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Harlow Timber Systems Tesco

TRA member Harlow Timber Systems has supplied a variety of bespoke trussed rafters for the roof of a new Tesco Express store in Shepshed, Leicestershire.

Built by main contractor Jessops Construction, the new store features a hipped roof with a projecting pediment above the main entrance bearing the familiar large illuminated Tesco sign. With a side extension creating a slightly L-shaped floorplan, the new roof takes the shape of an irregular truncated pyramid with a central flat section which required a variety of trusses to achieve the correct dimensions.

To create this complex roof, Harlow Timber Systems designed and supplied a 20m long flat-top truss manufactured using non-standard 63mm timber. This main supporting truss, weighing 1.5 tonnes, provided the main support in the roof which included a further 115 trusses to create the hipped sections. To support the projecting pediment feature, Harlow Timber Systems fabricated an additional 18m long girder supporting the entire structure above the main entrance. The client did not want any steel columns obstructing the entrance to the store.

Harlow Timber Systems fabricated a girder which would support the roof across an 18m clear span. The girder was fabricated using high quality 63mm TR26 graded timber sections bolted together in rows of four to create a high-strength 252mm wide structural section. Special steel connectors and a central bracing guide provided support for the flat section in the centre of the roof where it served the same function of a ridge beam in a traditional pitched roof.

Although a very unusual design, this roof is not untypical of the sort of structures Harlow Timber Systems undertakes. It says:

“We are asked to engineer complex roofs all the time. On most projects we spend time with the architects and clients to find a cost saving solution, as we did here. The large span girder on this project is a good example of the sort of structural solution we can provide. The trusses were delivered to site on a phased schedule which allowed Jessops to install the structure in less than a week.”

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