Camargue pod with led strip lighting inside with people drinking around a table with a bottle of champagne

IQ Outdoor Living Pod vs. The Contemporary Conservatory.

Posted on Posted in Tips for Outdoor Living Spaces, General

How does a conservatory and an IQ Outdoor Living Pod differ?

During the last year the time brits spend in the garden has increased massively, with the jump to working from home allowing for catching the rays, enjoying the fresh air and absorbing precious vitamin D during lunchtimes.


However, for a large portion of this time, the rain has had a negative influence on utilising the outdoor space. Garden structures. such as the IQ Outdoor Living Pod. are a fantastic solution to this issue as they allow for full utilisation of the area by creating protection from the weather. The two garden structures this article will be discussing are the IQ Outdoor Living Pod and the uPVC conservatory.


The IQ Outdoor Living Pod is an aluminium framed, glass-walled, fully automated outdoor roofing system. Once the roofing blades are closed, it is a fully watertight structure. To further its efficiency in unpredictable weather, it contains an integrated drainage system. Other features include a weather sensor installed into the structure and the option to have a freestanding or building-integrated IQ Outdoor Living Pod meaning it could be installed anywhere in the garden.


Another feature some of the systems IQ Outdoor Living offer is a heat and soundbar, allowing for use around the clock, even when temperatures begin to decrease.


A conservatory is most commonly made of uPVC framing and glass; they are building integrated and have a limited range of colour options. The plastic and double glazing used creates a very thermally efficient space, especially in the summer, as the materials do not allow much heat to escape.

Living Pod with shrubbery and glass walls


A contemporary uPVC conservatory is an affordable option for enjoying the outdoors no matter the weather as it allows the utilisation of the outdoor space even in the rain. Although in the warmer months, conservatories can become unbearably hot, this is due to the nature of plastic and double glazed glass; it is very thermally efficient. The conservatory space can be a challenge to ventilate properly as a result.


One of the main benefits of the IQ Outdoor Living Pod is that it offers a significant amount of ventilation. When the roofing system is opened up, it allows air to circulate throughout the structure. The outdoor living pods have a variety of uses, including outdoor kitchens, dining rooms where heat and scents would likely need some ventilation.

IQ Outdoor Living pod with shrubbery around the left side at dusk


uPVC has a lifespan of roughly 30 years, so it does not last as long as the aluminium framing of the Living Pod – which lasts around 60 years. Even though both of the materials used are non-corrosive and require very little maintenance, uPVC can become discoloured by the sunlight as are not as durable as aluminium, making aluminium the better option for garden structures.


uPVC is cheaper initially, making it a popular choice for many homeowners, but as aluminium is more durable and has a longer lifespan it is actually the more cost-effective option in the long run.


The sustainability of uPVC is relatively good as it can be recycled ten times, but as the materials are so cheap to make new, it is not always as likely to be recycled as often. Aluminium can be recycled significantly more times, taking only 10% of the energy originally needed for the primary formation process and which costs less than creating aluminium from scratch.


Rear extension with furniture inside


uPVC frames are the most common framing option in the UK and are a staple of conservatories with little variance in design. The reason for its repetitive nature is that uPVC has limited design options; it is not a particularly strong material resulting in wide frames and reduced amounts of the visible glass.


In comparison, the IQ Outdoor Living Pod has more design options. The aluminium framing has a wider range of colour options compared to the uPVC conservatories due to the fact it can be finished with a polyester powder coating in any of over 200 RAL colours.


In addition, the walls of the IQ Outdoor Living Pod come with many different options to further improve the ventilation of the structure: the walls can be louvred vertically or horizontally in wood or aluminium, or waterproof canvas walls which can be woven to be completely opaque or partially transparent.


If you are interested in one or more of our IQ Outdoor Living structures, then please contact our sales team. We produce bespoke garden roofing options for residential and commercial projects.



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