At the beginning of our Stirley Community Farm EnerPHit project, we commissioned a structural survey, which unfortunately revealed that there is lot of work needed to stabilise the walls and to underpin the foundations, because the foundation aren’t deep enough. To address this problem, the timber frame structure we are proposing will have a dual function: offering excellent levels of airtightness and insulation, while also serving to support and shore up the original stone building.
The inner frame will brace the original barn fabric through a purpose designed tie system we have developed with our structural engineers. Concrete pads will be cast into the original stone walls at intervals and these will be tied to the frame via stainless steel* (*changed to Teplo Ties later on in the build) threaded bars set in resin anchors into the cast blocks. The additional challenge has been to avoid a cold bridge, so the bolted connection to the I beam structure has had to be carefully detailed to ensure that this connection is fully insulated.
We are currently preparing the site for the building work proper to begin. We have been demolishing a roofless brick wall extension attached to the barn. All usable building rubble is being recycled/ re-used elsewhere on the site. The barn’s (asbestos) roof has been removed and the cow stalls within the barn taken down. The team have started positioning the concrete ‘wall connectors’ (mentioned above) into the wall. In the next blog, we’ll address ways in which we are tackling underpinning and tanking issues in the ground floor.
Bill Butcher, Director, Green Building Store www.greenbuildingstore.co.uk
Free resources on the project are available at: www.greenbuildingstore.co.uk/enerphit