Insulation is considered here in relation to the application or incorporation of specific materials into domestic building and maintenance practices. It can be integral to the whole building process itself and can be highly effective. For example, new domestic dwellings have been built wherein the insulation, as part of other environmentally sustainable design considerations, is so effective that it obviates the need for heating technologies or appliances. More commonly, insulation refers to a range of material add-ons to already built dwellings. The ability to insulate is the prime quality of the materials in question and the provision of insulation is offered as the principle justification for the consumption of these specific materials.

Both approaches rest on a common apprehension of insulation as diminishing heat loss. However, ...

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