Owlfly YELLOWJACKET™ Insulation
Owlfly YELLOWJACKET™ insulation uses cutting-edge thermodynamic technology to provide some of the best insulation on the market -
and we can prove it.
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Non-toxic and irritant-free
YELLOWJACKET™ insulation is safe to use and easy to install.
Made from recycled materials
All materials are sustainably sourced.
Performs up to 30% better than fiberglass
Commercial fiberglass has a range of thermal resistance between 2.9 and 4.3 R/in, so comparative performance may vary.
With a material CLASS 1 fire rating, YELLOWJACKET™ insulation will not sustain combustion. The material is rated Flame Spread  / Smoke Index .
YELLOWJACKET™ batts are moisture resistant. However, we recommend installing a vapor barrier between YELLOWJACKET™ batts and drywall for best results in exterior walls.
Collapsible for easy shipping and storage
Each YELLOWJACKET™ batt can fold flat when not in use, then expand back into shape with minimal assembly for quick and easy installation.
A standard 3.5x15x12” YELLLOWJACKET™ batt weighs less than 1 pound.
Performs better than all other sustainably-sourced insulation products on the market
YELLOWJACKET™ insulation compares favorably to recycled cellulose, cork, wool, and denim.
Owlfly YELLOWJACKET™ 3.5" x 15" x 12" Insulation Batts
R-14 across 3.5" dimension
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Owlfly YELLOWJACKET™ 6" x 15" x 12" Insulation Batts
R-24 across 6" dimension
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All insulation reduces the flow of thermal energy (or “heat”) from one surface to another. Insulation keeps the heat in during the winter and keeps the heat out during the summer. The same physics apply to all types of insulation. There are three main types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.
Owlfly YELLOWJACKET™ Insulation minimizes all three properties to reduce heat flow. YELLOWJACKET™ Insulation is made from a lattice of special air pockets, which are carefully engineered to minimize convective heating. A low-emissivity coating is applied to internal surfaces to eliminate most radiative heating, and the walls of the pockets are thin enough to mitigate conductive heating. In every way, YELLOWJACKET™ Insulation is a simple and efficient choice for all your insulation needs.
While researching wasps for her first book, Chris Alice Krater realized that the nests of Arctic Yellowjackets (Dolichovespula albida) could be used as inspiration for a breakthrough in insulation technology.
Arctic Yellowjackets live above the arctic circle. They build spherical nests out of paper where they raise their young. The nests must be protected from the extreme temperatures of the arctic summer, so Chris recognized that the nests may have insulative properties. The pockets within the walls of the nests always seemed to be about the same size, so Chris hypothesized that the geometry of the nest was just as important as the material. As it turns out, she was right.
Image © Chris Alice Kratzer (2021)
Chris pitched the idea to RIT's chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World in 2019. A team led by Ben Ocamb researched the premise and developed a simple prototype for the 2019 Biomimicry Design Challenge through the Biomimicry Institute.
2020 - 2021
In 2020, Chris continued the project through Owlfly LLC under the direction of lead thermal engineer Olivier Montmayeur. For the next year, the team worked through extensive thermodynamics testing and modeling, including constructing a custom heat transfer test rig to quickly analyze and compare materials. The initial tests showed promise, so the team iterated the prototype design until it compared favorably to market alternatives.
After extensive material and thermal testing, Owlfly LLC launched YELLOWJACKET™ insulation on [date].