Today, sustainability in construction is more important than ever. But it’s about more than just adding insulation to our homes. It’s about thinking about the bigger picture, about how we can do things better, and have less of an impact on our world. In other words, thinking like Superglass.
At Superglass we’ve always been passionate about sustainability. It’s been built into our business since day one, and it’s intrinsic to the way we think and act.
Our insulation naturally saves energy in use, helping buildings retain heat and creating more comfortable living and working environments. In fact, over its lifetime, our glass wool insulation saves far more energy than is used in making and transporting it. And while that will undoubtedly help the UK reach its target of being carbon neutral by 2050, we’ve already gone further than that…much further.
Whereas many businesses aspire to be carbon neutral, we prefer the term ‘climate positive’. We don’t just want to cancel out the effect we have on the planet; we know we can do so much more. So we’re always looking for ways our products and our working practices can actively have a positive effect on the climate.
Made from up to 84% recycled materials
Being climate positive starts with the raw materials we use. All our glass wool insulation is made from consumer waste glass, which reduces waste and saves valuable resources. But then we go a step further by grading the materials to significantly reduce the amount of energy used in production.
Our production process – one of the most advanced in Europe – is designed to minimise energy use during the melting process, with water on a closed system to reduce waste; any fibre waste is recycled straight back into the system too.
The volume of our finished products is then compressed to cut down the packaging needed, saving space and weight to reduce transportation costs and delivery miles.
The most obviously sustainable benefits of Superglass are in its use though – and that’s where our glass science comes in.
If you think back to your high school physics lessons, you’ll remember that glass is classed as an insulator – a material that’s a poor conductor of heat or electricity. In glass, electrons are packed close together with no free electrons to conduct heat. Metals, on the other hand, are good conductors.
That’s why they’re used to make electrical wires and why heat leaks out of buildings through metal beams, lintels and wall ties. Air is an excellent insulator which is why brick-built properties are constructed with cavity walls. But cavity walls aren’t perfect – circulating air continues to draw heat out of the building.
Glass wool insulation reduces heat conduction in two ways: 1) Glass is an insulation material; and 2) the fibres are structured to create millions of cells of trapped air.
The first step in creating glass wool insulation is to heat recycled glass to a very high temperature. When it melts, it’s then spun into thin fibres that we bind together, locking air into the gaps between the fibres.
Although air can pass between different air pockets, the route through the insulation is so complex that air finds it difficult to pass from one side to the other, preventing the convection of heat.
We’re continually working to advance glass wool science. Our new state-of-the-art furnace and advanced processing equipment help us manufacture insulation that looks better, smells better and, most importantly, provides very efficient thermal protection.
At Superglass, we’re driven to create insulation that’s sustainable for the long term. To us, that means creating a practical, long-lasting product that will keep buildings warm for decades using recycled materials.
Glass wool insulation is designed for superior thermal comfort, easily meeting the low U-values required by building regulations. But it’s not just about ticking a box. We make sure our insulation works just as well in practice as it does on paper.
Glass wool is flexible, allowing it to fit snugly against uneven surfaces, leaving no gaps for heat to escape through.
Condensation inside buildings can lead to the build-up of harmful moulds. Superglass insulation helps reduce condensation.
It can even act as an acoustic barrier, reducing noise transmission between walls, floors and adjacent dwellings.
Wrap your home in Superglass insulation and you can relax in a warm, quiet and safe environment in your home or office, knowing that you’re doing your bit to reduce energy use and look after the environment we all share – all thanks to glass science!