What is Fabric First?

23 April 2018 Tara McDonnell

As building design moves towards NZEB and we all become more and more focused on creating energy efficient homes and buildings. The word fabric first is becoming more and more popular within the construction industry but what is Fabric First?

What is Fabric First?
Fabric first is an approach to building design the looks at maximising the energy performance of the structure itself through the components and materials making up the building envelope. This is before renewable mechanical and electrical building services are considered.
In other words, constructing your building to save energy for you before renewable technologies are factored in.

A Fabric First approach
A well designed fabric first approach can, on its own, reduce energy consumption and therefore lessen bills in any building type. This approach factors in a number of aspects such as a high level of thermal insulation, an excellent level of air tightness and a design that maximises elements such as building orientation making the most of solar gains by harvesting free energy from the sun. This can be achieved through the likes of maximising south facing windows, while also minimising over heating during the summer periods by either fixed or moveable solar shading.

What are the benefits?

  • Saving energy
  • Require very little energy to heat and cool
  • Reduced running costs of a building
  • Comfortable occupancy all year around
  • Reduction in C02 emissions
  • Fabric first is low maintenance/ replacement costs
  • New build and retrofit
What are the goals?
  1. Reducing u-values of mass or thermal elements. 
  2. Reducing the effects of thermal bridging.
  3. Effective airtightness and ventilation strategies. 
  4. Consideration of other service improvements. 

Advice from our Technical Manager
Our Technical Manager Alan Macklin wrote a guest blog on the implementing a fabric first approach as part of the initial investment. It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

We use cookies on our website www.kingspan.com. To find out more about the cookies we use, or to change your cookie preferences i.e. to remove your consent to our use of certain categories of cookies, please visit our Cookie Policy & Control page.

Please click "Accept and close" to accept the use of cookies on our website. If you do not click "Accept and close" but continue to use this website: you thereby consent to the use of all Kingspan's cookies and third party cookies for the purposes of improving performance, improving functionality and audience measurement, in accordance with the terms laid out in our Cookie Policy & Control page; and we will assume that you have read and understood our Cookie Policy & Control page.

The Cookie Policy & Control and Website Privacy Notice were updated on 13 August 2018.