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Pasquill supplied posi-attics for the conversion of a Scottish church into a children's nursery

Pasquill, the UK’s largest supplier of roof trusses, has manufactured and supplied unusually large-scale Posi-attics for a historic church in Nairn near Inverness as part of a fascinating conversion of the Listed building into a children’s nursery.

With a clear span of over 14 metres – supported only at the external walls – and a height of 7 metres the Posi-attics are possibly the largest ever manufactured by Pasquill. Indeed, they were too large to transport to site in single sections.

Attic trusses are manufactured in a similar way to standard trusses, but due to the increased loadings, and their lack of full triangulation, normally they have large timber sections. The traditional configuration of attic trusses sees solid structural timber members used. However, in the case of Posi-attics the bottom chords are replaced with Posi-joists, ie. a combination of the strength of a steel web with timber flanges. With their superior spanning capabilities, Posi-joists facilitate better design freedom, and are ideal for large room in the roof applications. Usually used in domestic housing applications, the strength of a Posi-joist floor provides increased living space within an attic.

When it comes to the installation of pipework, services and in particular MVHR systems, Posi-attics offer unparalleled ease of access. Since Posi-attics are manufactured off-site and craned into position, they offer distinct health and safety advantages. There are no manual off-loading issues to contend with, and lowering the number of times that sub contractors have to climb up and down ladders and scaffolding has got to be a positive.

At the Nairn church conversion, space will be created through the use of Pasquill Posi-attics for accommodation in the buildings roof space. Local people will warmly welcome the renovation of the church, which has lain empty for 40 years and had been added to the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. Located on the main Inverness to Aberdeen road, the historic church had been boarded up for many years and had been considered a local eyesore. The exterior of the building will be sympathetically restored with the only significant visible changes involving creation of additional windows and an external door on the East elevation.

Sheridan Peter MacRae of Metric Architecture said: “The use of Pasquill Posi-attics allowed this great old building to be saved. All other options were not economically viable and we were at a point where the project might have had to be abandoned. However, Pasquill’s team made a solution that allowed the project’s huge loads to be spanned and some original trusses to be retained in situ, which was a win-win for all concerned.”

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