Woodland Park, Herefordshire
Woodland Park, Herefordshire
About this Project
Fairview Homes Property Limited (now Kinspire Homes)
Multiple types of 3- and 4-bedroom houses
140mm plus 175mm of insulation in the floor and 100mm in the walls
Strength to strength
Speaking onsite at Woodland Park, the company’s third new build development in Herefordshire, director, John Parker, said:
“We are still a young company, one that’s trying to stick to its principles, and I’m pleased to say we’re doing well. This is only our second multi-house development, but we’ve been quick to learn from our experiences at Rambler’s Park [Fairview Homes’ first multi-house development at Whitestone, near Hereford].”
One such lesson was the benefit of building with timber frame.
“We went into that first project knowing that it was going to be a winter build. Speed was critical if we were to stay on schedule and within budget. We needed the properties to be dry as soon as possible, this meant looking beyond traditional build methods.
“We quickly identified timber frame construction as the solution, having weighed it up against the time taken to build in traditional brick and block, cost of brickies etc. There are also a few timber frame companies in Herefordshire so we knew we could work with a local firm. We know of Taylor Lane from previous building experience in the area, and they were well-known to our architect, Jim Hicks from OHA Architects.”
Second multi-house development
Having successfully completed the three properties at Whitestone, the team turned their attention to a 1.5-acre plot on Cobhall Common, Allensmore just outside the City of Hereford.
“We received revised permission to build seven executive homes,” continues, John. “Unlike Rambler’s Park where we had just one house type, here we have a mix of three- and four-bed spacious properties.”
Extraordinary timber frame
Once again, the couples decided to use timber frame construction.
“To be honest, it’s unlikely that we will go back to trad’ building. The speed and accuracy of timber frame has been extraordinary. The dimensions are pretty much spot on.”
This decision also coincided with yet another winter build.
“We started onsite at the end of October 2021 and as you can see now, we’re welcoming residents into the first two; we’re up to first fix in another two; and the remainder are all weather-tight, with roofs on. It’s hard to believe the speed at which we have gone through it. In fact, it could have been quicker, as local trades haven’t always been available, but the standard of workmanship is fantastic.”
Fairview Homes has utilised Taylor Lane’s 140mm timber frame kit, with I-Joists. The system achieves an external wall U-value of 0.19 W/m2K.
“While thermal performance is extremely important, especially now with soaring energy costs, we have been pleased with the results of our EPC rating (B), without the addition of solar panels. With solar panels the houses meet an A rating. We would have done this, but we are not keen on the aesthetics of a solar panel.”
There is 175mm of insulation in the floor and 100mm in the walls. Each house boasts an air source heat pump and underfloor heating.
One of the key attributes which elevates a Fairview Homes property is the attention to detail, not least in the design of the houses.
“We received some positive feedback after we completed Rambler’s Park. Many commented how they wished that more housebuilders would build houses like ours, using a mix of cedar cladding, render and brick, complemented by anthracite grey windows and doors. It’s the look and feel that many people enjoyed when viewing the properties.”
Modern cottage with sloping ceilings
One stand-out design was the property coined ‘modern cottage’ by John and the team.
“A house with dormer windows and a slate roof is a timeless look for a cottage. Our design plays on this but it was also born out of necessity. We had to complement the local vernacular, particularly the 400-year-old cottage on the neighbouring plot. This led us to reduce the overall height of the building, to minimise the impact on the neighbours. The result is a house which people love! Yes, it reduces the head height upstairs, but it’s given a touch of rustic charm to a modern build, which is unusual these days.”
To achieve this, Taylor Lane designed in sloping ceilings. This made for a more complicated roof structure, using stub trusses and loose rafters, and added five days to the erection time. Fairview Homes uses a gang of four local erectors, as recommended by Taylor Lane.
Timeframe only possible with MMC
“We’re extremely proud of what we are doing at Fairview Homes Property,” continues John. “We even make a point of showing prospective buyers around when the properties are under construction. They can see the quality for themselves then, especially the timber frame which isn’t something you can see, normally.
“The site is now complete and all properties are sold. That kind of turnaround is only possible with modern methods of construction, like timber frame. Now it’s onto the next one, or two!”
In February 2023 Fairview Homes rebranded as Kinspire Homes, part of Kinspire Group.