The original Car Park was of a reinforced concrete design and is attached to the Beechwood Place Shopping Complex, however increased demand from shoppers necessitated an increase in car parking capacity. It was decided therefore, that the most economic means of achieving this was by adding two floors at levels 6 and 7, and also by constructing an additional car parking area over an adjacent vehicle access and unloading bay.
The project itself proved “interesting” by virtue of the fact that access was severely limited, flanked on one side by the existing shopping complex and bounded on the other three sides by a busy thoroughfare and loading/unloading bays. Logistics was to be the key to the successful completion of this contact and was one of the obvious reasons for choosing steel as the means of construction.
The structure itself amounted to almost 3 00 tonnes of fabricated steelwork, comprising in the main, be8.111 and column construction, with cellular beams ( manufactured by Westok, our sister company ) supporting the vehicular access ramps. The whole structure being totally galvanised after fabrication. (See more examples of galvanized steel for car parks)
Furthermore, the contract was to be of a fast-track nature, we were given as a lead-in, only seven and a half working weeks, from receipt of order to start on site, this included, design of connections, production of detailed fabrication drawings, fabrication, galvanising and erection of steelwork. Similarly, the total time for erection, was to be only six weeks from start, to final hand-over, and completion.
The choice of galvanizing as the coating to the steelwork was based on two main criteria, that was cost and life expectancy. Various alternative systems were considered, however as the car park was to be open-sided and the steelwork classed as partially external, a good corrosion protection system was essential.
Galvanising to BS 7829 (85 microns) gave a life to first maintenance of over 20 years, and so the choice was made to galvanise the steelwork after fabrication.
Images © Brian Wootton
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