Looking to build a loft extension? Then why not consider making it eco-friendly? Using materials that are organic, sustainable or recycled is a great way to bring down your energy bills, minimise waste and reduce your carbon footprint.
Here’s our handy guide to making your loft greener.
Use sustainable wood
As well as being cheaper and more sustainable than brick or concrete, wood is breathable. By using it for your loft walls, you’ll keep the air comfortable, avoid humidity and stay toasty in the winter months, as it’s also an excellent insulator. For flooring, consider using compressed wood fibre boards made from recycled wood products.
When you’re choosing timber, always make sure that the wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), as this guarantees that it’s from a sustainable source.
Make the most of your roof
If your loft extension involves reconstructing the roof, why not take the plunge and install solar panels at the same time? Most houses have at least one useable roof surface and systems can sometimes be installed flat to hide the panels from view. Once installed, the panels will reduce energy bills and you can sell any excess power to the National Grid.
When it comes to materials, reusing tiles or recycling shingles made from rubber and wood fibre are both eco- friendly options. It’s also worth organising your guttering so that it directs rainwater into a tank, as this can then be used for flushing toilets.
Keeping a loft cosy isn’t cheap, but there are plenty of options when it comes to organic sustainable insulation. For example, wool absorbs moisture without losing its insulating properties, making it perfect for lofts. It’s also safe to handle and naturally fire retardant.
Once treated, flax, hemp and cork also make cost-effective insulators, as well as being resistant to fire, insects and fungus. You can even insulate your loft with recycled newspapers!
Let the light in
Installing LED light bulbs is a great way to keep your loft eco-friendly while saving money on bills. However, as lofts tend to be dark spaces, it’s also worth thinking about adding a dormer window, a gable-end window or a roof light.
To be energy efficient, your window needs to include either A+ rated double glazing or triple glazing. The latter reduces the amount of heat leaving through the window, as well as controlling how much heat can enter on hotter days.
Add colour and character
To give the space extra character, why not hunt around for a few pieces of upcycled furniture or furniture that’s made from sustainable timber?
Has our guide inspired you to make your loft greener? Let us know in the comments below!