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The design potential for extending your house has changed as technology has developed to allow a new freedom for designing with glass. As an alternative option to traditional conservatories, structural glass rooms give a new opportunity for constructing a contemporary design.

The beauty of glass is the relationship with the garden it allows, as the Victorians knew, but with modern frameless glass the view is uninterrupted by structure. The modern door designs allow a seamless connection with the garden. You can open up the whole rear wall of your extension with sliding/folding doors or have a large sliding door opening. The level of the floor can match that of the exterior patio with recessed drainage slots to protect the internal flooring.

High performance glass reduces solar gain and can contain enough strength to have glass floors and roof lights you can stand on. Thermal performance also allows for glass rooms to be part of the main house and not cut off by separating doors to comply with Building Regulations. When choosing an architect to design your extension make sure they have experience of structural glass technology.

There can be some ignorance in Local Authorities in relation to the insulation properties of glass. New technology can now bring the U value of a double glazed unit down to 1.2 and within 3 months this will be reduced to 0.9, whereas they are still using a figure of 1.8. If the area of glass exceeds that required to satisfy the regulations guidelines a full Home Energy Assessment can be prepared by a specialist and with upgrading heating systems and thermal insulation elsewhere in the house even large fully glazed extensions can pass Building Control requirements.

It should be noted that glass extensions may not conform to Permitted Development regulations because of the clause that states construction materials to extensions should match those of the existing house, in which case Full Planning Permission may be required, but the interpretation does vary depending on the Local Authority.

Design freedom means you can have a unique garden room with views of the sky and garden, wonderful for a terraced house because of the illusion of space it creates, the ultimate in contemporary living.

Photographs of glazed extension to end of terrace house on Wimbledon Common.

Architects - The Brooks Practice
Main Contractor - Woodland Commercial Ltd.
Glazing Contractor - Cantifix Ltd.