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New traditional homes are insulated with wool to last generations

by | May 29, 2024

Bringing new ‘old’ houses to the New Zealand market has been well-received for Christchurch developers Brooksfield. Established in 2017, they are now building around 150 classic-styled homes each year, built with enduring products, including wool insulation by Terra Lana.

‘We use natural materials like wool wherever possible – our clients love it,’ says Vinny Holloway, Director of Brooksfield. ‘In terms of the amenities, we are about the same price as our competitors, but our homes look better and are made of better materials.’

The unique look of Brooksfield’s developments came about after Vinny discovered the work of English architect Ben Pentreath. ‘Ben works exclusively designing new traditional buildings, which is constructing new houses in a classic style, like Georgian or Victorian. He’s an expert at it, and everything he does is period-correct. He designs all of our houses now and with a history of colonial Georgian architecture here in New Zealand, the style and scale sit well in our cities.’

Natural fibres for exceptional performance and safety

Wool’s natural ability to ‘breathe’ gives it a natural advantage over glass fibre insulation, particularly when it comes to moisture retention. ‘You will get moisture in any wall, but with Terra Lana, this gets expelled through natural processes, whereas I’ve seen glass fibre insulation hold onto water, lowering the thermal performance of the insulation.’

Using wool insulation also provides health benefits for installers, with no carcinogens, allergens or harmful fibres. ‘Ironically, the most unhealthy jobs are often performed by lowest-income workers,’ says Vinny. ‘We make sure building materials are not in danger of harming our team, so we choose our products very carefully.’

‘We value that the wool for Terra Lana insulation is grown locally on Banks Peninsula. When you buy synthetic batts, you are importing someone else’s raw material. Wherever possible, we want to use a New Zealand supply chain for both embodied carbon and local economy reasons.’

Inspired by the past, focused on the future

With an ethos based on traditional architectural forms, Brooksfield also looks closely at what materials they build with – timber and brick, wool, and other quality natural materials that will endure.

‘We make our houses so they last the longest time, I would hope 100 or more years. But at some point in time, any house will be opened up and renovated, and we want to make sure what our houses are made of doesn’t create a waste problem for future generations. It’s not that much more expensive to use Terra Lana over glass fibre, and as insulation is one of the most important choices in making a home comfortable, we won’t compromise.’

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Contact us to find out which Terra Lana product is right for your project. Email us at spec@terralana.co.nz or phone us on 0800 485 262.

Project credits

Product: Terra Lana wall insulation

Architect: Ben Pentreath, UK

Builder: Brooksfield

Writer: Folio

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