For the main frame of the build we’ve borrowed from the design system of Walter Segal. Like his namesakes Stephen Segal and Jonathan Livingston Seagul (no actual relation), his work was daring, defied convention and pushed through boundaries. – he created a system that would facilitate individuals to build their own houses without the need for highly specialised skills. His buildings were sized so that materials needed could be procured from a local builders merchant and needed minimum adjustment.
At the centre of this was the timber frame, which was designed to be built from several smaller timbers bolted together to make the posts and beams so that very large timbers weren’t needed and complicated joints weren’t required. The frame sits on stilts to minimise the need for concrete foundations and brickwork and reduce need for damp proofing as the building sits well out of the ground. There are many online resources about segal design - A great site on Segal self build can be found here: http://www.irishvernacular.com/step-by-step.html
There's also a recent article and video on segal here: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/sep/16/anarchism-community-walter-segal-self-build-south-london-estate
Our frame uses elements of this design – instead of stilts our frame sits on 2 plinth walls which raise the frame out of the ground, but still allow us to have a brick base to the building (using bricks reclaimed from the old warehouse). This system allows us to eliminate cement altogether and just use limecrete (see foundation blog post). Due to the size of the build and the specifications of our engineer we had to use glulam beams instead of normal timbers for the beams which look particularly chunky, and will certainly hold the floor up!
Glulam beams set upon wallplate:
Posts made from compound timbers bolted together and bolted into the cross beams:
1st floor beams lifted into place and bolted:
Once the frame is up its simply a case of filling in the gaps to complete the stud frame:
Roof Light Frame and vertical stud frame: