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A roof support structure of branched columns incorporating sliding doors and shutters

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The single-storey house has cavity masonry walls with large glazed openings to the south, and a delicate aluminium roof supported by steel struts and columns.

The roof is formed of 200 x 50mm rafters at 400mm centres lined with a ceiling of 12mm cherry-veneered ply and covered with aluminium sheet with standing seams. It overhangs the south wall and part of the east and west walls, allowing a continuous glazed clerestory to run below; the roof slopes down from the south to a gutter over the main circulation space.

At the south wall, the roof overhang is supported on canted 60mm dia CHS struts supported by five 89mm diameter CHS columns which flank the wall. A continuous canted clerestory runs behind the struts. The column/strut structure is braced by a pair of horizontal 152 x 84mm RSC channels and stabilised by a horizontal girder of 50 x 50mm steel angles which runs between them, bolted to finplates welded to the backs of their webs. The inner channel acts as the edge of the canted clerestory sill. In the living room it conceals the track of an insulated shutter that slides to cover a lower clerestory and the glazed sliding doors below it.

An additional 152 x 84mm RSC channel conceals the track at the head of the sliding door and gives additional bracing to two taller columns which flank the walls of the living room.

The horizontal girder is tied back at the crosswalls of the rooms to an identical girder which runs below the gutter over the main circulation space.

The canted clerestory glazing has a shutter of 50mm polystyrene insulation bonded to 12mm cherry-veneered ply and framed with 50 x 50mm aluminium angles. It is hinged to the ceiling and operated by a winch.

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