Home Design Guides: Climate control, Insulation

Structural insulated panels (SIPs)

SIPs are wall materials comprised of polystyrene sandwiched between two rigid panels. While they're not cheap, SIPs offer additional advantages in terms of thermal performance that go beyond their R values.

Polyurethane foam insulation

In the right form and circumstances, polyurethane foam insulation can work well as a soundproofing material - particularly for muting midrange noises like music and voices.

Straw bale insulation

People have been making houses from straw bales for centuries. Straw bales can be remarkably effective insulators, but straw bale homes must be expertly constructed to avoid the risk of fire or rot.

Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC)

AAC is concrete that contains many tiny air bubbles, making it 20% of the weight of regular concrete. AAC is an excellent insulator, and can also be used as a structural material.

What are R values?

R values are a way to assess how well thermal insulation works. Find out what's considered high and low where R values are concerned, and why there's more to insulation performance than just R values.

Thermal performance of different materials

Not all materials are equal as far as insulation goes - and even different forms of the same material can offer vastly different benefits. Find out how different materials stack up.

Bulk vs. reflective insulation

Heat is gained in a home in a couple of different ways, and for that reason different types of insulation are needed for different purposes. Find out what the difference is between bulk and reflective insulation.

How to insulate for different climates

Different climates require different sorts of insulation to make homes comfortable. Find out what sort of insulation is appropriate for your home and location, whether it's up in the tropics or in cooler southern states.

Building envelopes, draughts and ventilation

Good insulation means ensuring that there aren't any gaps in your insulation for air to seep through. At the same time, controlled ventilation in the right places may also be important to maintaining your insulation.

Thermal bridges

Thermal bridges represent 'pathways' through your insulation along which heat can easily enter and escape from your home. These bridges can easily negate the benefits of good insulation, and must be carefully avoided.

Insulating for energy efficiency

Insulation can make a massive difference to how energy efficient your home is, but it isn't always as simple as stacking up layers of batts and reaping the savings. Find out how to insulate your home for high efficiency.

Recycled insulation materials

Recycling plays a big role in the way that lots of insulation materials are produced. Find out what sorts of insulation are made from recycled materials, and what sorts can easily be recycled themselves.

BCA requirements for insulation

The Building Code of Australia sets out specific rules about how houses need to be insulated. Find out more about what's required for your house, in your state or territory.

Thermal insulation materials

Many different materials can be used for insulation, including rock wool, glass wool, sheep's wool, cellulose, polystyrene and straw bales, among others. Find out how they compare in terms of performance and cost.

Performance considerations for insulation

Performance considerations for insulation

There's a bit more to insulating a home well than just sticking some batts in your wall cavities. Find out what else affects how well your insulation will perform.

Energy efficient insulation

Having the right insulation can make a huge difference to the amount of energy your home needs to stay at a comfortable temperature, and will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Insulation regulations

Insulation regulations

Depending on what the climate's like where you live in Australia, different regulations apply to the amount and type of insulation that needs to be installed.

Insulation maintenance

Insulation maintenance

Feeling a chill in your home? Think your heater's being overworked? It could be that you need a top up on your insulation, but you'll need to make sure that you know that insufficient insulation really is the problem.

Reflective foil insulation

Reflective foil insulation

Foil-type insulation is reflective insulation, designed to prevent radiated heat from entering your home. This type of insulation is most often used in warmer climates to keep heat out of a house.