Knauf Insulation supported a DIY initiative in the town of Birdsville to demonstrate the effectiveness of insulation in keeping buildings comfortable during extreme climatic conditions.

One of Australia’s most isolated towns, Birdsville faces brutal summers each year with temperatures topping 49°C. The summer of 2013 saw 29 consecutive days of 40°C or higher temperatures in Birdsville with Australian weathermen forced to invent a new colour for temperature charts as the heat was predicted to break record figures.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of building insulation, Knauf Insulation helped install more than 8,000 square metres of its new generation, high performance Earthwool insulation.

A team from Knauf Insulation with the help of the Diamantina Shire Council and Birdsville locals installed wall, ceiling and underfloor products and provided information on the benefits and safety of insulation. Earthwool was installed in the ceilings, walls and underfloors of every viable home and public building in the town, with sufficient care taken to cover all areas and prevent the escape or entry of heat.

Knauf’s insulation initiative will not only dramatically reduce the town’s energy needs by keeping the heat out of buildings in summer but also continue to deliver energy-saving benefits by keeping the warmth in on cool winter mornings.

Knauf’s Earthwool insulation is made without the use of added formaldehyde, chemicals or artificial colours, giving a super-soft texture and a completely natural brown colour. Being less itchy and dusty than traditional glasswool products, Earthwool offers a more pleasant and comfortable experience.

Following the Knauf initiative in 2013, the effects of insulation in Birdsville homes were assessed in the summer of 2014 when the town was once again on the map for heat extremes. However, Earthwool insulation helped to keep internal temperatures comfortable, reducing residents’ reliance on appliances to cool down.

The average residential home in Birdsville saved over 20% on its energy bills. Birdsville resident Neale McShane saved $138 on his electricity bill for the period October 2013 to January 2014 compared to the same period in the previous year and in spite of a hike in energy prices.

Stuart Dunbar, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand at Knauf Insulation observes that electricity prices have risen by 70% in the past five years but there are currently more than a million Australian homes without any insulation. He added that ceiling insulation alone could save the average home about A$299 in annual energy costs.