The Bullring Centre Car Park was constructed in 2001 and became fully operational when the centre opened in late 2002/early 2003. The car park structure is constructed from reinforced concrete.
The upper parking level is carried on primary beams spanning circa 16.0m spaced at 7.50m centres.
Image above: Bullring car park before refurbishment works
Prior to the refurbishment, condition assessments had identified a number of areas where the corroded reinforcement was showing on the surface of the car park deck (due to insufficient concrete cover to the reinforcement). The upper parking deck was also suffering from significant areas where hairline cracking could be seen in the surface of the concrete. The cracks were deemed to be “live” and so any protective coating would need to be elastomeric and waterproof to move with the cracks and prevent migration of liquids (water, salts and moisture) down into the concrete.
Of greater concern was the lower level of the car park, which was provided on a ground bearing slab. Unusually however, the slab has been designed in a way to ‘uplift’ with the water table below which was generally thought to fluctuate throughout the year. The slab was therefore anchored into the soil below by way of grouted anchors with head plates cast into the concrete slab. Worryingly, hairline cracks could be seen in the surface of the slab (similar to those seen in the surface of the suspended Level 2 car park deck). It was imperative therefore that the applied coating proactively dealt with these cracks and their dynamic movement.
Concrete testing had also indicated the on-set of corrosion in some deck areas. A suitable corrosion mitigation strategy would therefore be required to treat these ‘hot-spots’.
Choosing a functional repair strategy
Concrete repairs were carried out to the areas where spalling was visible due to corrosion of the embedded reinforcement. Where required, a migrating corrosion inhibitor was used to protect the embedded reinforcement against further corrosion, and in areas where corrosion was more active, galvanic anodes were placed into the decks to stop further deterioration occurring.
Concrete Repair and Corrosion Management Products used;
Choosing a suitable deck coating system;
The selection of a suitable deck coating was critical as it needed to address the aforementioned concerns. DeckProtect+ Blueshield by Pitchmastic PmB was specified due to the following unique benefits;
Whilst choosing the correct deck coating was largely driven by structural protection reasons, the drive to create a neat, crisp and professional ‘Bullring brand’ was also important, and to ultimately create ‘the destination of choice’ for shoppers in Birmingham commensurate with the Hammerson owned shopping centre itself.
Choosing a Principle Contractor;
USL StructureCare were selected as the specialist Principle Contractor to deliver the project in conjunction with Contract Administrators Workman LLP, Structural Engineers Waterman Group and Bullring Centre Management.
Image above: Bullring car park after refurbishment works
Commenting on the project and the recent BPA Award, StructureCare Director Ben Hallett said “our team were over-the-moon to be part of this scheme, and we worked closely with Workman and Waterman to ensure the scope of works was fit-for-purpose and focussed on the specific issues needing to be addressed on site. During commercial negotiations value for money was always high on the agenda, however, our enviable single point of responsibility guarantee also significantly reduces the risk to the customer particularly during the life-time of the refurbishment – it is difficult to put a price on this unique and strategically targeted approach”.
In addition to the repair and structural protection works carried out to the car park, significant improvements were also made to signage and way-finding, lighting, customer experience and touch-points as well as ticketing.
Congratulations to Hammerson, Bullring Centre Management and the Project Team!
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