Promoting Green Living When Converting Your Loft Space
By: Phillippa Carr
Green living is making its way into our spaces big or small. Our guest blogger this week, Phillippa Carr, has great tips to Green your loft space and great updates to make. Phillippa’s blog “Promoting Green Living When Converting Your Loft Space” goes over insulation, ventilation, lighting and flooring, and the benefits these have in a loft.
When you realize how much value a converted loft space adds to your home, the decision to renovate is pretty much a no-brainer. You can improve your renovation investment by sticking to eco-friendly renovation strategies that promote green living. In addition to conserving natural resources and cutting down on utility bills, “green-certified” homes are increasing in resale value and holding that value better than conventionally built homes. What’s more, there are tax rebates and other financial incentives available for homeowners who decide to renovate “greenly”.
Converted Loft. Photo Credit: Birdseye Design
Here are the four key considerations from Simply Loft Ladders when converting your loft into a green living space:
Having a well-insulated loft means using less power to keep the indoor climate comfortable, while conserving energy and cutting utility costs. Natural insulation materials such as sheep’s wool, cotton, and castor bean-based Icynene spray foam insulation have fewer toxic chemicals and are made from renewable resources. The low toxicity and eco-friendly manufacturing of Foamglas cellular glass and Roxul ComfortBoard mineral wool make for sturdy, green, insulation options.
Roxul ComfortBoard. Photo Credit: Green Building Advisor
2. Ventilation and climate control
Properly designed ventilation can increase the loft’s comfort level and energy efficiency. When used in conjunction with existing air conditioning, Energy-Star ceiling fans can generate up to 40% in energy savings during hot weather. Windows designed to take advantage of prevailing breezes and exhaust fans vented outdoors will make air inside the home healthier as well.
Energy Star Ceiling Fan. Photo Credit: Theta Electric
3. Green Light and Power
When designing the window placement for your green loft conversion, place the windows to maximize natural light for the space so that you won’t need to use electric lighting as often. You should incorporate energy-efficient dimmers and switches into your wiring plan, and consider if outlet and fixture timers could help reduce your energy consumption. Install energy-efficient ambient lighting such as LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs. Skylights are another great option for increasing natural light. If your celling space is at a premium, you might install the Smart LED Solatubes, which are small skylights that incorporate solar-powered LED technology to provide light both day and night.
Dimmers and Eco-bulbs. Photo credit: Inhabitat
4. Green Flooring
When it’s time to floor your converted loft, there’s an incredible variety of options to choose from. Natural wool carpeting is greener and healthier than conventional carpet, which has a large carbon footprint and lots of toxic chemicals. If you preferred your conversion to feature hard floors, consider cork, tile, bamboo, or natural linoleum. Those seeking hardwood floors might consider recycling the hardwood floors that other renovators are getting rid of. When buying new, make sure your hardwood is Forest Stewardship Council-certified.
Linoleum. Photo Credit: Forbo
For more information about remodeling your loft to promote green living, consult the U. S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide, which is the go-to resource for LEED projects around the world.