Chester Zoo Case Study


Read Construction


Chester Zoo, Chester

Number of Trusses

316 - Over 8 Buildings

The Brief

We were approached by Read Construction to provide a proposal to supply trusses for a wide variety of unusual roof shapes that were being installed as part of the Islands projects at Chester Zoo. Each roof would be unique and would deviate from the standard style of truss shape.

The client was faced with a spectacular challenge – to replicate buildings within Chester Zoo’s Islands exhibit that would mirror their original counterparts from six different South Asian Islands. The designs of the buildings were unique and not something created within the UK before.


Read Construction initially approached us for advice in March 2014 – we had worked with them on numerous projects in the past including the creation of a roof for Blackpool Zoo, they knew us well and were confident we could deliver and add value to such a large scale project. Following appointment to the project we had several meetings with the construction company, the architect, the structural engineers and the zoo to fully grasp the requirements of the project and provide input with regards to the features and structures of the roofs required.


In total we supplied 8 separate buildings with trusses for the Islands Project – each with its own individual design, the shape of the roofs themselves creating a dramatic feature to the look of the building. The Tongkonan Restaurant roof and the Bali Starling roof required the most trusses at 68 and 66 respectively. In addition the majority of the trusses on these two buildings were ‘one offs’ ie. virtually each truss was different and not repeated anywhere else on the structure.

The first truss delivery took place in November 2014, we worked closely with the contractors to ensure that they received delivery at a time suitable to them to save them having the trusses sitting around on site. The final delivery took place in March 2015.

During the project we worked closely with AECOM the appointed structural engineers to produce special structural connections to tie the trusses to the buildings and to each other. We provided detailed designs and erection stage plans that were delivered to site with the trusses to ensure ease of assembly.


The project was extremely complex with many different people involved. We provided many different design stages and alterations to ensure that the final design was absolutely perfect. The use of our in house design systems provided us with the ability to simulate the design in 3D render – allowing the client to get a true understanding of how the structure would appear from all angles. This was extremely useful due to the specialist shapes employed within the designs to mirror the South Sea Islands designs.


The Islands at Chester Zoo is a project that Minera Roof Trusses are extremely proud to have worked on. The sheer scope and individual nature of each of the buildings is a true testament to our abilities when it comes to designing and manufacturing roof trusses for specialist projects which deviate from the standard roof truss requirements. We look forward to working with our customers on projects of all shapes and sizes in the future.


“We are extremely impressed with the design and quality of the trusses Minera Roof Trusses supplied for the Islands project. Given the nature of the development, each building had to be different and incorporated some unique and technically difficult roof shapes, all of which Minera Roof Trusses were able to manufacture and supply with ease. We are very impressed with the end result and more importantly our visitors are too!”

David Rogers, Architectural Technician – Chester Zoo

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