With the aim of promoting more efficient ways to isolate and protect building envelopes, the Chilean team Rootman has developed Thermoroot; a biodegradable and 100% natural insulation made from roots without genetic modifications or chemical additives. These roots make up what the company is calling a Radicular Mattress which, in addition to thermally and acoustically insulating the walls, floors, and ceilings of buildings, it is fire resistant.
Manufacturing this mattress takes between 10 to 15 days and is developed inside isolated chambers, where the hydroponic cultivation of oat or barley grain seeds is produced, using trays that define the required thickness of the roots. This germination process can be carried out in any climate and geographical location, leaving a low ecological footprint by presenting minimum energy and water requirements.
In terms of fire resistance, its application in the envelope of a building gives its inhabitants a margin of 1 hour to leave the rooms before being consumed completely.
The polystyrene takes three seconds to burn, the fiberglass takes 15 seconds and the polyurethane 1 minute. The radicular mattress, on the other hand, only begins to burn after 60 minutes of exposing itself to the flames, say its creators.
The product has been patented internationally and can completely replace conventional insulators such as Expanded Polystyrene, Polyurethane or Mineral Wool, seeking to become an effective alternative to high-cost natural insulators, synthetic insulators derived from petroleum, or other toxic, harmful to the environment and health.