It was a delight to see our frames for the new Camery at Wells Cathedral going up last week.† The building will provide facilities for resident and visiting choirs to practice and for musical education and study.† The timber frame comprises 11 arched brace cross frames and was erected in two phases to work in with the overall project programme.† The site is incredibly tight for space with barely enough room for our team to set out the frame and then still be able to get the crane in position for the lift.† Having said this I know that the team on site led by Team Leader John Lam were extremely pleased with the end result and with having the opportunity to work on such a prestigious project.
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Once again this week Iíve been asked by a prospective customer if he needs listed building consent to have work carried out on a barn that he wants to repair.† Unfortunately the legislation in this area is in my view confusing and extremely subjective.† However the basic principle for anyone undertaking work on a building that is listed or they think might be listed is to talk to your local Conservation Officer.† Donít forget that generally even if a building like a barn is not specifically listed, if it is on the curtilage of a building that is then it is subject to the same restrictions with regard to repair and rebuilding work.†
Donít underestimate the importance of the words repair and rebuilding.† If the work you propose to do constitutes rebuilding then you definitely need listed building consent.† In principle you can make a repair to a listed building providing that in doing so you donít change the character of the building, which is of course a subjective view!† So youíre back to the same position.† Youíre far better to get your local conservation officer involved at the start of the process and get their buy in to your proposals.† If you proceed without the necessary consents you could become criminally liable for damage to a listed building as could any tradesman and subcontractors you use.
More blogs by Andy Parker
Arched braced trusses are probably one of the most majestic forms of truss and we get asked to incorporate them into timber frames on a fairly regular basis.† Interestingly this presents frame design and timber engineering challenges that arenít well understood by many people.† The arched brace truss was traditionally designed to be buttressed on each side either by timber aisles or by very thick masonry walls, which in turn were often buttressed.† Why?† Well, from an engineering perspective the bracing is tucked right into the intersections of the posts and principle rafters and provides very poor triangulation for the forces in the frame.† This makes them prone to spreading and in some period buildings there are signs that they have failed to some degree.
Having said this I wouldnít want to put anyone off them as a style of frame.† Obviously if the building is wide enough then aisles can be incorporated down either side and properly engineered these are likely to provide sufficient buttressing in their own right.† In addition itís possible to incorporate some hidden stainless steel reinforcement to ensure the frame doesnít spread in the next few hundred years!
More blogs by Andy Parker