Green is on trend

Homeowners are taking a significant interest in the carbon footprint of their renovation, according to Westbury Garden Rooms, both during the manufacturing process and after the build is complete.

Founder of Westbury Garden Rooms Jonathan Hey said: “The mounting environmental crisis has come to a head this year on a scale not previously seen, and people are now questioning the choices they are making in their everyday lives – be that rejecting the throwaway culture of cheaply-made clothes, to reducing the number of unnecessary flights they are taking.

“Therefore, it stands to reason that this also extends to their homes, with people wanting to understand how their new orangery or garden room might impact the environment.”

Homeowners are now questioning the sustainability of timber, the levels of transport emissions, and manufacture locations of an extension project, along with a desire by many homeowners to go above and beyond the minimum environmental building regulations.

Some homeowners, the company said, have also expressed a desire to specify controllable heating and ventilation technologies, including the use of ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers.

Westbury has seen an increase in visits to its Essex-based factory with a view to understanding the impact of the in-house manufacturing process coupled with an increase in visits to the company’s environmental policy website page.

“Historically, PVCU conservatories have been bad for the environment, with an unsustainable manufacturing process,” Jonathan said. “They also required huge amounts of energy throughout their lifetime, as it has always been notoriously difficult to control the internal temperatures. Modern manufacturing processes mean that today’s timber orangeries, garden rooms and even conservatories have sound environmental credentials that minimise the homeowner’s carbon footprint throughout their whole lifecycle, as they can easily be recycled.”

Westbury uses Accoya (a modified wood) to the furthest extent possible. Not only does the material outperform traditional solid hardwood but it is created from fast-growing, abundantly available, FSC or PEFC certified tree species such as Radiata pine, which eliminates the need to use hardwoods sourced from the rainforests of South America or Africa.

It undergoes a non-toxic, environmentally friendly chemical process which makes it a super-strength version of its original form, also coincidentally improving its paint retention. The wood is guaranteed to last for 50 years and is extremely stable, even when used in coastal properties or at altitude, where there is more moisture.