Architect Magazine: Next Generation Wood Fiber Insulation Solves Built Environment’s Embodied Carbon Concerns

When architect Matthew O’Malia started his Maine-based design-build firm in 2008, it didn’t take long for him to run into the construction problem that would lead to an unplanned career expansion into building products entrepreneurship.

Fossil-fuel derived insulations, the mainstays of the mainstream market, were itchy, scratchy, and prone to toxic off gassing. O’Malia’s construction crews couldn’t stand using them, and while they reduced operational energy use, their high embodied carbon levels canceled out those savings from a climate change perspective.

O’Malia and his business partner, materials chemist Dr. Joshua Henry, found a better solution in wood fiber insulation, a nearly $1B a year product in Europe. The entrepreneurs launched TimberHP—notes Architect Magazine—and are now making high performing, carbon negative wood fiber insulation—priced for mainstream adoption—for the first time in North America.