Chilean company Rootman has developed a new 100 percent natural insulation that is remarkably resistant to flames. Rootman’s product, Thermoroot, absorbs sound and provides optimal thermal performance — and, according to its designers, the sustainable insulation only starts burning after 60 minutes of fire exposure. Compare that to polystyrene, fiberglass, or polyurethane, which start burning in three seconds, 15 seconds, or one minute, respectively.
With the goal of insulating buildings more efficiently, Rootman created Thermoroot, which they say is biodegradable, comprised of 100 percent natural fiber, and won’t harm the environment. They basically grow what they call a Radicular Mattress; in isolated chambers, they hydroponically cultivate oat or barley grain seeds in trays that, according to ArchDaily, “define the required thickness of the roots” to create the mattress. The process takes between 10 and 15 days, and Rootman doesn’t employ chemical additives or draw on genetic modifications.
The germination process can happen in any geographical location or climate, according to ArchDaily. It boasts a low water and carbon footprint, doesn’t pollute, and trees don’t need to be cut down for the process. And in case of a fire, the green insulation offers a one-hour window before it burns.
Thermoroot can entirely replace conventional insulators like Mineral Wool, Expanded Polystyrene, or Polyurethane, according to ArchDaily, thermally and acoustically insulating floors, ceilings, or walls. The publication said Rootman is working to offer an effective alternative for expensive natural insulators and synthetic insulators that are harmful for health and the environment.
If you’d like more information, Rootman includes links to a technical information PDF, certification of sound absorption, a thermal conductivity certification, and a firefighters’ technical report on their website; you can find those here. The company also says their technology could serve as “a soil improver for the garden and agriculture.”
Images via Rootman SpA/ArchDaily