Installing the lower-ground steels.

P1010503steels-2On 12th September the steels arrived. Following the structural engineer’s specifications and with helpful advice from the steel supplier we got on with installing the steels. With rough stone walls setting things out was quite a challenge, but by taking plenty of cross-referenced measurements we had the positions marked out. Again, it was great to see just how square and true the chapel is. First the stanchions had to be resin anchored to the concrete footing and to the front wall. steel-2-in-posgroutAnchoring the the base plate to the footing was straightforward, but the stones in the wall that lined up up with the pre-drilled holes in the flanges of the stanchions didn’t always prove to be large enough for the anchors so we had to drill some additional holes to ensure good anchor points in the wall. The anchor holes were drilled and cleaned and one by one, we injected the resin and carefully inserted the threaded anchors. With the stanchions fixed in their final positions with steel packers,where needed, after thoroughly soaking the footings, we grouted the base plates and dry-packed to the wall. liftsteel-inNext we installed the first (right hand) beam. The new floor was to be 200mm lower than the existing floor so this meant we could fix the beams in position without removing the existing floor. Stones were removed from the rear wall to accommodate the beam and allow the pad-stone to be cast in-situ. Using a chain hoist we carefully lifted the beam into padstone-castBoards upposition, bolted it to the stanchion and using acrows fixed it its’ final position, checking it was perfectly level and square. Shuttering the the hole beneath the beam and with the anchor bolts attached we cast the pad-stone with C25 concrete, slump testing it to ensure we had a good mix. We followed the same procedure with the second beam, although to fit this beam part of the internal wall had to be removed along with the floor above the Good Room,  the floor left in place over the hall was supported with acrows.  joist-outlevelTo gain some head room we had decided to replace all the original 175-180mm deep floor joists with similarly thick (75mm) but shallower new (150mm), timber joists. When we removed the original joists it proved to have been a good decision, as although the spans were all in quite good condition, the ends were rotten or eaten away by woodworm. There are long sections that are good and hopefully we will re-use them elsewhere in the project.    With the steels installed we were glad to see just how level we had managed to get them. We could now start putting in the new floor over the Good Room.


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