TimberBatt Helps Answer National Shortage of Construction Insulation

Originally published by LBM on March 14th, 2024

As homebuilders and developers respond to a national housing crisis, they find product shortages, now with fiberglass and mineral wool insulation, hindering their momentum. Maine-based TimberHP is countering this lack of supply with the launch of TimberBatt, a high-performance, press-fit cavity insulation for residential and light-commercial construction.

TimberHP selling TimberBatt at the Cameron Ashley Building Products Dealer Show in February.
TimberHP’s TimberBatt being installed into walls.

TimberBatt manufacturing starts with wood chips leftover from lumber production and sustainable forestry operations. This abundant, renewable feedstock is steamed, mechanically refined, and then blended with borate to create wall, floor, and ceiling insulation that resists mold and guards against fire (ASTM E84 Class A).

“Dry-process wood fiber insulation has been produced in Europe for over 20 years and accounts for $1 billion in sales annually in the EU,” said Joshua Henry, TimberHP President and CEO. “The technology and formulation used to create TimberBatt is well established.  We’re just the first to make this type of insulation in North America.”

TimberBatt, with its high density, excels in both thermal and acoustic applications. Its R-value of 4+ per inch combined with high heat capacity and low thermal conductivity make it an insulation for all seasons, defending against winter cold and summer heat gain. TimberBatt’s vapor-open and hygroscopic characteristics work to manage humidity in the built environment. It can contribute to the creation of healthy indoor air while supporting resilient wood frame assemblies. It is also free of itchy fibers, safe to handle and install, and easy to cut and detail. 

“It’s sold at a cost premium in Europe. Here, we’re providing it as a better performing option that is cost competitive with other mainstream insulations. And it’s carbon negative. For decades, we’ve been using insulations made from petroleum, like foam, and with high embodied carbon, like mineral wool, to reduce operational energy use in our buildings.  That contradiction was a driving factor for us to start producing wood fiber insulation in the U.S.,” said Henry.

At full production, TimberHP in Madison will manufacture over 20 million cubic feet of TimberBatt per year which is equivalent to nearly 7,000 semi-trailer loads. Leveraging a strong relationship with their national distribution partner, Cameron Ashley Building Products, TimberHP is currently offering TimberBatt, and their blow-in insulation TimberFill, to customers across the country.

With our nation’s wood baskets seeking a new destination for residual wood chips and the demand growing for scalable insulating materials to support new housing options, TimberHP is already eying locations for additional production facilities.