Raising the roof on M&S car park

5th October 2016
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Raising the roof on M&S car park

A redevelopment of Longbridge town centre, as part of the £70m project will see a new superstore for Marks & Spencer that is be one of the largest in the country and the adjoining car park has been constructed from steel with the roof and floor sections being curved by Barnshaws metal bending to ensure sufficient strength and controlled water run-off. The work was carried out for specialist steelwork contractor James Killelea.

Redeveloping industrial sites, such as that at Longbridge, forms an important part of council strategy to create business and employment opportunities, and optimise investment. In this case the new store alone is expected to generate up to 350 new jobs while the additional retail, restaurant and cafe areas will further enhance the development and its potential to attract shoppers

In addition to the retail areas there is also an underground car park that has been constructed from steel in order to create the most cost effective solution and the shortest build time. The ‘roof’ of the car park is at ground level and the designers needed it to be strong enough to carry the weight of the roof sections as well as providing a sufficient camber to ensure any rainwater is directed to the surface drains.

Greg North, Commercial Director at Barnshaws commented: “The crucial aspect of this contract was the speed of supply. We have a long standing relationship with the steelwork contractor and they appreciate our ability to deliver large tonnages of curved steel on time. In this case it was very nearly 500 tonnes of universal beams that required a camber of between 50-100mm.

“The camber in each beam is carefully calculated to allow some deflection due to the weight of the roof section while still retaining enough of a curve to prevent any standing water on the car park surface. The sections ranged from 533x210x101 to 533x312x182 and each batch of beams was ordered in a specific sequence to suit the construction programme.

“In fact there are a large number of different specifications in terms of section size, length and camber that go to create the 15m2 lattice formation that forms the roof. While our proximity to the site helped, we coordinated our production schedule with the build programme to ensure that each component arrived on time, ready for installation.”

In all, 210 universal beams were supplied all of which are CE certified as per the requirements of the Construction Products Directive, which came into force in July 2014. Barnshaws was the first steel bending company to achieve the CE Marking accreditation which allows it to supply components to Execution Class 4, for the most complex buildings and bridges.

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