What is an Eco Pod and What Makes them Eco-Friendly?
18th October 2021
Garden rooms come in all shapes and sizes and they can also be known as different terms with the most common being garden room, eco pod, summerhouse and outbuilding. What makes these differ from one another can be their materials, the way in which they are constructed and their use but in this article, we are going to take a closer look at the eco pod and delve into what makes an eco pod eco-friendly.
An eco pod will most certainly strive to use FSC certified sourced wood which means that for all the trees that are taken down to create this wood for building, more trees replace them to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of the felling. It may also use locally sourced materials to reduce the carbon footprint of the build. Other factors you may see in an eco pod is the use of recycled materials, reclaimed timber and ethically sourced materials.
An eco pod can only truly be eco-friendly if it does not include the use of chemicals that could leach into the surrounding environment. We would expect non-toxic adhesives, paint, varnish and sealants to be used as and where possible.
A good insulation system within the wall cavities is essential for creating an eco pod. Not only will this allow you to use your room all year round but it will also help to retain heat therefore not releasing it out into the atmosphere and reducing the need for overusing your heating. You may also expect the company to use an eco-friendly version of insulation which manufactured in a sustainable way and can be recycled or reused after use.
LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. An LED is an electrical component that converts electricity into light with very little wasted energy. LED lights combine several of these components to produce a light source suitable for general use. LEDs have a lifespan of more than 30,000 hours and use very little energy, in fact, compared to your old incandescent light bulbs, LEDs can save up to 90% in energy consumption! This makes it the most eco-friendly choice of bulb for your eco pod.
Double glazing is good but triple glazing is even better for keeping out drafts and retaining heat so an eco pod should ideally have this as the option in order to tick those eco-friendly boxes.
A green or living roof is where the entire roof is dedicated to housing plants. This may sound strange but did you know that these will help with drainage, retaining heat plus replace greenery that may have been removed for the build? Your roof will become an ecosystem, a home for insects, food for bees and butterflies and will also look beautiful. We have written more about a green roof in this blog here.
Your eco pod will have a gutter system just like your home and to ensure that it is as eco-friendly as possible it would be beneficial to add water butts to the downpipes which will collect the rainwater which could then be used for the garden. Alternatively, you could look into how this water could be collected to then be reused in the toilet inside your eco pod – lots of ideas to be thought about here and which could come up during the design process.
The interior will be your project but we wanted to end with this to show how even the smallest details could be eco-friendly. By sourcing second-hand furniture, locally sourced crafts, making your own soft furnishings or upcycling what you already have, you will have a unique end result and an eco pod that is eco down to the last touch.