Over recent decades, conservatories have been thought of by homeowners as a low cost damp/hot floor space compromise, rather than an extended living area that can bring comfort to their lives. If designed properly, conservatories can provide so much added light, space, and warmth to a home, why would you not want to enjoy these benefits? New climate change rules that came into effect in June of this year, however, suddenly means that there is a fresh set of conditions and criteria that all new build homes, new build extensions, and conservatories installed in the UK must meet if they are to remain up to standard and be compliant (if removing the thermal barrier to the original house and adding radiators off the house system).
What are the new rules on conservatories? That’s what we at Conservatory Makeovers are here to answer. Essentially, the new rules state that from June 2022 onwards, any conservatory built as part of a new build home is required to demonstrate that it doesn’t ‘leak heat’ and operates efficiently to the new laws on extensions. This is due to the rising and increased temperatures the UK is predicted to experience from here on out. It’s also about ensuring that conservatories don’t create any “unwanted solar gain” and are able to stay cool despite the various ongoing climate changes.
This new conservatory legislation has been brought about due to the ongoing efforts of various climate change groups, which aim to help homeowners and the planet at the same time. The former will benefit from being able to enjoy extended living spaces that are better ventilated than they otherwise would have been, while lobbyists and experts hope that greenhouse gases will decrease by around 30% as a result. The new rules aim to reduce the effect conservatories have on the environment, futureproofing homes against the ongoing effects of climate change.
To put everyone’s fears to rest – No! If you’re a homeowner who’s already been enjoying a conservatory, potentially for many years or decades, prior to June 2022, it doesn’t need to be taken down. Of course, there’s always a chance that as the effects of climate change further take hold in the UK, existing conservatory owners might want to consider upgrading and improving the materials used. 90% of the time this is much more cost-effective than having an entirely new conservatory built outright, saving you both money and suffering from the increased discomfort that may arise due to rising planet temperatures. Thermal efficiency improvement work is simple and the potential gains will positively impact both lifestyle and energy cost savings.
In short, absolutely. It is just as possible now as it was prior to June of this year to extend your new build property using a conservatory. The only real difference now, as mentioned earlier, is that any conservatory installed from now onwards needs to prove that it will not generate “unwanted solar gain” or “leak heat”. What is solar gain? In layman’s terms, solar gain refers to the increased temperatures of the building, or in this instance a conservatory.
Luckily, determining the level of solar gain your conservatory creates isn’t something future homeowners need to worry about too much. It’s more the concern of your chosen conservatory installer or home improvement company. This gets tricky if you were one of the unfortunate few to be planning your new conservatory and weren’t able to complete before June. However, through such modern techniques as heat reflecting glass and thermally insulating materials, slight alternations to any existing plans should be an easy fix.
Having served homeowners in the South West with beautiful and thermally efficient glazed extensions for 30 years, we at Conservatory Makeovers know a thing or two about designing and installing conservatories that keep you comfortable all year round. Are there extra factors to now consider due to the new legislation? Of course, but we were already working to make our conservatories as thermally insulation and energy efficient as possible. As such, we’re more than happy to help all kinds of homeowners, whether they want to upgrade their existing conservatory or have an entirely new one installed.
Our conservatories come fitted to reduce “unwanted solar gain” as standard, achieving U-values as low as 1.5 W/m²K down to 1.2 W/m²K – far below existing British requirements. We achieve this through the use of efficient double glazing, multi-chambered uPVC frames that better trap heat, and firmly fitted roof types that let in natural sunshine without warming up the inside space. Conservatory styles range from P-shape, Edwardian, Lean-to, and more, but the one factor that always stays consistent is that ours come installed to be comfortable and thermally secure as standard. It’s A-rated for energy efficiency, and now – due to the new legislation – A-rated for the planet.
If you’re a homeowner living in the South West thinking about having a conservatory installed onto your new build home, but still have questions about the new rules, we’d be happy to answer any questions. Simply send us a message using our online form, and a member of our team will get back to you with a free quote, ready to clear up any conservatory confusion.