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The Sunday Telegraph

Feb 2005

Timber-framed houses that are clad in wood, such as The Wintles, a ‘living village’ of 40 ‘eco-houses’ at Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire, are a rarity. The Wintles homes, which are for sale through FPDSavills from £335,000 for a four-bedroom bungalow to £465,000 for six bedrooms (0121 633 3733), are built using Douglas fir frames manufactured in an old cowshed just off the site. The board walls are insulated by a thick layer of recycled paper and rendered in lime mortar, or clad in cedar.

‘I looked at several methods of construction,’ says the village’s creator, Bob Tomlinson, ‘and, perhaps because I was approaching the problem from outside the building industry, I came to the conclusion that traditional brick-and-mortar construction is rubbish. It is very slow, draughty, and it is not very energy-efficient. Concrete blocks conduct heat rather easily, and if you wanted a wall as energy efficient as those in my buildings they would have to be half-a-metre thick.

‘The frames are very quick to put up: we got the houses to a watertight stage in four to five weeks.’

The result has proved a hit. ‘We’ve had 10,000 people through our show house,’ says Bob, ‘and we’ve had enquiries about building several other living villages, from Cornwall to Scotland.’

© The Living Village Trust Ltd (Company No: 03352518) | © Living Villages Holdings Ltd (Company No: 5789379)