Earlham Hall
University of East Anglia

Rossi Long Consulting were appointed to provide structural engineering services for the conservation and conversion of the former stable block and coach house to provide further accommodation for the UEA’s School of Law.

The Grade II* Listed property dating from 1571 has been the home of the Gurney family and the birth place of Elizabeth Fry. The stable block and coach house have 17th Century origins although greatly altered in both the 18th and 19th Centuries. They had suffered general long term degradation and a lack of maintenance prior to purchase of the buildings by the UEA. This resulted in water ingress and timber decay to roof and floor elements. The first floor was temporarily propped to safeguard the immediate integrity.

Due to the frail nature of the structures we specified a “top down” sequence of works with extensive structural scaffolding and temporary works required. The structural works included roof strengthening and insitu repairs to the decayed sections of oak framing, insitu strengthening of main floor beams and joists, masonry repairs to reinstate integrity to the fabric. A combination of traditional timber jointing techniques were employed together with more modern resin repairs to suit the particular circumstances.

Lowering of internal floor levels and historic subsidence influenced the requirement to traditionally underpin the buildings once superstructure repairs were complete. The presence of a solution feature beneath the east flank meant partial mini piled underpinning was employed to bridge the weak zone. In order to maintain breathability of the fabric limecrete floors were specified prior to reinstatement of the original stable block finishes.

Other works included the reinstatement of a former gable and adjacent roof profile where previous remodeling had created a hipped end to the roof.

A new bat loft was incorporated within the roof design to rehouse the resident pipistrelle bats.