Born from the need for better insulation solutions: The TimberHP Story

TimberHP grew out of a partnership between two entrepreneurs—Matthew O’Malia, an award-winning architect with a reputation for developing high-performance, cost-competitive designs; and Dr. Joshua Henry, a materials chemist with years of experience elevating solutions to conserve energy and produce renewable energy.  

In 2016, Henry and O’Malia saw an opportunity to combine their talents to address a major contradiction that faces the construction industry: we insulate to reduce the energy required to heat and cool our buildings, but we do it with materials highly dependent on or directly derived from fossil fuels.  Neither Henry nor O’Malia could understand why wood fiber insulation— a performance-competitive, renewable, carbon-negative insulation that has been produced in Europe for two decades—was not being made in North America. 

Through grant-funded research and collaborations with European wood fiber insulation producers, the duo found that their home state of Maine, where multiple paper mills have closed in recent years, could benefit from a new, high-value composite like wood fiber insulation that could make use of the same fiber stream that went into papermaking in the past. O’Malia and Henry formed GO Lab, Inc. and purchased the former UPM paper mill in Madison. In later 2021, the GO Lab team successfully raised the financing to renovate the mill and begin making the transition to becoming TimberHP, the first wood fiber insulation manufacturer in North America.

matt and josh