Loft room lined in pale poplar plywood

How to complete an eco loft conversion

Before embarking on a loft conversion, consider taking an eco-friendly approach

By Caroline Rodrigues | 30 September 2020

Quicker and less hassle than building an extension, converting the attic is a cost-effective way to increase your living space. Kim Loddo, director of Inglis Badrashi Loddo (IBLA) explains the measures you can take to complete an eco loft conversion.

A loft conversion bedroom with big glazed doors leading onto a balcony

A loft conversion bedroom by Newman Zieglmeier Architecture

Reclaim and reuse

Reuse materials wherever possible. My practice has been working on many projects where we were able to reuse parts of a roof, or recycle the original roof tiles, trusses and floorboards. Carefully assess each element. Can you reuse it, repair it or adapt it? So, if there needs to be a complete replacement or redesign, this should be done as sustainably as possible.

Quicker and less hassle than building an extension, converting the attic is a cost-effective way to increase your living space. Kim Loddo, director of Inglis Badrashi Loddo (IBLA) explains the measures you can take to complete an eco loft conversion.

A loft conversion bedroom with big glazed doors leading onto a balcony

A loft conversion bedroom by Newman Zieglmeier Architecture

Reclaim and reuse

Reuse materials wherever possible. My practice has been working on many projects where we were able to reuse parts of a roof, or recycle the original roof tiles, trusses and floorboards. Carefully assess each element. Can you reuse it, repair it or adapt it? So, if there needs to be a complete replacement or redesign, this should be done as sustainably as possible.

Image: Loft conversion leading onto a rooftop terrace by Paul Archer Design

Make it energy efficient

Choose the best-performing glazing that your budget allows for an eco loft conversion. The Window Energy Rating (WER) tells you how energy-efficient the 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.

Prioritise insulation

One of the most effective things you can do is increase the level of insulation. So, if you are retiling, add insulation over the existing structure to create a warm space. A good pitched roofing board, 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 insulation plasterboard to provide a skimmable ceiling.

Eco loft conversion showing an open-plan interior

Open plan loft conversion by Inglis Badrashi Loddo

Consider the 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. So, there is likely to be less of an overall energy output.

Maximise airflow

A simple opening skylight over the staircase will maximise airflow and create stack-effect natural cooling. This is cost-effective, low-tech element optimises comfort and brings light into the heart of your eco loft conversion.

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