The Fabric First Approach

What is a fabric first approach and why is it so important? Our energy consultant Ella explores why Mantis Energy favours this method above all…..

The ‘Fabric First Approach’ is an approach to energy efficiency that aims at looking at ways to first reduce heating demand of the building by using fabric such as insulation or improvements to airtightness. Fabric refers to any component that makes up the building itself: walls, floors, roof, windows, and doors.

This way of designing ensures that energy efficiency is being considered from the earliest stages of the design and not as an afterthought in order to meet building regulations. Many well recognised design standards such as Passive House and PAS2035 also highlight using a Fabric First approach as a core principle to energy efficiency.

At Mantis Energy, we adopt a Fabric First Approach to all our projects, by first prioritising inclusion of high performance, sustainable and high levels of insulation. This minimises the amount of heat being lost through the building envelope. As well as insulation, measures are taken to increase the level of airtightness in the building.

Ensuring a property is airtight and draughts have been eliminated means there will be less areas for heat to escape the building and be able to maintain more consistent temperatures across rooms therefor lowering the amount of heat needed to be comfortable.

There will subsequently be a need to introduce fresh air into the building so it is important to note that with increased levels of insulation, assessment of ventilation requirements should be made to ensure ventilation is adequate for the improved level of airtightness or insulation.