Published: 26 March, 2012
Shopping centres are prioritising car park refurbishments, investing in keeping them not only well maintained but looking fresh and welcoming – making those all important first impressions count for shoppers arriving by car. In Inverness Grosvenor has just refurbished the car park at the Eastgate Centre
The car park at Eastgate shopping centre in Inverness, owned by Grosvenor Shopping Centre Fund, has recently been overhauled. The project was undertaken by VolkerLaser in conjunction with Triflex which has been specialising in the manufacture of liquid applied waterproofing, surfacing and protection systems for more than 30 years. The company invests in continued research and development and their products are applied throughout Europe.
The project, costing in excess of £2m, was executed to repair and enhance the existing three level, multi-storey car park. The contract, awarded to VolkerLaser by Eastgate Unit Trust, took place between July 2010 and November 2011 over a total of 58 weeks.
Serving the largest shopping catchment in Europe, Eastgate shopping centre has over 60 stores with 1,350 parking spaces.
Over many years traffic had carried chloride-containing road de-icing salts into the car park, resulting in corrosion of reinforcement and deterioration of large areas of the concrete decks. The works therefore involved the removal and replacement of 12,600 sq m of concrete; the top 60mm layer over two of the three car park levels.
Following replacement of the existing reinforcement, a corrosion inhibitor and a bonding aid were applied. The reinstatement of the slab was carried out using a fibre reinforced concrete. Once the structural repair works were complete, a robust Triflex waterproof membrane was applied to prevent future deterioration of the concrete decks. With a wide colour range, the Triflex solution provided the client with an aesthetically pleasing, safe and secure car park environment for its users.
“Based on our industry-leading PMMA technology, Triflex systems are exceptionally rapid curing, even at temperatures as low as 0oC, which helped deliver some real advantages on a project of this nature,” explains Triflex business development manager, Richard Bowyer.
“It is, however, the heavy duty philosophy that is applied to all of our car park systems that will help protect the value of this car park over the long term.”
“It was initially envisaged that the concrete removal would be carried out by hydro-demolition; however this method proved impractical in a shopping centre environment due to the noise, fumes and vast quantities of water required,” adds VolkerLaser contracts manager, Andy McGovern. “Working closely with the client and shopping centre management team, site trials were carried out to enable us to come up with a new method of concrete removal, which still allowed the proposed works to be carried out but with far less disruption to the centre tenants and the nearby houses.”
The close proximity of the busy shopping centre meant that a large proportion of the works were carried out at night to limit disruption to local residents.
“Despite the complicated nature of the works, VolkerLaser carried them out with minimum disruption to the shopping centre,” says Eastgate centre manager, Jackie Cuddy. “The works were completed on time and the car park looked refreshed and ready for the rush of Christmas shoppers.”