NCET Biz Tips: Wool magic

NCET helps you explore business and technology

Bill Leonard

Bill Leonard

With our busy lives, it’s not as if everyone takes what little free time they have and ever thinks about sheep, wool and insulation. Maybe you think about sheep if you are heading to New Zealand on a trip or watching a TV documentary about how wool clothes are crafted, but other times? No.

Yet, if you are building a home, buying a home, rehabbing a house, or customizing a van, bus, or camper, the insulation choice is not just about comfort. It's about the environment. Traditional insulation methods often involve harmful chemicals and contribute to excessive waste, posing a threat to our planet. The task of selecting a health-friendly, sustainable insulation solution becomes more than daunting; it becomes necessary.

Enter Andrew Legge, a man with a vision. As Havelock Wool's founder and managing partner, based here in Reno, Andrew's journey has been one of passion and purpose. After spending considerable time traveling through New Zealand, he encountered builders using wool as a renewable, sustainable, and recyclable material for noise abatement and thermal insulation on a small scale.

With his love for all things New Zealand and a desire to positively change the construction industry, Legge created Havelock Wool to bring sheep’s wool to the U.S. for the same purpose as New Zealand builders and install it at scale.

Why wool?

Renowned for its eco-friendliness, durability, and numerous health benefits, wool insulation offers a natural alternative to synthetic materials.

There are too many benefits to wool insulation that can be covered in this column, but here are a few.

Air Filtering and Indoor Quality: Wool fibers naturally absorb and break down harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, improving indoor air quality.

Moisture and Climate Control: Wool absorbs up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet, which helps regulate indoor humidity levels and reduces the risk of condensation and mold growth.

Sound Absorption: Wool’s dense, fibrous structure makes it an excellent sound absorber.

Durability and Longevity: Unlike synthetic materials that can degrade over time, wool maintains its insulation properties for decades.

Fire Resistance: Wool is naturally fire-resistant due to its high nitrogen and water content. It does not ignite easily, and when it does burn, it may self-extinguish.

The facts are in. Wool stands out for its sustainability and health benefits compared to fiberglass, cellulose, cotton, and foam. Fiberglass can irritate the skin and lungs. Cellulose often requires chemical treatments. Cotton can retain moisture, leading to mold growth. Foam is typically made from petrochemicals. Havelock wool, in contrast, is non-toxic, biodegradable, and offers superior moisture management and air purification.

Is Havelock wool easy to install?

Yes, with the right tools. Havelock Wool produces two insulation products: batt insulation, typically cut at 48 inches, and loose-fill insulation, which can be blown into a wall.

The two formats produce high R-values (resistance to heat flow or temperature conduction). Unlike manufactured insulation, Havelock Wool says that its wool can maintain its R-value for 50 years.


Despite its many benefits, Havelock Wool must deal with the fact that wool insulation is often more expensive than other insulation materials. With our economy in great flux and continuing inflation, Havelock Wool faces higher production costs, limited consumer awareness, and competition from cheaper synthetic alternatives.

Havelock Wool is overcoming these challenges by educating consumers about wool’s benefits, improving their production efficiency, and doing their best to promote wool insulation's long-term value and sustainability.

There are many insulation options out there, ranging from fiberglass and cellulose to cotton and foam. None have the sustainable, non-toxic, higher performance of wool. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that wool is a magic insulation for those looking to create healthier, more sustainable living spaces.

Havelock Wool is giving fiberglass and foam insulation a run for their money.

If you want to learn more about the Havelock Wool, you have an opportunity right around the corner at NCET Tech Wednesday on June 12.

Sign up early for Havelock Wool’s presentation from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. with networking from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. During your visit, you will…

Learn about The Havelock Wool Lifecycle from farm to walls.

Gain insight into the innovative technology and materials used to create wool insulation.

See a demonstration of the Havelock Wool installation process.

Learn about Havelock Wool’s vision for the future.

So don’t be late. Register now by visiting

Bill Leonard is VP of Communications at NCET and ghostwriter of research-based opinion articles and white papers for industry thought leaders and consultants who want to boost their authority. Connect with Bill at Ghostwriting Ink on LinkedIn. NCET produces education and networking events to help people explore business and technology. 


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