Converting your loft can reduce energy costs by 25% and will also seal the property’s thermal envelope adding thousands of pounds to the value of your home.
When converting the loft, energy conservation is important not only because of the strict guidelines laid down in the building regulations but also because the new loft room can become both unbearably hot and very cold.
But good insulation and ventilation, the key components of energy conservation, help to maintain an ambient temperature in the hottest of summers and the coldest of winters.
Energy efficiency issues with loft conversions
The reason why new rooms in the roof space can become overly warm is twofold. Firstly, warm air rises and will collect in the loft and, in the summer, the warm rays from the sun will penetrate the roof and that heat will be further intensified by the glazing of the new skylight or dormer windows. In winter the opposite occurs resulting in lower temperatures.
Of course this doesn’t sound good at all.
But the good news is that all these problems can easily be resolved at the planning stage.
The even better news is that by using modern materials you can not only ensure that the temperature is perfect at any time of the year but you will also be conserving energy and saving money at the same time. Sounds a bit better now doesn’t it!
Energy conservation in loft conversions
Most of the steps needed to both conserve energy and make the new loft rooms comfortable in terms of temperature, ventilation and condensation are laid down in the building regulations.
Basically this means that if the issues aren’t addressed at the planning stage then building regulations approval will not be granted.
So it is obviously important to get things in order when you are planning to convert your loft.
How energy efficient are loft conversions?
According to specialist builders Eco Loft converting the loft will make your property up to 25% more energy efficient. This will obviously save you money on energy bills but you’ll also save (and make) more money in other ways.
By their very nature loft conversions will increase the value of your home but an energy efficient conversion will add even more pounds to your pocket.
The reason for this is that every home now requires an energy performance certificate whenever they are sold. Every home is rated on a scale of A (the best) to G (the worst or basically the coldest – think igloo here).
A good loft conversion will ensure that even the oldest buildings can be rated at the top end of the scale making the home so much more attractive to potential buyers.
Why The Fuss?
Well, apart from the need to keep the temperature properly controlled there are other benefits.
We have already mentioned that conserving energy will help the environment and you don’t have to be a mad treehugger to know how important that is.
But, from a more altruistic point of view, making sure that the ventilation and the different types of insulation used is as effective as possible will save you money on heating bills and the new loft room will serve as a sort of huge duvet adding warmth to the rest of the house.
The final huge plus point is that by utilising energy conservation techniques ensuring your thermal envelope is sealed you will be adding thousands of pounds to the value of your property.
Eco friendly loft conversions
Did you know that globally, each year, humans are responsible for extracting as many as 55 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil energy, metals and biomass from our planet? That is a pretty astonishing figure. But it doesn’t end there. On top of this, the current rate of deforestation means that as many as 1700 acres of forest is turned into desert EVERY HOUR!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be incredibly concerned by these numbers and while a lot of this is happening beyond our field of vision, it’s happening nonetheless. We all have a responsibility to the planet and so when taking on a building project like a loft conversion, going eco-friendly is something that should come as part and parcel of the build.
Fortunately, our eyes are slowly being opened to the effect that humanity is having on the planet and as such, many businesses are finding ways to be more eco-friendly. This includes builders and contractors.
Type environmentally friendly builders near me into Google and you will likely find a lot of results. This is the first step in staying green although we would recommend talking to potential builders to find out exactly how they remain eco-friendly whilst working.
Moreover, it is important to consider where you are sourcing your materials. Those deforestation figures we talked about earlier mean that every ten years, up to 10% of the world’s forests are being removed. It won’t be long before the earth is totally barren if this is allowed to continue. However, this is another thing you can do during your loft conversion.
Your eco-friendly builder will likely be able to help you find responsibility sourced materials including timber that do not have such a high impact on the state of the planet. These materials will typically be sourced from responsible suppliers, many of whom are local businesses in the area where the materials are sourced.
They pride themselves on replacing trees and using king extraction methods. When larger, international companies use these suppliers, they are boosting the local economy as well as allowing themselves to build strong and continuing relationships with their suppliers, taking away from the non-sustainable trade.
As we’ve already mentioned when you install a new loft conversion, you will need to adhere to building regulations but there is one very important aspect of this that is often overlooked. Part L of the building regulations is in line with the government’s Energy White Paper and refers to how well buildings perform in terms of energy conservation.
By adhering to these guidelines when creating your loft conversion, you will benefit the environment just as much as you benefit your own bank account. The overall outcome of following document L1B for existing dwellings, as detailed on the government website will ensure good energy and fuel conservation.
In line with the building regulations, conserving energy is of the utmost importance. There is no denying that the build itself is going to use a considerable amount of power but provided you are working with an environmentally friendly builder, you should not have too much to worry about. But your choice of equipment will also impact how well energy is conserved long after the build is complete.
For example, there are so many energy efficient boilers available now that there is no excuse to not use one. On top of this, when installing your lighting, you might consider using LED lighting which is far more energy efficient.
If you install a smart meter, this is an excellent way to monitor your energy consumption and many people have found this to be an invaluable resource in lowering their carbon footprint. Most energy suppliers are rolling out smart meters so if this is something that is on offer to you, we would strongly advise you to take this up.