April 11, 2022

The Future of Conservatories

Written by Rebecca Clayton

structural glass box extension modern conservatory

Using thermally broken structural glazing to create modern alternatives to the traditional conservatories.  

structural glass roof in glass box extension

The Times have printed an article detailing how climate rules have altered the future of traditional conservatories, with a move away from conservatories due to the regulations that have been designed to prevent houses from overheating in the warmer months.

Changes to Building Regulations part L will come into effect in June and the new regulations aim to cut carbon emissions from new homes by 30% by improving energy efficiency.  These changes include new thermal efficiency requirements for glazing to reduce energy needed to heat and cool internal living spaces.

Although heat related deaths are not common in the UK, The Climate Change Committee have warned that the hot summer seen in 2018 is likely to occur every other year by 2050 and this could triple the heat related deaths from 2,000 to 7,000 a year. One way to combat this is by using thermally broken structural glazing to create a minimal glass extension that eliminates the risk of overheating.  

Conservatories are not typically thermally modern conservatories glass box extensioninsulated and are commonly unusable throughout the colder and the warmer months, with heat getting trapped inside during the summer months and not being able to escape back out.

Because if this, it is thought that traditional conservatories will fall short of the new regulations to stop homes overheating and will no longer be included in the designs of new build homes or renovation/extension projects.  

These new rules might deter architects from designing conservatories that are not separated from the main living area by a thermal divide, such as properly insulated doors. If conservatories have to be designed with thermally insulated doors, the thermally insulated properties may as well be incorporated into the wider design to avoid issues of thermal bridging altogether. With the latest advances in glazing and thermal break technology, IQ Glass can create a modern alternative to the conservatory, without the risk of overheating.  

thermally broken glazing in glass box extension

Thermally broken structural glazing can be used to create any number of glass extensions, from glass box extensions to side return or side infill extensions. Using Invisio, our in house developed structural glazing system, frameless glass designs can be realised in large sizes.

Thermal break technology allows us to create ultra-minimal glass extensions with no visible fixing details, as these are concealed within the head and base frames which can be specified to sit within the building finishes giving a frameless effect design.  

Any number of opening elements can be incorporated into a glass extension, including slim framed sliding doors which could be used to create entire walls of thermally insulated, moving glass. The minimal glass door systems are designed to create a uniform finish when used in conjunction with structural glass walls. Slim framed pivot or casement doors are also well suited to glass extensions, with thin aluminium profiles that  

slim framed sliding glass doors in modern conservatory glass extension

For listed buildings, frameless structural glazing is preferred and is more likely to gain approval from planning officials, due to the subtle nature of transparent glass. IQ Glass have worked on a number of glass extension projects for listed and heritage buildings, helping to expand the useable space whilst protecting the integrity of the original building by using specialist fixing channels and bespoke fixing details.   

For more information or to discuss your next project, contact the IQ team today.