It was always our plan to build with load-bearing straw walls. Our design team at Straw Works still believe it would be possible, but our Engineer at Renaissance has said “No.” Apparently, the 10m span across the hall would be too wide to support the upper floor and roof. Instead, Helen, our engineer has designed what we call “Super Trusses” – effectively a Timber Frame for the whole building. There will be far fewer of them than there would be normal roof trusses, but they will be much bigger and stronger, and integrally connected with pillars along the sides of the building.
The great, and unintended, spin-off from this is that they can be assembled on site and will comprise smaller parts than pre-manufactured trusses. What this means in turn, is that it will actually be possible to deliver them – which was always going to be a practical nightmare of the previous design. On the other hand, it will probably cost a little more. Oh, but there again, we should be able to put the roof on before we fill in the walls!