How We Built Britain
Home in The Wintles
How We Built Britain: The Wintles eco-village
Houses in The Wintles estate near Bishop's Castle are among the most energy-efficient in the country. We meet developers who are attempting to change the way we are building Britain.
With homes responsible for 27% of the UK's carbon emissions, The Wintles near Bishop's Castle attempts to combine an environmentally-friendly design with modern styling. The 40 houses are among the most energy-efficient in the country thanks to developer Bob Tomlinson.
The estate was shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2004 and were highly commended in the New Sustainable Housing Awards. But responsibility to the environment doesn't come cheap and the development was described as a "ghetto for the very rich" by one user on the BBC's Newsnight article.
As well as using solar panels to heat water, the homes use heat recovery techniques that take warm air from kitchens and bathrooms and pump the heat back into the system before expelling the air outside. Houses also feature large, triple-glazed windows and air-tight doors.
Timber-framed, the buildings also make extensive use of timber internally (from sustainable sources). Reclaimed tiles and bricks also feature in the build, as developers attempt to minimise the overall impact on the environment.
But engendering a sense of community was also top of the developers' wishlist, as Bob Tomlinson explains: "One of things people are interested in this project is the fact it's creating a neighbourhood rather than housing estate."
Tomlinson believed that housing design hasn't move with the times: "We felt most builders now are using designs from the 1970s and so we looked at what was happening in North America and Scandinavia, brought it all together and came up with a very light and environmentally efficient house."
last updated: 04/07/07