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A very long and narrow former chicken shed was transformed into a new dwelling for a family. Planning limitations prevented the building from increasing in size, so it was decided to opt for a scissor truss arrangement to maximise the ceiling height at the centre of the space.


Constructed on site from glulam timber, the eleven scissor trusses are all subtly different introducing a structural rhythm along the length of the space. This is achieved by varying the angle of the steel tie at each structural bay, not unlike the ticking hands of a clock.


Architect : A-Zero Architects

Giles Bruce, Shoichi Sado, Ross King, Mizue Katayama

Structural Design: Crouch Waterfall

Photographs © Adam Scott

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Strategy 02 Use timber instead of steel​ ​


Use Timber instead of Steel

The project uses a scissor truss structure, in order to maximise the internal ceiling height, and avoid horizontal tie beams. The structure is principally glulam, using steel elements only for connections and one of the diagonal braces. 

The fully internalised structural frame gives the glulam a strong visual presence in the space whilst allowing a continuous air-tight membrane outboard of the structural frame, and a highly insulated envelope outboard of this again.


We worked with local carpenters to make the frame, using a series of hand-built models to explain the construction sequence and communicate the design.  

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Sustainable residential architecture, green homes design, eco-friendly house construction, passive house design, energy-efficient homes, low carbon footprint houses, net-zero homes construction, renewable energy homes, sustainable living spaces, green roofs for houses, sustainable materials for home building, solar design for houses, eco-friendly architecture, and green home design for both new build sustainable architecture and retrofitting for sustainability in existing homes; sustainable urbanism homes, carbon-neutral houses construction, sustainable construction practices for homes, energy-positive houses, green building materials for homes, eco-design for houses, Dulwich, Herne Hill, Brixton, Clapham, Stockwell, Kennington, Vauxhall, Peckham, East Dulwich, West Dulwich, Sydenham Hill, Crystal Palace, Forest Hill, Penge, Honor Oak, Brockley, Catford, Beckenham, Bromley, Chislehurst, Tooting, Balham, Battersea, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Southfields, Earlsfield, Merton Park, Raynes Park, Richmond, Barnes, Mortlake, Kew, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Acton, Ealing , Southwark

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