Project Description

Bringing a condemned car park back into commission with multiple solutions

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 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.

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Project Team

Client: Capital and Provincial Ltd. 

Architect: NA

Contractor: South East Refurbishment

We were then tasked with producing a remediation scheme to strengthen the top slab to mitigate the issues. One option was to add bonded carbon fibre reinforced plates to the top surface however the condition of the concrete was poor and wouldn’t have provided the necessary adhesive strength, so we decided that the slab needed strengthening with steel reinforcing bars instead. This was a significantly cheaper solution than had been previously proposed when the issue was thought to be a punching shear failure alone.

Because the car park was adjacent to a hotel and office building to reduce noise, dust and time we used hydro-demolition to remove the top 60mm of concrete. Hydro-demolition also enabled us to only remove what we needed with no over-break and place additional steel reinforcements. A high-strength pourable concrete repair compound was then placed to finish off the surface. New waterproofing and wearing course were laid down to reintroduce the car park to operation.

SWJ Consulting’s engineers were able to see through the often costly proposals from a variety of sub-contractors to identify simple solutions that provided on-budget and on-time completion of the project. Call 01993 225085 or email mail@swjconsulting.co.uk to discuss your project details.