Bio-based materials


The objective of the ISOBIO project is to develop bio-based insulation panels and renders, by combining existing technologies to produce a range of new, low embodied energy, low embodied carbon, hygrothermally efficient materials for use either as a building envelope or for retrofitting to existing buildings in order to improve their energy efficiency.

Targeted improvements are taken from a base-line of currently adopted technologies (mineral wool and closed cell insulation).

The ISOBIO project relates to the ‘Materials for Building Envelopes’ work programme topic of the Horizon2020 call for Energy Efficient Buildings that is funded by the European commission.

In the scope of the project it will be developed a novel combination of existing low energy, low embodied carbon materials, producing durable composite construction materials.

The use of bio-based materials ensures that whole life energy use is reduced through taking advantage of the photosynthesis of atmospheric carbon which is stored in the fabric of the building for its lifetime.  The ISOBIO materials also take advantage of the natural moisture sorption/desorption characteristics of bio-based materials, which is recognized to passively manage the indoor environment resulting in greatly improved indoor air and environmental quality, whilst at the same time reducing the demand for air conditioning.

The ISOBIO panelized materials are capoable of being used as the main components in prefabricated structural elements, taking advantage of the improved quality control in factory pre-fabricated construction, whils producing less waste.  This optimizes the construction process so that buildings are constructed in the most efficient manner possible, ensuring excellent levels of air-tightness, and minimizing thermal bridges.  The ISOBIO wet applied materials, used as a render or a plaster, will also provide excellent air-tightness, and, through their enhanced insulation qualities, will also result in more energy efficient buildings.

The key technology that will be developed in the ISOBIO project is the pre-treatment of bio-based aggregates to render them more resistant to bio-degradation through hydrophobic treatment with sol-gels, whilst maintaining their valuable hygrothermal qualities.


There are four distinct phases to the ISOBIO project:

  • Phase 1:  Development of new sustainable composites (Research stage).   This phase is focused on characterization and development of eco-materials and compatible binders for the reduction of embodied energy and lower CO2 emissions, and for increased insulation and air tightness properties.
  • Phase 2:  Development of proof of concept and scalability towards industrial needs (Research and prototyping).    The ISOBIO products will include individual components such as rigid and semi-rigid insulation panels and wet applied insulating renders.
  • Phase 3:  Demonstration of proof of concept and scalability towards industrial needs (Demonstration and piloting).    This phase comprises field test validation of energy and hygrothermal performance of the novel ISOBIO products with implementation in full-scale test buildings and construction projects.
  • Phase 4:  Exploitation and dissemination (First market replication).   The project will conduct the essential non-technical activities dedicated to dissemination and commercial exploitation.


4 years starting from Feb 2015


  • TWI
  • CAVAC Biomatériaux
  • CLAYTEC Baustoffe aus Lehm.
  • Greenovate! Europe
  • BCB Lhoist Group
  • NIBIO Norsk Institutt for Bioᴓkonomi
  • Progetic
  • Stramit International
  • University of Bath
  • Université de Rennes 1

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