What Is An Eco Pod And Why Should I Invest In One?
10th May 2021
An eco pod is a self-contained outbuilding that has been built with the environment in mind. From sourcing sustainable materials to using renewable energy, fully insulting, and choosing more sustainable options such as solar panels, LED lights and a living roof, an eco pod can give you more space at home whilst having a small impact on our environment.
The most important part of creating an eco pod is to use as many sustainable materials as possible. This will usually include the wood cladding, flooring and using a natural insulation in the walls and the roof – more on that in a moment. If you are looking to purchase an eco pod from a company, you should be able to check whether their wood is FSC regulated, if they give back to forest planting, where they source their wood and what makes it sustainable.
Flooring used within these pods are usually also wooden so the above applies here also. The great thing about using wooden flooring is that it is hardwearing and helps to keep the room warm which means it won’t need to be repeatedly changed and helps with energy efficiency; all adding to that sustainability aspect.
Natural insulation is predominantly made from wood, cork, wool and hemp which means that it is easily found and is toxic-free which is not only better for the planet but also for your own health.
The reason that insulation is so important in an eco pod is that this traps heat which results in your room staying warmer for longer and reducing the need to use your heating. Eco pods will use their insulation within the wall cavities as well as the roof for additional protection. However, this will not solely consist of just one layer, it will involve a well-built structure of timber, plasterboard, insulation plus a waterproof membrane which will all be fully sealed to ensure there are zero gaps for the heat to escape.
The roof of an eco pod should be made from panels which will also help with insulation. Of course, it will also be water-tight to prevent damage down the road. Other options that may be available to you could come in the form of a living roof which is essentially a green area that is planted on top. This has several benefits which include further insulation by regulating the temperature within your building, attracting wildlife to your garden, it helps to purify the air, you can water collect from it by adding drainage leading down to a water butt and let’s not to forget that it will also look beautiful and tie your outdoor space together.
By sourcing renewable energy to provide power to your eco pod, you will be further reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment. We have mentioned that insulation plays a big role in reducing the energy you use but other ways that you can achieve this are by using LED lights, installing solar panels and choosing triple glazed windows.
Window and Doors
And that last point leads on nicely to this one – windows and doors. Double glazing is a great start but if your eco pod can use triple glazing you will be able to have an even bigger positive impact. Triple glazing has an extra pane of glass which means that your eco pod will be insulated even further. To put this into measurement terms heat loss from your home is measured using something called a U- value. On average single glazing has a U- value of 5.6, double glazing a rating of 2.8, whereas triple glazing can offer a U- value of 0.8. It’s a no-brainer when you look at it like that.
Once your eco pod is complete, it is down to you to fully furnish and decorate it and, to keep this part sustainable also, think about sourcing your items secondhand, try your hand at upcycling older pieces and shop with small, local businesses who create bespoke items. Not only will this complete your eco pod but it will also give you a completely unique decor.