7 Green Ideas for Outdoor Rooms and Granny Flats
Just like your main building, your granny flat and outdoor rooms can also be environmentally friendly. All you need to do is use the right materials and be smart about the design, and your home addition will be eco-friendly and beautiful. Here are some great tips you must check out before you start your building.
No matter the materials and efficiency of fixtures, if you have a large addition to your property, you will leave a bigger footprint. A larger outdoor room will require more turf to be destroyed and paved, while a large granny flat will require more materials, stronger cooling and heating and more electricity. Unless you need all that extra space, keep things small and compact.
If you want to ensure minimum energy gets wasted during your granny flat cooling and heating process, your property has to be well insulated. How much insulation you need will greatly depend on your climate, and the proximity of trees and other buildings that might provide shade during the summer and some protection from the wind during winter. In most cases, the R-value ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 for your ceilings is a good choice, both in cold and warm climates. The best way to insulate walls is to use both thermal and acoustic insulation that will make your granny flat a peaceful and pleasant place.
Positioning of the property
Location is one of the most important things if you want to be green. For instance, if you want to reduce energy consumption in the granny flat, you have to have an adequately positioned space. If the building is surrounded by trees, this might mean the interior will be better protected from direct scorching sunlight in the summer. Additionally, when winter comes, naked branches will allow the sunlight to pass all the way to your windows and provide you with extra warmth. You should also think through the position of your outdoor room. If your location is well shaded and protected from the elements, you won’t need much cover to keep the space pleasant all year round.
When building your outdoor room or granny flat, it’s important to use sustainable, repurposed or green materials to make sure your addition has a minimal effect on the environment. Today, there are many green materials you can choose from, so there is practically no excuse. Locally harvested wood can be a good choice since it doesn’t require long transport hours. Additionally, eco-friendly flooring options like sustainable bamboo and cork are also great solutions. When it comes to fabrics, try to opt for carpets made of natural materials like jute, hemp, coir, sisal or wool. Some companies provide completely custom design, so consult with your trusted granny flat builders during the material choosing stage, and they will surely provide you with valuable insight and extra advice.
When equipping your outdoor room or granny flat, your greenest option is to buy recycled or repurposed items. Buying cheap store furniture pieces is not a very green option since these materials usually contain a lot of toxins and waste a lot of energy during their production process. Also, make sure to choose durable materials, especially for your outdoor room that will be exposed to the elements.
Green walls and partitions
If you want to boost “the green” in your granny flat or outdoor room, you might want to invest in some extra greenery. Green walls and partitions will offer you an opportunity to have a lot of plants in your property, even if you lack the square footage. Additionally, green walls offer great shade, provide clean air and extra thermal and acoustic insulation. And, as a cherry on top, they look amazing both indoors and outdoors.
Your granny flat and outdoor room can be very energy-efficient as long as you provide them with Energy Star appliances and proper lighting. For instance, equip the interior with high-quality and efficient fridge and microwave, and concentrate on using LEDs for lighting. These fixtures will look amazing and save you some money along the way. The same goes for water. Install low-flow toilets, showers and faucets that waste a lot less water than your traditional fixtures.
Granny flats or outdoor rooms are a great addition to your home. And if you want to make them green and sustainable, you’ll be doing a lot of good for the planet and future generations.