TimberHP supports Habitat for Humanity project in Vermont 

In late August, members of the TimberHP marketing team hit the road to work on an exciting building project in the town of Vergennes, VT. Alex Carver, a veteran Vermont builder and board member of the Addison County chapter of Habitat for Humanity, visited TimberHP’s booth at the Better Buildings by Design Conference in April in Burlington, where he mentioned the Habitat home he was building in the Vergennes. The Addison Habitat chapter has built more than 10 homes in this area near Middlebury College since 2001. Students in Middlebury’s architecture department partner with a local firm, McLeod Kredell Architects, on the home designs, which feature energy efficient materials and design elements, including triple-glazed windows, passive solar orientation, and a maintenance-free exterior. Carver noted that his upcoming project would be using European wood fiber insulation boards and asked if the TimberHP team wanted to travel to Vermont in August to help volunteers with the install, we happily agreed. The offer presented a unique opportunity, at TimberHP, we’re always thinking about ways to share the wood fiber insulation story with early adopters, contractors and specifiers. The Vergennes installation was a chance to get some hands-on experience with a diverse construction crew and share some tips and tricks—a true market research test group in the field! 

Helping early adopters of wood fiber insulation become comfortable working with these new products is a major focus of our go-to-market preparations at TimberHP. Our exterior board sizes will range from 1″ to 9 ¼″ in thickness.  Working with our team, the Vermont crew was able to use simple, conventional circular, table and hand saws with soft fiber blades to cut the boards.  

The European-sourced board used on the Vermont project was a bit less dense than what TimberHP plans to produce for this application. The Vermont team was forced to use lower density and thinner than desired boards due to demand and supply chain issues that have plagued the importation of European wood fiber insulation. Using the 1 ½″ boards meant that the team had to install multiple layers on the outside of the building. The design of the building envelope on this project—done without structural sheathing and using only insulation and membranes—gave us a valuable opportunity to really drill down on key aspects of air and moisture management.  

His crew, Alex Carver noted, “really liked the insulation and will be using the same system again.” Currently, there’s a 3 to 6 month wait to obtain wood fiber insulation from Europe via container ship.  Timber HP anticipates cutting that lead time—and price—dramatically when the company begins producing insulation in Madison and leveraging local insulation and building materials suppliers to channel its products to market.  

“We really liked the insulation and will be using the same system again”

– Alex Carver, lead builder and board member at Addison County Habitat for Humanity