Lotta bottles for unusual project

First published in Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A Charminster man has shown plenty of bottle in his latest building project.

Mark Watson used more than 1,500 wine bottles to create the floor for his outdoor workshop for himself and his disabled wife.

The idea was to create a flooring that stays relatively warm all year round.

Mark said that, although the technique was not commonly used in this country, it actually dates back to Victorian times and was used more in America.

He explained: “The idea is if you shove a bottle in the ground neck down it traps whatever warm air was present at the time so you retain, not heat, but warm air constantly over a long period of time.

“If there was a frost and you have got 1,500 odd bottles in the ground the frost would occur around it but that would reduce the effect. Also you will have a warmer floor all year round.”

Mark is a full time carer for his wife and said the idea was to create an outdoor studio that they could both use.

He said: “We wanted to put a workshop outside so I could work and so could she but because of her disabilities we wanted to keep the place as warm as possible.

“It was an opportunity to make new use of my skills and to increase my skill set but at the same time to improve my wife’s quality of life.”

Mark added: “It’s also much cheaper than underfloor heating and its upcycling.”

There were donations of bottles from Durnovaria Wine Bar, the Royal Oak and Carluccio’s in Dorchester while Mark was also indebted to several friends and neighbours who gallantly made their way through bottles of wine to help his project. Mark had to dig a large hole to put the bottles in and then fill it back in with soil around the bottles.

He estimates that in total he moved about ten tonnes of earth during the six to eight weeks it took him to construct the innovative green floor.

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