Comparing garden studio specifications can be difficult:
It can all get a bit confusing and you can feel that you are not comparing like with like.
There is a way around this problem, which is to compare the u-values of the garden studio. The u-value is the rate at which heat is lost through the floor, walls, roof and glazing, each element in the construction such as the plasterboard, insulation, and cladding has a u-value and these can be combined using computer software to generate an overall u-value.
The Building Regulations layout target u-values for new buildings and whilst garden studios don’t generally have to comply with building regulations (unless they’re between 15 & 30sqm and going to be used as sleeping accommodation, or sited within 1m of the boundary) the best quality and long term value garden studios will be built to Building Regulation standards.
The 2010 Building Regulations state that the u-values for new buildings should be:
A good garden studio designer will have these figures at the forefront of their mind when they are designing and specifying a garden studio, choosing combinations of materials that give the best u-value, that then produces a garden studio that’s comfortable to use all year round and cost effective to run.
Not every garden studio designer makes their u-values public, indeed one manufacturer we contacted did not know what u-values are!
We thought we’d help you make garden studio comparison easier by conducting a garden studio u-value survey – we emailed 55 of the top garden studio suppliers asking them what their u-values are, here are the results:
Note: When comparing these figures the lower the u-value the better performing. Some suppliers have two listings in this chart because they offer two levels of specification.
It’s been an interesting task, the results show that it’s a niche sector of suppliers who design and build their garden studios with thermal efficiency in mind, but the results are encouraging that these garden studios meet and many exceed the Building Regulation u-value targets, meaning they are more thermally efficient than a new house!
The results show that in most cases a thicker wall does produce the lowest u-values, however don’t take this as a general rule when comparing garden studios not on this list as a 45mm wall from one company can outperform a 150mm wall from another – use the u-value method!
Garden studios often have large expanses of glazing so it is reassuring to note that the garden studio suppliers on this list use glass that performs much better than the Building Regulation targets meaning you are not losing all your heat out of the windows in the winter, and that the garden studio should not over heat during the summer.
This survey has also highlighted that some suppliers have difficulty in achieving low u-values in garden studios 2.5m high. Flat roof, low level garden studios have become popular since the change in planning laws, but it can be difficult to achieve the thickness of floor and roof required to meet the u-value targets and still leave enough height for doors! So, bear this in mind if you are comparing u-values in studios 2.5m high.
So, if you are looking for a garden studio that’s going to be warm in winter, cool in summer, cost effective to run and kind to the environment take a look at the work by the suppliers in this survey, you may pay a little more for these garden studios but it’s an investment in the long term performance of the garden studio.
|Booths Garden Studios|
|Executive Garden Rooms|
|Garden Spaces||0845 387 9 387|
|0800 334 5570|
|Sanctum Garden Studios||0844 800 9750|