What do I need to consider when constructing an Eco Shed?

Poultons Dorset-What do I need to consider when constructing an Eco Shed? 6

The term ‘Eco Shed’ is generally used to describe a timber building that has a low environmental impact.

If you’re planning an ‘Eco Shed’ then we have some ecologically sound ideas that you might like to consider incorporating into your project.

Timber Construction for your Eco Shed

If timber is going to be the main component for your shed then this is a great start!

Why Timber?
  • Timber is grown naturally and providing you ensure it’s from a renewable source (preferably local) and from sustainable, managed forests then you’re off to a good start. Look out for the FSC logo, as this verification will confirm that the wood is sourced from FSC certified forests, so isn’t just renewable but also comes from forests managed responsibly.
  • Wood has great thermal insulation properties compared to other mainstream construction materials, so it will keep your building nice and cosy.
  • Timber is a versatile and durable material and looks great too!
  • Wood is a reusable resource and recycling it requires less energy compared to other building materials.
Timber Preservation

Some external timbers won’t require preservation or painting, but for those that do make sure that you source water based paints and preservatives as opposed to solvent or oil based ones or, alternatively, why not avoid either of these and go for scorching the exterior timbers instead.

Why?
  •  Solvent or oil based paints and coatings are harmful to the environment, whereas water-based paint by comparison is less so.
  •  Water-based products are more user friendly and smell less offensive. They also make cleaning your brushes easier!
  •  Charring wood surfaces wraps the wood up in a layer of carbon that’s highly resistant to mould, insects, water and even fire and apart from that it looks very effective too!

Your Eco Shed Insulation

There’s some great environmentally friendly natural fibre insulation options out there that offer excellent insulation and sound-proofing solutions and meet modern and traditional building standards, like wool and straw.

Some products combine natural sheep’s wool and recycled fibre. Look at finding ones that use British wool or try sourcing straw bales locally, both of these will reduce your carbon footprint.

What Sub frame do I need for my Eco Shed?

You’ve got a beautiful, carefully sourced, timber building that’s ticking all the right boxes for the environment, but what about the base?

Conventionally, concrete has been the base of choice for years. However, manufacturing of cement to make concrete accounts for high levels of CO2 emissions. Also, although concrete is strong and lasts for a long time when it does break down it will likely end up in landfill where it doesn’t biodegrade.

Concrete also requires the use of water. So it’s preferable to go for a timber sub-frame or ground screws alleviating the need for a concrete base.

Add some Guttering to collect rainwater

Adding some simple guttering and a water butt to your finished shed will allow you to collect and recycle rain water – more ticks for the environment.

Eco Shed Roofing Options

A green roof has many ecological benefits:

  • Rainwater buffer – A green roof absorbs rainwater in the planting, delaying the discharge of water into the drains, the water is purified and evaporates through the plants. This will all help to stabilise the groundwater level, reduce both the peak load on drainage systems and the risk of flooding.
  • Air purification – Plants in a green roof filter particles from the air and convert CO2 into Oxygen – so they look beautiful and help us breath cleaner too.
  • Ambient temperature reduction – Plants absorb sunlight so this helps to cool the temperature. Indoors this means energy-saving and reducing the need for air conditioning.
  • Noise reduction – A green roof will act as a sound barrier for your building, absorbing sound so your building will be quieter both inside and out. ● Extends roof life – Green roofs protect roofing materials from sun, rain and wind meaning your roof will last longer.
  • Encourages biodiversity – Sedums, herbs, plants and grasses of a green roof provide habitats for birds, butterflies and insects.

Solar Panels for your Eco Garden Building

Adding solar panels to your timber Eco building will provide green, pollution free energy.

Eco Shed Glazing

Windows or roof lights will allow natural daylight into your building, reducing the need for artificial light, thereby saving energy.

Both double and triple glazing units will keep heat in but the extra layer of glass in triple glazing will go just that bit further to helping conserve heat energy.

There’s so many brilliant reasons for creating an ‘Eco Shed’ so it’s literally a no brainer!

If you have the ability to make your Eco timber building into a home office, studio or workshop as well then you’ll be free from the daily commute – saving yet more energy and emissions!

What sort of base will I need for my garden building?

  • Discover the best base to use for your garden building.
  • Learn why assessing the area is so important.
  • Find out whether a concrete or timber base is best.
  • Discover why a sub-frame is a quick and easy way to lay a base and why it’s great for undulating ground.
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