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Updated: January 29, 2024

Westbrook residential development is nation’s first to use TimberHP's insulation

rendering of multi-story buidling and trees Courtesy New Ventures The Seavey Terraces apartment complex in downtown Westbrook broke ground in October and is reportedly the first such project to use TimberHP wood fiber insulation.

A multi-income residential development in downtown Westbrook will be the first residential project in the nation to use TimberHP wood fiber insulation, according to a news release.

In 2021, College of the Atlantic’s Davis Center for Human Ecology, in Bar Harbor,, was the first project overall to use TimberHP’s wood fiber insulation.

The first phase of the Westbrook project, the Seavey Terraces apartment complex, broke ground in October and will provide 65 units to serve as workforce housing at below-market rates.  In all, the development will eventually add 168 new housing options to the area, with a mix of affordable, workforce and market-rate homes.

The development is a project of New Ventures, led by Portland developer Jack Soley and builder Tim Hebert of Hebert Construction in Lewiston.

Working with Simons Architects in Portland and New York City-based engineering firm Thorton Tomasetti, the three-phase development includes TimberHP’s wood fiber insulation.  

TimberHP, led by Joshua Henry and Matthew O’Malia and operating in a retrofitted mill in Madison, makes high-performance wood fiber insulation for homes and other buildings. Conceived in 2015, the startup is the first U.S. company to make the product.

The insulation is made from wood chips left over from lumber production.  

“By embracing TimberHP's TimberFill, we're not just constructing homes; we're pioneering a movement towards more energy-efficient and healthier living environments,” said Soley.

Soley said conventional insulation can cause problems with occupant health and long-term building resilience, by adding unwanted chemicals that can off-gas and by trapping moisture that can result in mold and rot.  

TimberHP’s insulation is nearly all wood and manages moisture better than other products on the market, according to the release. Borate salt, added to softwood fiber to guard against fire and serve as a wood preservative, is the only additive to the company’s blow-in insulation.

“This insulation not only enhances energy efficiency but also prioritizes the well-being of our residents and the environment,” said Hebert. “In addition, TimberFill exceeded the R-value that was originally specified with cellulose and came in at the same price point.”

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