Not all insolation materials are the same and they are not always interchangeable.
Method and form: Cellulose consists of shredded newsprint and is non-toxic, recycled and generally local. It’s great for attics, you can blow it to whatever depth you want (with proper ventilation) and there are no seams to allow heat loss.
It’s also an excellent choice for insulation packed into walls because it allows little air infiltration and it’s fire and insect resistant
R value: 3.66 per inch
All around this is the best choice for performance and environmental impact, but not recommended for basements due to its sensitivity to moisture.
Recycled content: Hemp is a natural and renewable material, making hemp batt insulation (and hemp boards) a very sustainable building material. As it is a newly emerging raw building material, no market for recycled materials has formed, but the materials are recycleable and reusable. Read more about hemp insulation.
Pros: Hemp acts as carbon storage, it is renewable and non-toxic. Hemp batts handle moisture quite well, and can safely absorb moisture contained in framing materials making it a durable form of batt insulation. It works to reduce sound transmission and is resistant to insects and pests. Hemp is Hypoallergenic and natural so no special safety gear such as gloves or masks are required during installation and it can help ensure a home with extremely safe and clean air quality.
Cons: It’s not a cheap material just yet, but hopefully that will change as it earns a larger market share in the mainstream industry. Expect to pay a little more than Rockwool panels. Hemp doesn’t compress well, so it takes more volume for shipping. It can be tough to cut, so when purchasing Hemp insulation it is recommended to purchase a saw at the same time.
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