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Prime Life - S&S Contracting

Harlow Timber Systems has produced a complex set of trusses incorporating four different designs and pitches for care home operator, Prime Life.

The trusses form the roofscape of the new Prime Life care home at Rockingham Road, Market Harborough which was designed by Corporate Architecture and built by Leicester firm, S&S Contracting.

Ranged over three interlinked buildings, each varying in size and layout, the development is a traditional build designed to accommodate nearly 180 residents in stylish surroundings.

"The variation in roof pitch was designed to avoid monotony in the appearance of the buildings, which are both single and two-storey structures" explains Neil Richards of Corporate Architecture. "This raised technical questions about interfaces – especially where two roofs of different pitches meet" he adds.

"We liaised closely with Harlow Timber Systems to optimise the design detailing" explains Neil who says that the complexity of the detailing required ongoing design development well into the construction phase.

David Stockill, managing director with Harlow Timber Systems says that some of the design requirements tested the versatility of its trussed rafter system. "There was a huge amount of air handling equipment in the roof space and, in one part, we had to provide a vaulted ceiling with a raised tie-beam to provide adequate support". Other requirements included designing a truss which would support the weight of a chandelier weighing half a tonne.

David believes that teamwork was the key to the successful completion of this project. "We have worked with Corporate Architects and Prime Life for many years and we carry out a lot of pre-design work with them" he says.

"In this project, we managed to take a lot of steel out of the design by using truss girders in place of rolled steel bulkheads. It simplified the design and removed an unsightly interruption to the ceiling" adds David.

Construction of the new care home is now nearing completion. With the roof now fully installed, S&S has moved on to the fit-out stage ready for hand over later this spring.