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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2021 edited
     
    May be of interest -

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/19/revenge-of-the-clothes-moths-as-numbers-boom-can-they-be-stopped

    “One of the things that worries me is the push for natural fibres for insulation,” says Pinniger. “Wool insulation is great environmentally, but if you stick wool up in your attic you’re going to get moths in it. Even worse, I know one house where they blew wool in cavity walls. They can’t get it out and they’ve got moths – they’re going to have to live with moths the whole time they live in that house.”
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2021
     
    There are quite a few factory-built houses with sheep's wool insulation which, AFAIK, haven't had a any problems with moths so I think that needs a bit of qualification.

    (BTW, posting using “Format comments as … Text” will make links work (but break HTML like blockquotes). That can be changed by editing the comment, changing the format then saving the changes.)
  1.  
    I'd have thought it would take quite a while for moth larvae to eat a whole cavity-full of wool, even if it hasn't been treated with pesticides, and even if they could get into the cavity undetected? Bit like building houses out of timber, the woodworms will eventually complete the carbon cycle, but hopefully not for a good while.

    Ed, have you tried using Chrome on Android, it activates those links automatically, as an option when you long-tap them, no need for the OP to think about format?. Other browsers and OSs doubtless are available to do the same.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2021 edited
     
    It's certainly a recurrent theme. See, for example, http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=15271#

    I'm not entirely sure how green it is either, except as a niche product. If everyone chose it we'd probably end up with a big increase in sheep farming, an associated increase in methane - and consequently global warming - plus a glut of mutton (to quote myself from http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=16150#).
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: Mike1It's certainly a recurrent theme. See, for example,http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=15271#" rel="nofollow" >http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=15271#

    I'm not entirely sure how green it is either, except as a niche product. If everyone chose it we'd probably end up with a big increase in sheep farming, an associated increase in methane - and consequently global warming - plus a glut of mutton (to quote myself fromhttp://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=16150#" rel="nofollow" >http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=16150#).


    Isn't the bigger part of the global warming problem caused by the loss of vegetation as apposed to any increase in livestock?
  2.  
    Plus the denuded uplands contributing to flooding. It's a shame because sheep's wool and sheepskin I consider to be 'wonder materials' and perhaps they should be valued as such, whereas most of the time they (wool especially) are virtually waste products. However like many good things, natural or renewable included, taken to excess it has an environmental cost/impact that is not accounted for in its price, or becomes someone else's problem with no chain of culpability.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: JontiIsn't the bigger part of the global warming problem caused by the loss of vegetation as opposed to any increase in livestock?

    I guess that would depend in part on what vegetation is cleared (if existing grassland isn't used) to make way for sheep farming, though that would be a one-off event.

    But pursuing this further, I tracked down a paper - see below - that lists (in table 6) the findings of several studies (one of them including the UK) that estimates that the production of 1kg of 'greasy wool' (wool as shorn from the sheep) embodies between 7.8 and 36.2 kg of CO2-evilalent at the farm gate. It seems that the upper estimates may be closer to reality, being based on a 'more sophisticated model that included sheep physiology', including methane production. Of course there were many other variables, particularly the allocation between meat and wool.

    Farm gate greasy wool production represents between 75–90% of the total emissions when transport and processing are considered, so as used, the embodied CO2 of sheep's wool could be as much as 40 to 48 kg CO2 / kg wool.

    For comparison, I also found an estimate of 1.12 kg of CO2/kg for Rockwool. By that measure, Rockwool is way more environmentally friendly than sheep's wool.

    More:
    Carbon Footprint of Lamb and Wool Production at Farm Gate and the Regional Scale in Southern Patagonia
    https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/8/3077/pdf#

    Retrofitting Buildings: Embodied & Operational Energy Use in English Housing Stock
    https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/161339224.pdf#
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: Mike1the production of 1kg of 'greasy wool' (wool as shorn from the sheep) embodies between 7.8 and 36.2 kg of CO2-evilalent at the farm gate. … Of course there were many other variables, particularly the allocation between meat and wool.
    Given that the wool is essentially a zero-monetary-value waste product at the farm gate, at least in Scotland, I can't see how it makes much sense to allocate any of the CO₂ production to it.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesGiven that the wool is essentially a zero-monetary-value waste product at the farm gate, at least in Scotland, I can't see how it makes much sense to allocate any of the CO₂ production to it.

    Looks like that's mainly due to Covid:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53421546
    https://www.agriland.co.uk/farming-news/british-wool-warns-of-10-million-kilos-of-unsold-wool/#

    The current market price in Australia is €8.47 / kg (https://www.wool.com/market-intelligence/weekly-price-reports/20202021/week-36-march-2021/).
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: Mike1
    More:
    Carbon Footprint of Lamb and Wool Production at Farm Gate and the Regional Scale in Southern Patagonia
    https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/8/3077/pdf#

    Retrofitting Buildings: Embodied & Operational Energy Use in English Housing Stock
    https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/161339224.pdf#


    Thanks for posting those links. The retrofitting Buildings has some interesting conclusions but I'd love to know how they came to this one:

    "For flat roofs and internal and external walls, cellular glass is the only applicable insulation."

    I have sheeps wool in flats roofs, internal and external walls.

    Shame they didn't include woodfibre as a comparison.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: Mike1Looks like that's mainly due to Covid:
    Probably, but not just that. Even before this time last year my neighbour wasn't bothering to sell his where he had in the past, to a company near Alness which processed them for insulation, I think. Whatever, compare 3p for a fleece to something like £100 for a sheep; varies wildly (£84 and £120 are numbers that stick in my mind that my neighbour has mentioned) but still…
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2021
     
    It's not just due to covid, for sure. It's long been the story that fleece aren't even fetching the cost of shearing the sheep. It has to be done with 'modern' sheep but it's a cost to be borne rather than a profit.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2021 edited
     
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2021
     
    I tend to agree but ...

    "The questions Gates asks include how much carbon dioxide a tree can absorb, how long will it survive, what would have happened to the land if the tree had not been planted, and where is it? Trees in snowy areas cause more warming than cooling, writes Gates, because dark things absorb more heat. Trees in tropical forests cause cooling because they release moisture which becomes clouds. “Trees between the tropics and the polar circles are a wash,” he says."

    https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/16/gates_climate_change/

    FWIW, I think the book is a bit over-rated but at least it's one more voice that may be heard.
  3.  
    Sheep farmers* near us know that you can make more money by being paid to plant trees than by keeping sheep. There's usually a condition in the grant that you look after the trees for 5 years, for which you are paid more money each year.

    After that, you bulldoze the saplings and put the sheep back onto the land, ready to claim the next round of tree grants....

    * well at least one of them
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2021
     
    Standard join
    ed up government think
    ing
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