Take an eco-friendly approach to a loft conversion by following these top tips.

loft conversion design - loft conversions: how to take an eco-friendly approach - conversions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Newman Zieglmeier Architecture

Quicker and less hassle than building an extension, converting the attic is a cost-effective way to increase your living space. We spoke to Kim Loddo, director of architect Inglis Badrashi Loddo (IBLA) all about the measures you can take to adopt an eco-friendly approach to completing a loft conversion. 

Reclaim and reuse

"Reuse materials where possible. My practice has completed many projects where we kept parts of a roof, or recycled original roof tiles, trusses and floorboards. Carefully assess each element: can it be retained, repaired and adapted? If a complete replacement or redesign is needed then it should be done as sustainably as possible."

grand design loft conversion - loft conversions: how to take an eco-friendly approach - conversions - granddesignsmagazine.comloft conversions: how to take an eco-friendly approach - conversions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Paul Archer Design

Energy efficient

"Choose the best-performing glazing that your budget allows. The Window Energy Rating (WER) tells you how energy-efficient windows are. Options for double or triple glazing include inert gas between the panes and low-emissivity coatings to let in light and heat but reduce the amount of warmth that escapes."

Loft insulation

"One of the most effective things you can do is increase the level of insulation. If you are retiling, add insulation over the existing structure to create a warm space. A good pitched roofing board, for example from Kingspan (kingspan.com) or Celotex (celotex.co.uk), should be paired with a breathable membrane installed over it and under the tiles. If you are not replacing the roof covering, install insulation between and under the rafters, and apply insulated plasterboard to provide a skimmable ceiling."

loft conversion architect build -  loft conversions: how to take an eco-friendly approach - conversions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: IBLA 

Smart heating

"Installing underfloor heating, either between or over existing joists, will increase the eco-efficiency of the space. Intelligent heating controls and draught-proofing may improve the environmental performance of the whole house, meaning there could be less of an energy output."

Maximise airflow 

"A simple skylight that can be opened over the stair will maximise airflow and create stack-effect natural cooling. This is a cost-effective, low-tech and eco-efficient element, optimising comfort and bringing light into the heart of the home."



Green homes Grant Email Sign up

Want to learn more about the energy-saving measures available through the Green Homes Grant and get the latest news on the scheme as it happens? Sign up to the Grand Designs newsletter to receive all this and more, direct to your inbox.



Green Homes Grant: guide to air source heat pumps

The Green Homes Grant: how does it work?

Kevins Column

Grand Designs Live Online: Self Build & Renovation Weekend 31 July – 1 August 2021

Discover free home project advice and product recommendations from the comfort of your own home. Register now to express your interest.

Barn conversions: 9 of the best contemporary rural homes

Barn conversions provide a generously-spaced shell for converting into a rural family home. Explore these 9 projects in more detail.

A converted Portuguese winery with a unique red façade

This sensitive restoration is at once both modern and inextricably linked to the history of the building.

Converting a garage: what you need to know

Choosing to convert your garage could be a great way of extending your current living space. Here are a few things to consider before taking...

Inside a former Victorian school cookery given a new hotel-luxe style

Take a tour of this former cooking and laundry school turned contemporary apartment in Clerkenwell, London.

How to create a home fit for a multigenerational family

Whether for adult children or elderly relatives, multigenerational living is a growing trend that can be improved in practice by good design.

Loft conversions with the wow-factor

Loft conversions can add space, light and balance to a home. Here are some of 2019’s best, all with real wow-factor.