Here are some photos of the house frame going up. We were unable to secure all the wood locally or from FSC sources. The house frame is a mixture of Canadian pine, and Japanese hinoki (cyprus). The particle board that we ordered is FSC accredited.
The insulation shown is YBS Superquilt (easy to find on the Internet) and more details on this are in the “features” sections of this and my earlier blog. Other options considered but dropped due to concerns that included easy sourcing, humidity, necessary thickness, and installation issues.
In summary, this insulation is only 40mm thick but equivalent to 240mm of regular insulation (rockwood etc). It also acts as a vapour barrier, so without air conditioning (which, dare I say, “naturally”; our house won’t have) it is suitable for Japan’s hot humid summers. The insulation prevents the transfer of radiated heat as well as conduction. This means its particularly suitable for keeping heat out in summer, in addition to keeping heat in during the winter.