Conservatories are popular in this country – no wonder, with the British weather as it is – they offer an extended living space and add value to the property. But what impact do they have on the environment?
If a conservatory is heated, and nowadays most owners use their conservatory as much as possible throughout the year, the BRE (Building Research Establishment) has come up with findings that show that the conservatory can double the energy use of a three bedroom semi.
Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the past few years, and it is now possible to have a conservatory that, even if it is used all year round, is still environmentally friendly. Not only are companies caring for the future of the planet by sourcing timber from natural renewable resources (phoenix wood is a new environmental solution, and all wood is biodegradable and recyclable), they are producing environmentally friendly lead free PCVU, and reducing their carbon footprint by controlling transport and delivery systems.
Follow these tips for an environmentally friendly conservatory:
Position and design your conservatory in the best place possible – south facing will catch the most of the sun and trap the sun’s heat, but any other orientation will catch the rays in the morning or evening, too.
A concrete or brick floor can be fully insulated and will use thermal mass to warm up the area, store heat and release it in the evening, so reducing the amount of fuel we need to use, acting as a barrier between inside and outside. Think about doors to separate the house and conservatory in extreme weather.
Blinds can make a conservatory more eco-friendly – blinds in a light colour give maximum reflection and roof blinds reflect heat in summer and retain warmth in winter.
Using vents, louvres, ceiling fans and doors can direct warm air into the house or keep it cool in summer if necessary.
The glass used in a conservatory has been transformed in recent years – not only is it self cleaning nowadays, it comes with solar control double or triple glazing with very low U value, giving great thermal insulation, meaning you don’t have to use so much heating to keep warm.
Advanced conservatory roof design has transformed the fact that up to 70% of heat gain and loss used to be from the roof. The use of newly designed polycarbonate and glass roof systems, alongside thermal breaks in the aluminium frames now conserve heat.
Lighting in a conservatory can use eco-friendly light bulbs, and even conservatory furniture can be made from wicker or rattan in many up to date styles and sizes.
These tips will make your conservatory as eco-friendly and energy efficient as possible and will substantially reduce your heating costs and help protect the environment. At Conservatories in Bristol we use and recommend all these ideas, whether you are thinking of a bespoke conservatory or a self build…
Your conservatory will be there for many years to come – get it right first time!