What are the new climate rules?
The shift towards slowing the acceleration of climate change has now moved in the direction of potentially impacting the future of building conservatories. With conservatories proving to be a popular home improvement for homes in Britain for many decades, the new rules could see numbers dwindle in the future. The regulations are primarily based around new-build properties and ‘unwanted solar gain’.
In terms of the climate itself and changes that have been happening at an increased speed in recent years, there is now a big focus on mitigation. There have been calls from climate groups to look into trying to prevent overheating in the summer. These calls have been acted upon through fears that rising temperatures could lead to homes becoming uninhabitable.
With temperatures predicted to soar in the near future, potentially up to 40°C, there is a real need to put in place regulations that can at least help stem the proverbial tide. That sort of heat is currently unprecedented in the United Kingdom, though should predictions be accurate there will be a strong potential for discomfort for homes with conservatories.
The new climate rules are set to be enforced from June 2022 onwards. They place a focus on new properties primarily, with limitations on window sizing. This is where the potential future reduction of conservatories could come into play. The new rules will limit window sizes depending on the floor area, which could in turn result in fewer conservatories. There is also the likelihood that other home improvements such as patio doors and floor-to-ceiling windows will also be impacted.
How could a conservatory be exempt from the new regulations?
There are some ways in which conservatories could yet be exempt from the new regulations. The main loophole relates to having a divide between the extension and the property itself. Also, if they are unheated. Essentially, if the conservatory is kept separate from a house with exterior doors and walls then it will not be part of the new rules, as long as it is not heated.
What impact will the new rules have on the future of conservatories?
The conservatory market has been a changing one over the course of this century. At the turn of the last decade, almost a fifth of homes in England had conservatories installed, with just over three-quarters of those having heating. With the new rules, new builds would stand to be significantly affected by those numbers.
As of five years ago, the number of conservatory manufacturers had been shown to be dwindling, going from 426 in 2011 to 260. The Covid lockdowns saw a rise in home improvements and conservatories were a part of this. One of the reasons behind the increase in interest in conservatories was to offer an option for home working. Numbers for those working from home doubled from 2019 to over 25% in 2020.
When it comes to temperatures, there has been a clear increase in the past few decades. With regards to the last few years, there has not been a dramatic increase, with 2018 remaining the hottest recent summer. Projections remain high, though, with a considerable predicted rise in temperature in the coming decades.
How has the energy efficiency of conservatories progressed over the past four decades?
Glazing in general has seen a considerable amount of changes over the past 40 years. Replacement roofs are one aspect of the improvement in the energy efficiency of conservatories. Given that most conservatory roofs were initially made up of polycarbonate, the introduction of glass roofs and tiled roofs saw a significant improvement in thermal efficiency.
The introduction and improvement of double glazing has boosted the energy efficiency of conservatories greatly. Low-emissivity (low-E) glass has also proven to be a significant part of the glazing of a conservatory thanks to its heat reduction properties. The further development of solar control layers and panels have helped to control the glare and energy of the sun.
What can be done to cool down a conservatory?
With many conservatories, there is an issue revolving around the fact that they can become too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. This naturally leads to discomfort and conservatories being unused during the peak of each of those seasons. However, especially with modern conservatories, there are several ways with which to help improve the temperature and comfort of a conservatory.
For example, the direction in which a conservatory is built can have an impact on the internal temperature. If a conservatory is north facing, then it will not be as warm as it would be if it was south facing. Here are some other ways to help cool down a conservatory in those warm summer months.
Not only are bifold doors simply a great option for conservatories in general, but they also help considerably with regards to helping to provide ventilation. Due to their design, bifold doors are able to open up fully to provide a range of benefits. They allow a large amount of natural light to flood in, as well as open up the opportunity to take advantage of the views from outside. Aluminium bifold doors in particular are a top option because of their slim sightlines allowing for more natural light and glass within the design.
A large number of conservatories suffer from being too hot or too cold because of their roof. More often than not, this is because of polycarbonate roofs. While a popular choice among initial conservatories because of its ease and budget-friendly nature, polycarbonate is now not an efficient option for a conservatory roof.
Tiled roofs and glass roofs are both superior choices, with each high-quality option being comprised of thermally efficient materials. These, in turn, help to reduce the increased heat in the summer. For example, Climate glass uses the latest technology that helps to ensure that the conservatories that we install will be useable throughout the year.
High-quality, energy-efficient conservatories for homes in South Devon
At Renaissance Conservatories, we are proud to offer a range of conservatories and modern extensions for South Devon homeowners. Our conservatories are among the best around when it comes to energy efficiency, thanks to our high-quality roof replacements. Whether it is a glass roof or a tiled roof, there is no compromise on comfort. If you are interested in one of our stunning extensions, then contact us today on 01626 333393 or get a free online quote.