Trinity Park is a concrete podium car park in Birmingham, and we were called in to provide a second opinion on an existing structural assessment which had identified a punching shear failure. The car park was in the process of being sold and the new buyers were seeking an independent structural assessment for due diligence.
On inspection, we identified hairline cracks in a significant number of the 350x350mm concrete columns. These cracks propagated about halfway through the depth of the column so we spent a considerable amount of time inspecting the features as we weren’t convinced the problem was limited to just punching sheer.
With an idea of the issue, we came back to the office and using our virtual construction tools modelled the car park and back-analysed the structure before drawing any conclusions as to the problem.
After obtaining the original drawings to compare our models with, we identified that not only was there a punching shear failure but there was insufficient reinforcement over the tops of the columns to resist bending moments.