A number of our competitors will use a recycled plastic pad/grid system which is simply placed on the ground and filled with loose stone. Whilst this is a very eco-friendly way to provide a foundation, we would only use this method for light weight building structures which are placed on very firm ground, as we doubt the long-term stability of this approach.
By contrast, creating a concrete base is not a very eco-friendly way to provide a foundation for your Garden Room, as every tonne of processed cement releases a tonne of carbon into the atmosphere. The cement manufacturing process itself also creates a number of other nasty air-pollutant emissions such as dust, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides. Plus, once you’ve laid a concrete base, it’s a permanent fixture and pretty much there forever.
As a compromise therefore, we fit concrete pile or steel screw foundations dependent upon the ground conditions. This is where we bore holes all around the perimeter of the base and fill them with a solid concrete mix or we use pneumatic tools to drive large steel screws over a metre deep into the ground.
In the case of the concrete piles, this uses only around 10% of the concrete employed in a slab construction, whilst providing a firm footing, bonded into the ground, upon which our building can sit with confidence. With the steel screw method, we do not need to use concrete at all.
These methods are particularly appropriate in gardens with lots of trees, as they avoid the risk of cracking associated with concrete slabs. In addition, if you move the building in future, the circular holes in the ground are easily covered over with soil and vegitation leaving no evidence of their previous use.
In order to stop weeds growing through the base of our buildings we use Recycled Weedblock, which is rolled out on the ground under the building before assembly begins. This material is made from recycled plastic bottles, and each roll removes ten 2-litre bottles from landfill.
We can offer a variety of exterior cladding materials dependent upon the customer's preferences. From natural wood products such as Cedar and painted Redwoods to zero maintenance Wood Fibre composites, anything is possible.
Our most popular exterior cladding is now Wood Fibre Composite due to its natural beauty and aesthetic appeal, and the lack of any need for annual maintenance but we also offer Cedar and Wood Cladding as a customer option. It is made from recycled wood fibre residues (sawdust etc) and a binding agent. As this material has a high (87%) recycled content produced from sustainable forestry timbers, it is the perfect solution for an eco friendly, low emission Garden Office or Garden Room. The result is a building with the natural look of timber, which is UV stable, colour fast, and handles extreme hot and cold conditions with excellent weathering properties, whilst offering the huge benefits of zero maintenance.
This composite cladding is the premium choice for new or even replacement cladding projects and offers the natural appearance of traditional wood, together with the long lifespan of a modern high-tech material. Its unique formula provides lightweight yet durable cladding that will not splinter, warp or rot throughout its 50 years minimum design life expectancy, and it is an excellent insulator.
Our frames are made from C16 and C24 grades of treated structural Timber, which is a versatile and environmentally friendly material. In fact, if all houses built in the UK since 1945 had been timber framed rather than traditional bricks and mortar, then over 300 million tonnes of CO2 would have been saved. Indeed, for every cubic metre of wood which is used instead of other building materials, 0.8 tonnes of CO2 is saved from the environment.
Although the deforestation of hardwoods throughout the world remains a major concern, it is not caused by the European construction industry which mainly uses softwood. In the UK, 99% of all timber frame building is carried out using European softwood, and as Europe is committed to planting more trees than are harvested, the more wood we use, the more our forests grow.
According to the United Kingdom Timber Frame Association (UKTFA), timber framing is the most sustainable form of construction, as wood is effectively carbon neutral. In addition, timber benefits from the lowest embodied CO2 of any building material. The benefits of Timber frame are recognised for being the only organic, non-toxic and naturally renewable building material, whilst employing low energy consumption during the manufacture process.
Consequently, timber is a totally renewable resource; European softwood forests are growing by over 250 million m3 every year; it is waste efficient as the parts of the logs that are not used for timber are used for paper, chipboards, energy and many other applications. Once used, the timber can then be recycled or biodegraded. And of course, trees produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, helping to reduce global warming.
So there really is a no more environmentally friendly way to build a modern Garden Office or Garden Room!