Touchwood Homes

Broking Barn, Essex

August 2019 saw us start work on the frame erection for our Clavering Barn project, in the Essex countryside, near Saffron Walden.

This project involved the conversion of an unused, fairly modern, agricultural barn to a family home, retaining the existing attractive timber trusses in the barn, but at the same time wrapping the structure with our 300mm I-beams to create a very warm airtight build, to near passivhaus standards as we can achieve.

Here’s how the barn looked before work on site commenced:

Clavering barn as stood

Our first task was to remove the existing cladding of corrugated sheets, while leaving the original timber structure in place. We then had to work around this structure to dig out and install a modern foundation system under the existing walls, which presented many challenges for us to overcome, not least maintaining the stability of the building during this engineering work.

Once the cladding was removed, and internal scaffold had been erected to fully support the trusses, we were able to dig the new foundations around the building:

Internal scaffolding supporting the frame while our team worked on the foundations for the new build.

Meanwhile, our design team were busy working on the timber frame and integrated MVHR ducting for the new home. These sketch up models show how the new home will look:

sketch up model 1

sketch up model 2

As the timber elements of the existing barn are integral to the aesthetic of the new home, we will complement this by using Douglas Fir timber for the visual elements of this build, such as the gable ends and internal posts, while using our I-Beams to create very densely insulated walls and roof. Integrating the existing trusses has been quite complicated but with careful attention to detail at the earliest design stage we can be confident that the build stage with fit together perfectly.

The images below are from our architectural team to show how the building will look once completed. We’re really excited to see this materialising now with so much work invested in the design and foundation stages!