How to build a Nissen hut 2021

Help Support Derelict Places:

BikinGlynn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
3,400
Not sure Ill get away with this as but this may be of interest to some of you.

Im guessing as you are looking at this site you know what a Nissen hut is? Ok Ill assume you do & you know what one looks like

Iv run an structural & architectural steelworks for a fair while now & while its generally pretty dull occasionally something comes along that is a but different. Having been in many a nissen hut as Im sure most of you have I was quite excited when this dropped on my desk.
Anyway like a long distance runner with a split personality Im getting ahead of myself now.

Nissen huts were developed during the First World War by Major Peter Norman Nissen of the 29th Company, Royal Engineers. The design was formalized after three prototypes were constructed in April 1916. At least 100,000 were produced in World War 1. Nissen patented his design in 1916. For this work he was promoted to Colonel, awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and paid royalties on the sale of huts after the war. Many huts were used as temporary housing after the Second World War.

So how do we get involved? an inquiry arrives from a client that wants 2 replica nissen huts to stand where 2 originally stood on ex military land, but these 2 are to be houses (for the clients parents & inlaws) we win the quote then this is passed on to myself for drawing.
We are not structural engineers so the basic design & section sizes have been specified by someone else, this is the drawing we receive



From this I essentially redraw the same thing in a 3d cad package (tekla structures), this needs to be done for 2 reasons
1 - to produce 2d drawings fabrication shop can read & produce steel members from
2 - (& this is now slightly controversial) to satisfy CE marking the European standard to which we are a complying company.

the 3 d modelling process looks like this.



From this I can produce 3d drawings along with plans, elevations & any details to send to client.



I then produce 2d drawings for our fabrication shop & in this case for the section benders. unfortunately there are few places in the UK that can now bend steel beams to your requirements & we are not one of them so this element of the work is done out house.




Once we receive the oversize curved members its down to our fabrication crew to cut these & weld on all plates etc to match my drawing.
The completed members then go through our paint process & await erection.

Now as well as being manager its true that I like a good erection! Iv been erecting most my life tbh so a bit of a coincidence left me with the task of erecting our first hut today which secretly I really wanted to do lol.
We did this using our rather superb HIAB lorry which can lift around 1T at 18.5m so this was nothing to it,
We atarted by assembling the curved members to their short vertical sections on the floor, then lifted the first frame onto pre installed holding down bolts.



The frames were tied together with cold rolled material (the sort of thing you see holding roof sheets in a factory unit) but alarmingly had no lateral bracing, so was all a bit "swayey" as I found out while climbing on it to tighten bolts. anyway just like mechano as they say this is the rest of the building going up.







And the completed steel frame, not bad for 4hr work for 2 of us
















So I was quite pleased with that until I read this...Nissen Huts came in three sizes: 16ft, 24ft and 30ft (width). The 16ft span usually had 6 bays, making an overall length of 36ft 6 ½ inches, though due to the design and construction they could be made up of any number of bays. They were cheap and easy to put up. A 16ft hut could be put up in 6 hours by 4 men. The record is 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Ill now go & drown my sorrows, but I will try & get some pics of this when its finished for u all.

Thanks for looking
 

Hayman

Regular Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
353
Reaction score
262
Not sure Ill get away with this as but this may be of interest to some of you.

Im guessing as you are looking at this site you know what a Nissen hut is? Ok Ill assume you do & you know what one looks like

Iv run an structural & architectural steelworks for a fair while now & while its generally pretty dull occasionally something comes along that is a but different. Having been in many a nissen hut as Im sure most of you have I was quite excited when this dropped on my desk.
Anyway like a long distance runner with a split personality Im getting ahead of myself now.

Nissen huts were developed during the First World War by Major Peter Norman Nissen of the 29th Company, Royal Engineers. The design was formalized after three prototypes were constructed in April 1916. At least 100,000 were produced in World War 1. Nissen patented his design in 1916. For this work he was promoted to Colonel, awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and paid royalties on the sale of huts after the war. Many huts were used as temporary housing after the Second World War.

So how do we get involved? an inquiry arrives from a client that wants 2 replica nissen huts to stand where 2 originally stood on ex military land, but these 2 are to be houses (for the clients parents & inlaws) we win the quote then this is passed on to myself for drawing.
We are not structural engineers so the basic design & section sizes have been specified by someone else, this is the drawing we receive



From this I essentially redraw the same thing in a 3d cad package (tekla structures), this needs to be done for 2 reasons
1 - to produce 2d drawings fabrication shop can read & produce steel members from
2 - (& this is now slightly controversial) to satisfy CE marking the European standard to which we are a complying company.

the 3 d modelling process looks like this.



From this I can produce 3d drawings along with plans, elevations & any details to send to client.



I then produce 2d drawings for our fabrication shop & in this case for the section benders. unfortunately there are few places in the UK that can now bend steel beams to your requirements & we are not one of them so this element of the work is done out house.




Once we receive the oversize curved members its down to our fabrication crew to cut these & weld on all plates etc to match my drawing.
The completed members then go through our paint process & await erection.

Now as well as being manager its true that I like a good erection! Iv been erecting most my life tbh so a bit of a coincidence left me with the task of erecting our first hut today which secretly I really wanted to do lol.
We did this using our rather superb HIAB lorry which can lift around 1T at 18.5m so this was nothing to it,
We atarted by assembling the curved members to their short vertical sections on the floor, then lifted the first frame onto pre installed holding down bolts.



The frames were tied together with cold rolled material (the sort of thing you see holding roof sheets in a factory unit) but alarmingly had no lateral bracing, so was all a bit "swayey" as I found out while climbing on it to tighten bolts. anyway just like mechano as they say this is the rest of the building going up.







And the completed steel frame, not bad for 4hr work for 2 of us
















So I was quite pleased with that until I read this...Nissen Huts came in three sizes: 16ft, 24ft and 30ft (width). The 16ft span usually had 6 bays, making an overall length of 36ft 6 ½ inches, though due to the design and construction they could be made up of any number of bays. They were cheap and easy to put up. A 16ft hut could be put up in 6 hours by 4 men. The record is 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Ill now go & drown my sorrows, but I will try & get some pics of this when its finished for u all.

Thanks for looking
Well worth putting on the website, and well worth reading. I've slept in only one Nissen hut, and that was in the early 1960s when I was a Sapper. We were on an airportability exercise - throwing suitably protected loads out of the side of a Hastings at tree-top height - when we spent one night at a seldom used RAF base. What I recall most was that it was damned cold.
 

night crawler

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
3,818
Reaction score
1,821
Location
North Berkshire.
Not sure Ill get away with this as but this may be of interest to some of you.

Im guessing as you are looking at this site you know what a Nissen hut is? Ok Ill assume you do & you know what one looks like

Iv run an structural & architectural steelworks for a fair while now & while its generally pretty dull occasionally something comes along that is a but different. Having been in many a nissen hut as Im sure most of you have I was quite excited when this dropped on my desk.
Anyway like a long distance runner with a split personality Im getting ahead of myself now.

Nissen huts were developed during the First World War by Major Peter Norman Nissen of the 29th Company, Royal Engineers. The design was formalized after three prototypes were constructed in April 1916. At least 100,000 were produced in World War 1. Nissen patented his design in 1916. For this work he was promoted to Colonel, awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and paid royalties on the sale of huts after the war. Many huts were used as temporary housing after the Second World War.

So how do we get involved? an inquiry arrives from a client that wants 2 replica nissen huts to stand where 2 originally stood on ex military land, but these 2 are to be houses (for the clients parents & inlaws) we win the quote then this is passed on to myself for drawing.
We are not structural engineers so the basic design & section sizes have been specified by someone else, this is the drawing we receive



From this I essentially redraw the same thing in a 3d cad package (tekla structures), this needs to be done for 2 reasons
1 - to produce 2d drawings fabrication shop can read & produce steel members from
2 - (& this is now slightly controversial) to satisfy CE marking the European standard to which we are a complying company.

the 3 d modelling process looks like this.



From this I can produce 3d drawings along with plans, elevations & any details to send to client.



I then produce 2d drawings for our fabrication shop & in this case for the section benders. unfortunately there are few places in the UK that can now bend steel beams to your requirements & we are not one of them so this element of the work is done out house.




Once we receive the oversize curved members its down to our fabrication crew to cut these & weld on all plates etc to match my drawing.
The completed members then go through our paint process & await erection.

Now as well as being manager its true that I like a good erection! Iv been erecting most my life tbh so a bit of a coincidence left me with the task of erecting our first hut today which secretly I really wanted to do lol.
We did this using our rather superb HIAB lorry which can lift around 1T at 18.5m so this was nothing to it,
We atarted by assembling the curved members to their short vertical sections on the floor, then lifted the first frame onto pre installed holding down bolts.



The frames were tied together with cold rolled material (the sort of thing you see holding roof sheets in a factory unit) but alarmingly had no lateral bracing, so was all a bit "swayey" as I found out while climbing on it to tighten bolts. anyway just like mechano as they say this is the rest of the building going up.







And the completed steel frame, not bad for 4hr work for 2 of us
















So I was quite pleased with that until I read this...Nissen Huts came in three sizes: 16ft, 24ft and 30ft (width). The 16ft span usually had 6 bays, making an overall length of 36ft 6 ½ inches, though due to the design and construction they could be made up of any number of bays. They were cheap and easy to put up. A 16ft hut could be put up in 6 hours by 4 men. The record is 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Ill now go & drown my sorrows, but I will try & get some pics of this when its finished for u all.

Thanks for looking
Beautifully engineered which is something I appreciate with my background. I like how you have done the drawings which are nice and easy to read which is more than the crap I have had to put up with in the past before they had cad. At least you Nissan hut will last a few years and will have decent cladding, the ones from the past were corrugated iron or asbestos, both of which they had where I worked as an apprentice. BTW I would not my my mother in law in something like that and old shed is good enough better if it has a leak in it :devilish: Great work (y)
 

Richard Davies

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
78
There's a famous one in the Scottish Highlands that was turned into a church by Italian prisoners of war.

Where my Mum grew up there were a few bases locally, & some farms locally still use them as barns.
 

Hugh Jorgan

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
1,707
Location
Aberdeen, Scotland
There's a famous one in the Scottish Highlands that was turned into a church by Italian prisoners of war.

Where my Mum grew up there were a few bases locally, & some farms locally still use them as barns.
The Italian chapel is not in the Scottish Highlands, its in the Orkney Islands, Made out of two nissen huts and the Italian POWs painted it all by hand. If you want to go the site and look at the gallery at the bottom of the page. The Italian Chapel | Orkney.com
 

BikinGlynn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
3,400
Beautifully engineered which is something I appreciate with my background. I like how you have done the drawings which are nice and easy to read which is more than the crap I have had to put up with in the past before they had cad. At least you Nissan hut will last a few years and will have decent cladding, the ones from the past were corrugated iron or asbestos, both of which they had where I worked as an apprentice. BTW I would not my my mother in law in something like that and old shed is good enough better if it has a leak in it :devilish: Great work (y)
thanks, everyone fault the draughtsman lol.
I used to draw freehand too.
These are having original looking corrugated iron on them but obviously will be insulated etc
 

BikinGlynn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
3,400
The Italian chapel is not in the Scottish Highlands, its in the Orkney Islands, Made out of two nissen huts and the Italian POWs painted it all by hand. If you want to go the site and look at the gallery at the bottom of the page. The Italian Chapel | Orkney.com

there is one that has been converted to a church in oxfordshire too
 

Daglrock

New member
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Well worth putting on the website, and well worth reading. I've slept in only one Nissen hut, and that was in the early 1960s when I was a Sapper. We were on an airportability exercise - throwing suitably protected loads out of the side of a Hastings at tree-top height - when we spent one night at a seldom used RAF base. What I recall most was that it was damned cold.
Yeah, I remember Nissen huts from my time in the army. Your right they were bloody cold. There was a stove in the center of the hut but of course, all the NCOs had their beds around it. We used to go to bed in all our clothes including our heavy coats! It was a bugger in the mornings when you had to discard all your clothes but your PT kit and run outside for exercise before brekkie.
 

Roderick

Well-known member
DP Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
133
Reaction score
138
Location
Derbyshire
Yes, very interesting indeed. How do they bend those RSJs without ripples on the inner surfaces - or do they cheat and fabricate them instead?
 

BikinGlynn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
3,400
Yes, very interesting indeed. How do they bend those RSJs without ripples on the inner surfaces - or do they cheat and fabricate them instead?

No they are all bent by progressively feeding them through large rollers.
You do get some distortion from original size & shape but its not massive.
Pretty incredible they can bend 35m long & any size section that can be produced!

 

night crawler

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
3,818
Reaction score
1,821
Location
North Berkshire.
No they are all bent by progressively feeding them through large rollers.
You do get some distortion from original size & shape but its not massive.
Pretty incredible they can bend 35m long & any size section that can be produced!

Basicly a heavy duty version of a sheet metal roller I've used at work in the past
 

Hugh Jorgan

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
1,707
Location
Aberdeen, Scotland
Thanks for putting me right.
No problemo. It's worth it to take a trip to the Orkney Islands to see the chapel in person, it's really stunning and perched on a hill. It's completely hand-built and they made their own paint by the Italian P.O.W.s. Opposite there is also a small cemetery. If you step out of the chapel and look across to the Scapa Flow during low tide you might see the remains of the German scuttled fleet of WW1. And you can sample the local Klapshott in cafe's.
 
Top