Why our conservatories are under threat: Sun traps could be on the way out as new climate change rules outlaw any new-builds that would create ‘unwanted solar gain’
Climate change looks set to claim an unexpected new victim – Britain’s conservatories.
They may be a sought-after addition to many middle-class homes but the sun traps can overheat in our increasingly warm summers.
As a result, regulations are being brought in that could make conservatories far rarer in new-build houses.
From June, any conservatory intended as part of a new development will need to show it will not create ‘unwanted solar gain’.
The change is part of a raft of measures aimed at future-proofing homes against summers where temperatures are predicted to reach 40C (104F).
Though well above what is currently experienced in Britain, such highs would cause conservatories to become unbearably hot, often increasing the temperature uncomfortably indoors too.
From June, any conservatory intended as part of a new development will need to show it will not create ‘unwanted solar gain’ (file photo)
The new rules, which also aim to improve domestic ventilation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent, will limit window sizes according to which direction they face and whether the home is likely to overheat.
Conservatories that are unheated and separated from the house with exterior walls and doors may be exempt.
But others will face complex and expensive modelling to show they will not become too hot in the summer – limiting the use of trendy floor-to-ceiling glass.
As a result, conservatories may become a premium product, unaffordable on cheaper new properties.
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the National Federation of Builders, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We can build heavily glazed buildings but smaller companies who do a number of different housing types on one development may avoid it, due to the potential cost of the dynamic thermal modelling on each home.’