IndiNature’s hemp insultation gets British Board of Agrément green light

IndiNature's hemp insultation gets British Board of Agrément green light

Image credit: IndiNature

A Borders sustainable insulation company has become the first UK company manufacturing industrial hemp insulation to achieve a full agrément certificate from the British Board of Agrément (BBA).

The achievement means that IndiNature’s innovative and sustainable insulation products can now be used by the housing and construction sectors at scale for both new build and retrofit projects.

BBA agrément certificates are a valuable and trustworthy symbol of excellence, recognised in the industry as a differentiating mark of product quality and suitability for meeting UK building regulations.

The company was established in 2016 to make healthy, environmentally friendly, sustainable insulation materials on a commercial scale. Indinature has built its first cutting edge IndiNature Mill in the Scottish Borders to produce the insulation materials to help decarbonise construction.

The industrial hemp is Yorkshires’ finest, sourced from East Yorkshire Hemp, leading UK farmers who are licenced by the UK Government to grow the crop. Hemp was a traditional crop in the UK and is farmed extensively around Europe. IndiNature aims to help re-grow the local supply chain for industrial hemp over the coming years and is working closely with farmers close to its base in Scotland.

Ensuring industrial hemp is more available as insulation is the brainchild of co-founder and chief technical officer Scott Simpson, who when studying sustainable architecture at the Centre for Alternative Technology carried out lab-based research into natural insulation materials and found they had many performance advantages over conventional materials. He used his family home as a case study; rebuilding and extending it using the best natural materials available.

IndiNature's hemp insultation gets British Board of Agrément green light

Image credit: IndiNature

The three-bed home now has energy bills 25% of the average and keeps humidities and temperatures even, comfortable and healthy all year long. However, he found the products were hard to source, expensive and had to be imported. Now, with IndiTherm certified, hemp-based batts can be used in many applications as a simple alternative where conventional mineral wool insulation is used in construction such as open timber frame studs, roofs and floors.

Scott, who led the certification process, said: “Our whole team feels proud to have worked with the BBA to achieve the only agrément certificate currently in the UK for industrial hemp insulation - and even more proud of the fact the products are made by local workers in our mill and the fibres are supplied by local farmers. This means carbon captured by British farms can be stored in British buildings.

“We founded the business because we care about quality buildings, people’s health and the planet - a full BBA agrément certificate will help us grow those positive impacts on scale. Securing an agrément is a highly demanding and rigorous process for any company - as a start-up, this has been even more of a challenge but it has meant we have optimised our in-house controls and are continuously improving product performance. It’s been tough for the team to get to this stage but we feel great about achieving our first certificate. The trend for natural low carbon construction materials continues to grow - this is an exciting time for IndiNature as we help accelerate that supply.”

Alex McLeod, IndiNature’s new CEO, added: “To have BBA certification demonstrates that our products have been tested to the highest standards expected here in the UK, and will undoubtedly assure architects, builders and contractors that our products are not only sustainable but achieve required performance levels.

“We are currently the only UK manufacturer of natural fibre insulation products to be accredited with a full BBA agrément certificate and this is already proving to be very positively received by our current and potential clients. We are now well placed to offer a range of unique carbon-negative insulation materials with the peace of mind that our products have been tested to the highest standard.

“I’d like to thank the team at BBA for their diligence and rigour through the process and we look forward to working with them again as we expand and develop our product range.”

Share icon
Share this article: