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Curved steel raises the roof on M&S car park

M&S car park

As part of the £70 million redevelopment of Longbridge town centre, the developer has constructed a new superstore for Marks & Spencer that is to be one of the largest in the country. 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 runoff. The work was carried out for specialist steelwork contractor James Killelea Limited

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 comments: '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 and 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 533 x 210 x 101 to 533 x 312 x 182 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 15 metre square 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.' 

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