Project Description

Refurbishment of timber framed listed buildings using Virtual Design and Construction

The Anstey Hall Barns project was a mixture of MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) and traditional carpentry methods to refurbish, extend and conserve seven historic barns, some dating from the 18th Century as well as add four luxury new homes to the site. It was imperative that everyone worked around the historical needs of the site and we helped oversee the restoration process, working in co-operation with several specialists.

The client had the whole site scanned to create a point cloud model – which was then converted to Revit models for the design team. However, we were able to spot significant issues with the quality of the models which were then rectified by the architect to ensure the project ran smoothly.

This project required fully co-ordinated design team models as the site used the models daily to show sub-contractors what they were trying to achieve. All the setting out information was produced from live models using AutoDesk Point Layout.

Because of this fully digitised process all sub-contractors, from setting out engineers and ground workers to carpenters and plumbers, were required to have iPads on site to access the latest drawing information and create repair reports via AutoDesk Field for the conservation officers and building control.


Project Team

Client: Hill Partnership

Architect: David Miller

Contractor: Hill

Awards: Shortlisted for Construction Excellence London

A wide range of structural issues and solutions due to the condition and challenges of the individual buildings

Barn 1 was a listed building, built in 1790, but the timber barn was in a bad state of repair. A specialist company was brought in to repair the timbers and we liaised with them throughout the process as one end of the barn was significantly leaning over.

This became apparent when we tried to fit the new steel frame which was outside the building line, despite a point cloud survey. Specialists realigned the building to the desired angle and a new internal point cloud survey was completed so we could co-ordinate our steel structure with the realigned existing barn to be sure the permanent solution was fully coordinated.

An independent internal steel mezzanine was also added that cantilevered over a new kitchen area to provide a study/library.

Barns 2 and 3 – The challenge was adding an additional floor that the existing heights of the barns didn’t allow. So, we suspended two of the barns and dug semi-basements underneath.

Barns 4, 5 and 6 were existing brick buildings, but needed new timber roofs in keeping with the other timber barns plus a timber extension to the courtyard. We underpinned the buildings and lowered the ground floors to increase the head height.

Barn 7’s existing side wall was leaning over, and they weren’t allowed to be taken down and rebuilt, so we put in a new steel frame with a CLT first and roof structure. We were then able to tie the existing masonry back to the steel frame to stabilise the existing masonry.

The extension was built using off-site manufacturing technology and required detailed coordination between the existing building, steel frame and the cross-laminated timber (CLT) because there was no scope for it to be adjusted on site.

If you have a challenging project concerning listed buildings call 01993 225085 or email us on

Watch our video that gives some insight into the challenges and progress of the project.

You can see how the barn was raised and the temporary works used to support this, as well as aerial views of the site.

If you have questions about any structural elements of this project, in relation to something you are working on currently, please do give us a call.