Have you considered incorporating sun tubes into your garden room project? Many bespoke garden room suppliers offer them as a way of boosting natural light, in an area of the building that might otherwise be a little dark.
Archive of articles touching on different elements glazing used in garden room design.
Garden Spaces have recently completed this striking garden room that has been designed to create inside and outside living space for the family to spend time within their beautiful garden.
The Mökki range of architect designed small garden rooms has proved very popular with readers of The Garden Room Guide, so we were interested to here that they are making a few changes to the specification for 2015.
Even if you choose all the low maintenance material options you can when designing your garden room. Our experience tells us that no building can be completely maintenance free.
On the 1st October 2010 changes to Part L of the Building Regulations come into effect. Part L deals with how well a building conserves fuel and power.
Whilst garden rooms don’t have to comply with Building Regulations unless they are over 15sqm and used for sleeping accommodation, many garden room suppliers do build their garden rooms to Building Regulation standards – which is a good thing!
Many garden room suppliers state that their buildings u-values (the rate at which heat is lost from a building – which Part L controls)out perform the Building Regulation standards for new buildings, which is a great selling point as it means the garden room will be comfortable to use all year round and cost effective to run.
So what is a u-value? It’s the measurement of the transmission of heat through an element such as a wall, roof or glass. In timber frame construction each element of the wall, such as the exterior cladding, sheathing, studwork, insulation and plasterboard will have a u-value and a garden room designer can work out the combined u-value of the wall, the lower the combined u-value the better performing the wall. U-values are expressed in W/m2 which equals the amount of heat in Watts that is lost per square meter of material. For example a wall with a u-value of 0.30W/m2 will lose 0.30 Watts for every m2 of surface area per degree of temperature difference between the inside and outside of the building.
The changes to Part L from 1st October 2010 lower the target u-values for walls, floors and roofs (remember the lower the u-value the better) meaning that garden rooms built to these new Building Regulation standards will perform even better. Below is a table of the existing u-values for a new build and the figures for 1st October 2010 onwards.
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As a customer it is important that you check the claimed u-values of a garden room with this table, especially if your supplier claims to exceed the Building Regulations for a new build house!
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Whilst double glazing is a standard feature on most garden office and studios specifications, some suppliers go a step further and offer low emissivity glazing. Low E glazing has a special coating on the outside of the inner pane of glass, this coating allows light and heat from the sun to pass into the room whilst preventing heat generated within the room from escaping out of the window. Low E glazing makes a garden office or studio warmer in winter and cooler in summer, which means the building is comfortable to use all year round and cost effective to run.
So how does it work? First we need to look at how heat from the sun and heat generated from within a room differ. Heat from the sun is a form of short wave radiation whilst heat generated from within a room is long wave radiation. With normal double glazing, in winter the long wave radiation escapes through the glass to the cool outside, whilst in summer too much shortwave radiation from the sun penetrates the glass making the room hot, Low E glass overcomes this problem, the special coating reflects the long wave radiation back into the room in winter and in summer filters the amount of short wave radiation that enters the room.
There are two types of Low E coating, a hard coat or a soft coat. Hard coat Low E glass is known as a pyrolytic coating and is applied during the float glass process, the coating is sprayed onto the glass at a very high temperature. Hard coat Low E glass is very durable and can be tempered after its been coated, on the downside hard coat Low E glazing has a slight haze which can be visible at certain angles. Hard coat Low E glazing has a higher u-value than soft coat Low E glass (in u-values the lower the value the better). The leading name in hard coat Low E glass is Pilkington K glass.
Soft coat Low E glazing is created in a vacuum chamber and consists of optically invisible layers of silver and metal oxide. Soft coat Low E glass produces low u-values, allows high levels of light transmission, but up to 70% less ultra violet transmission than standard clear glass. On the downside soft coat Low E glass is difficult to handle and glass has to be tempered before it is coated. Soft coat Low E glass can only be used in double and triple glazed units where as hard coat Low E can be used on single panes of glass, it is also generally more expensive than hard coat Low E glass. SGG Planitherm Total is an example of soft coat Low E glass.