Category Archives: Building Materials

Eco-friendly garden offices & studios from Gembuild

Garden offices, studios and buildings by Gembuild are naturally a very ‘green’, eco-friendly, choice. Eco-friendly garden offices, studios, houses and buildingsThe main construction elements are carbon neutral because the timber used is taken from sustainable sources where new trees replace those which were harvested for the buildings. The new, young, trees lock up increasing quantities carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they continue to grow over the long life of the Gembuild outbuilding.

Gembuild uses an unusually high specification for insulation to roofs, floors and walls (100mm of insulation in walls nearly 7 inches thick!), as well as installing high quality double-glazing to windows and doors. This means that very little is required from the customer in terms of heating. This optimum combination has a marked benefit for the environment because very little generated heat is allowed to vent to the atmosphere — which also helps to keep heating bills to a bare minimum. It also means that the garden studios, offices and houses stay at a more constant temperature throughout the entire year rather than always being too hot in Summer and too cold in Winter as happens so often when homeworkers attempt to work from a conservatory or from an inferior outbuildings with thin walls and lower insulation standards.

Sedum and wild flower covered roofs are available as an optional extra on some of the Gembuild range (see page 20 of the price list for details). This type of roofing has is very natural-looking, blends in with the surroundings and provides important micro-climates for wildlife including insects and bird life. It also further reduces heat loss by acting as Continue reading

The highest specification garden offices

We are convinced that you will not find a higher specification and such flexibility being offered by any other UK garden office company – for such affordable prices. Just take a look at the incredible specification below, the high quality detail included as standard and the flexible options afforded by Gembuild’s garden studios and outdoor buildings. We challenge you to compare it to our competitors and are sure you will soon see the benefits of choosing Gembuild. Just take the thickness of our walls for starters — nearly 7 inches thick compared to a measly couple of inches if you’re lucky with some of our competitors. Also note the high level of insulation and that’s in floors, walls AND ceilings when you buy from Gembuild – whereas some of our competitors don’t include any! Take a look …

Amazing specification as standard:Included?
170mm thick cavity walls with 100mm of insulation?YES!
Walls include YBS breather foil & fire-resistant membrane?YES!
Weed matting supplied underneath if required?YES!
Bitumen finished / pressure treated ground plates supplied?YES!
Floors protected by DPM (damp-proof membrane)?YES!
Floors suspended with 100mm insulation included?YES!
Fully insulated roofs?YES!
Minimum 20 year guarantee to roof covering (flat roofs guaranteed for 25 years)?YES!
All soffits, downpipes & guttering included?YES!
Switched electrical sockets (sited to customer's preference), exterior lights & interior down-lighting (terminating to supplied consumer unit) included?YES!
Internal plumbing supplied where appropriate?YES!
Fully double-glazed UPVC windows (with either mahogany or light oak surround)?YES!
Window blinds supplied as standard?YES!
All internal carpentry (skirting etc.) supplied and fitted?YES!
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The Different types of Wood we use to build our Garden Rooms

Here at Gembuild we use three different types of wood cladding or external cover; larch, cedar and thermowood.

What effect does each have on the final building?  Where do they come from and how long do they last without needing to do any maintenance work?

We are surrounded by it, we have walked under it, we have known about it for as long as we can remember. We have sat on it, slept on it, burnt it and eaten from it. We have walked on it, put things in it and we have touched it. It is wood, it is lovely, it smells nice, it lasts, we love it.

No doubt we take wood for granted growing as it does whenever there is a clear patch of earth but what does the wood in your garden office have to say? What is the hidden story behind the bark?

Gembuild’s designs use larch, cedar and thermowood for the external cladding, which can be dyed in different colours.

Wood knots, grain and textures are generic, and vary with their climate and habitat but each unique giving the offices a natural and individual appeal.

Take the Siberian larch which having grown in arboreal forests with wintering temperatures of -50 ‘C has endured conditions that can be variable and uncertain. Yet, during summer, close to the Arctic circle, there is midnight sun on the tree tops but underneath, wild boar, red deer, bears and tigers endure harsh conditions.

This wood, once felled and treated, survives the Western European climate for up to fifty years or longer.

Or take the Canadian western red cedar, still sent down the Fraser river to the Strait of Georgia and the Vancouver harbour, floating under Lions Gate bridge, where lumberjacks for centuries felled the statuesque tree for its beauty and utility.

It has qualities that make it a practical option for the outer walls of your garden office, as well as a certain quality that means for the owner, less upkeep.

Our cedar cladding designs include the Neoteric, Rusper, Faygate. Warnham, Ockley and the Colgate.

Our third type of cladding is thermowood.  Although wood is good to go thermowood is especially chic at the moment.

It was no surprise that without courting controversy people wanted to further improve wood’s insulation properties using modern techniques while keeping it’s natural qualities.  No need to debate the natural credentials if you only treat it with water and steam.

So the increasingly popular thermowood, became part of a growing area of timber framed houses in the UK. The scale of their use shows it is now an acceptable building material

Thermowood is Scandinavian, infact it is manufactured in Finland. You can identify it because having been treated under tightly controlled conditions as it has a registered trademark, from The  International ThermoWood Association.

If you have this conditioned thermowood you can expect a better and more durable insulator, with a thermal conductivity reduced by at least 20%  so stopping heat escaping that much better.

This much you can know you don’t take too many risks when you choose wood cladding and each plank has a story to tell with a whole world behind it.

Anything less is just a Posh Shed!

We are confident our garden offices and studios are built to the highest standards.

In this blog post I wanted to explain this quality and ensure you arent tempted by the price of a much inferior garden building!


Our walls are 170mm thick and comprise of 100mm thick panel which is filled with fibreglass there is an internal moisture barrier to the inside face and a vapour and reflective outer barrier then a TRADITIONAL cavity ….just like your home ..with an external cladding to suit you …we offer cedar larch or thermoboard all offer 30 year plus lifespans… we also offer traditional barn type 25mm featheredge cladding which is treated and finished in a proprietory which is extremely durable and only needs recoating every five years ..recently we have introduced Cedral which is an eternit product and comes in a range of attractive colours.

As well as giving excellent insulation properties the wall is also a good sound insulator and this why our units make first class music practise studios.. indeed this is why Vervace chose us for their piano practise rooms

You can remove and replace the cladding without affecting the building you cant do that with a 75mm composite panel or a log cabin type building.


Our roofs are our trademark pitched rooves with a barn hip which look absolutely beautiful in any location.

The loft space is insulated with 180mm of fibreglass which keeps the building really warm and there is a choice of roof finishes

Asphalt shingles these will give a 20 year plus life and come in a variety of attractive colours or our newly introduced stunning slate roofs these give 50 year life and come in a range of gorgeous natural colours.

All our 25 roofs are flat but with enough fall to move the water, these roofs are necessary to comply with the 2.5m rule of the permitted development regs. The finish is EPDM or rubber as its better known and this give a life of 20 plus years in fact EPDM roofs have been on Chicago airport for over 50 years and are still going strong.


Our floors are fully suspended and again insulated we can finish in carpet tiles or laminate in a variety of colour and pattern options.

Windows and doors

We use upvc throughout with 20mm double glazed units and all the usual locking refinements you associate with these units.

We offer a variety of colours and sizes.


With our building you can mix and match the windows and doors cladding and roofs together with the internal socket layout to get the perfect building for you all within the standard price.

And remember our units are used as granny annexes and extra bedroom space, they are that good, we can air condition them and include bathrooms and even kitchens!

If you can’t get all these features …then you will just be buying a posh shed