Guide to sustainable loft conversions

Keep running costs low and boost your home’s eco credentials with this advice

Promotional Feature By Victoria Jane Smith | 17 January 2022

Loft conversions can be a fantastic way to open up your home and add some much-needed extra space, but they can leave their mark on the environment if not planned carefully.

It’s particularly important to keep sustainability in mind when carrying out work on your roof space, as design and construction can have a significant impact on the overall heat and energy efficiency of your home. Read on for ways to achieve a more sustainable loft conversion.

a sustainable loft conversion with timber beams, wood panelling and neutral decor

Photo: FAKRO

Mindful materials

Start by sourcing eco-friendly materials. Try to use reclaimed timber and brick as this is easily the most sustainable option, or go for FSC or PEFC-certified wood, which is sourced from sustainably managed forests.

For the roof itself, the most eco-friendly option is to re-use the tiles already there. If this isn’t possible, or you need more to complete the job, try to source reclaimed roof tiles or shingles made from recycled rubber and wood fibre.

TIP: According to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015, any materials you use should be similar to those used in the rest of your home. If your house is listed or within a conservation area, you may need to source specific materials in keeping with the overall character of the surrounding area.

a green roof is a great way to achieve a more sustainable loft conversion

Photo: FAKRO

Essential insulation

If your space is uninsulated, your boiler will need to work even harder to keep your house warm, increasing the overall carbon footprint of your property. Install insulation in the walls and ceiling of the roof space to ensure this isn’t an issue.

Choose insulation made from recycled glass, paper or cellulose fibre, as these tend to be more eco-friendly than many traditional fibreglass styles. If you want to go the extra mile, you could even opt for insulation made from natural materials like hemp, cork or sheep’s wool.

TIP: Not only will insulation reduce your carbon footprint, it will also help keep your loft conversion warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It can save you money on utility bills, too.

side return extension with rooflights to create larger living and dining space

Photo: FAKRO

Loft conversions can be a fantastic way to open up your home and add some much-needed extra space, but they can leave their mark on the environment if not planned carefully.

It’s particularly important to keep sustainability in mind when carrying out work on your roof space, as design and construction can have a significant impact on the overall heat and energy efficiency of your home. Read on for ways to achieve a more sustainable loft conversion.

a sustainable loft conversion with timber beams, wood panelling and neutral decor

Photo: FAKRO

Mindful materials

Start by sourcing eco-friendly materials. Try to use reclaimed timber and brick as this is easily the most sustainable option, or go for FSC or PEFC-certified wood, which is sourced from sustainably managed forests.

For the roof itself, the most eco-friendly option is to re-use the tiles already there. If this isn’t possible, or you need more to complete the job, try to source reclaimed roof tiles or shingles made from recycled rubber and wood fibre.

TIP: According to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015, any materials you use should be similar to those used in the rest of your home. If your house is listed or within a conservation area, you may need to source specific materials in keeping with the overall character of the surrounding area.

a green roof is a great way to achieve a more sustainable loft conversion

Photo: FAKRO

Essential insulation

If your space is uninsulated, your boiler will need to work even harder to keep your house warm, increasing the overall carbon footprint of your property. Install insulation in the walls and ceiling of the roof space to ensure this isn’t an issue.

Choose insulation made from recycled glass, paper or cellulose fibre, as these tend to be more eco-friendly than many traditional fibreglass styles. If you want to go the extra mile, you could even opt for insulation made from natural materials like hemp, cork or sheep’s wool.

TIP: Not only will insulation reduce your carbon footprint, it will also help keep your loft conversion warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It can save you money on utility bills, too.

side return extension with rooflights to create larger living and dining space

Photo: FAKRO

Warming windows

Installing triple or quadruple-glazed windows will provide outstanding energy efficiency. Warmth from the sun streaming through will help to heat the room in the winter, and they can also be used to ventilate and cool the loft during warm summer weather, meaning less energy is needed to heat and cool the space all year round.

TIP: If you want remote-controlled roof windows, opt for styles that are solar-powered for a more sustainable loft conversion.

solar powered remote controlled skylight roof windows

Photo: FAKRO

Clever finishes

Once the construction work is complete, you can turn your attention to energy efficient fixtures and fittings. LED lighting uses far less electricity than traditional halogen bulbs, so be sure to install this throughout. And if you’re fitting an en suite bathroom, go for low-flush toilets and water-conserving low-flow taps and showers.

Try to be eco-minded when choosing décor, too. Use eco-friendly paints to add a splash of colour and style without harming the environment and choose sustainable flooring – look for reclaimed timber and tiles or choose a natural wool carpet.

TIP: Depending on the size and layout of your loft, you could even consider installing a rainwater harvesting system, which will store rain and filter and recycle it for other purposes, like flushing the toilet.

sustainbale products for loft conversions

Photo: FAKRO

FAKRO offers a range of sustainable loft conversion products including triple and quadruple-glazed windows, 99% recyclable windows and FSC-certified redwood pine. To find out more, see visit the FAKRO website.

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