September 29th, 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare infrastructure, the importance of efficient parking solutions cannot be overstated. Stoke-on-Trent's main NHS hospital has recognised this need and embarked on the construction of a multi-storey car park (MSCP) for its dedicated staff. What makes this project noteworthy is the pivotal role played by structural steelwork in bringing this vision to life.
The MSCP project is spreading across five levels and offering a staggering 1,700 car park spaces. Stretching an impressive 116 meters in length and 66 meters in width, this car park promises to alleviate the longstanding parking challenges faced by the hospitals’ dedicated healthcare professionals.
James Killelea & CO LTD enlisted the expertise of Barnshaws Section Benders, specialists in metal bending, to fulfil the project's extensive steelwork needs. The project's standout feature is its composite design, consisting of long-span steel beams, precast planks, and a structural topping to construct the four upper floors.
Barnshaws had the task of precision-curving over 300 beams the hard way (along the X-X axis). A critical consideration during the bending process was maintaining a uniform internal cross-section to ensure the highest level of structural integrity. With their wide array of specialized bending machines operated by skilled metal bending professionals, achieving this goal was effortlessly accomplished.
Greg North, Group Commercial Director at Barnshaws, explained: “Universal beams are ideal for constructing multi-level parking garages in urban areas. Their slim profile allows for efficient use of vertical space, enabling the creation of multiple parking levels within a relatively small footprint. This is especially valuable in cities where available land for parking is limited.”
This innovative approach underscores the versatility, durability, and strength of structural steel in modern construction.
The heart of the MSCP's structural design lies in its long-span steel beams. These beams are engineered to carry heavy loads over extended distances, allowing for wide and open parking spaces that enhance user comfort and safety. The use of long-span steel beams also minimizes the need for excessive supporting columns, making for a more accessible and user-friendly parking environment.