materials as possible. She is making impressive steps to remove as much plastic as she can from her personal life, and wanted to transfer her efforts to our tiny house build. She wasn’t too thrilled about the foam insulation, and felt there must be some kind of an alternative out there. Her research brought her to discover the use of sheep’s wool as an insulation material. She was intrigued right away. Of course, I was skeptical. We looked into it together and the more we learned, the more and more it just made sense.
Not only did it match our desire to utilize natural materials, but from a technical standpoint it really does seem like a comparable (if not superior!) alternative to standard insulation materials.
Things we like about using wool insulation:
-A natural, renewable resource.
-Provides comparable R-value ratings to standard insulation materials.
-Naturally fire-resistant (we’ve been learning about fire retardant chemicals commonly used in housholds, and are pretty wigged out to say the least!).
-Absorbs chemicals, such as formaldehyde, acting as a ‘filter’ of sorts that can actually prevent “sick building syndrome”.
-Is, by the nature of wool, effective at dealing with the condensation challenges fiberglass or pulp insulation would face from a tiny house.
-Expands over time instead of clumping and settling.
-You don’t need to wear a hazmat suit and respirator to install your insulation. It won’t hurt you. (The fact that other insulation requires safety equipment to install really says it all right there, right?).
-SMELLS LIKE SHEEP! (a light, yet pleasant smell if you put your face into it…)
Things we like about Oregon Shepherd:
-Bob Workman was available on his personal cell phone, after hours, from the beginning to answer all of our questions about their product.
-They use local (Western United States, anyway) wool instead of importing European wool.
-They DO NOT USE POLYESTER OR OTHER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS in their wool to bind the insulation as most wool insulation makers do (they use a protien they developed to bind borax to the fibers).
-Impeccable customer service. They litterally bent over backwards for us.
-They’re located in Oregon. Having had the extreme privilege of growing up on the Southern Oregon Coast, it is personally rewarding to have a little Oregon with us wherever this tiny house may take us.