Halton Lea Shopping Centre MSCP, Runcorn

The Halton Lea Multi Storey Car Parks near Runcorn underwent essential renovation works to improve the structural serviceability of the car parks as part of a long-term maintenance strategy aimed at providing a more-user friendly parking experience. Opened in 1972, Halton Lea, formerly known as Runcorn Shopping Village, is a medium-sized shopping centre. It was the first 'American style' shopping centre to be built in the UK and at the time was one of the largest in Europe. Wear and tear meant the original car park, which is now one of the centre's four car parks, was the first to have a substantial makeover.

Three of Halton Lea's four 10-storey MSCPs were in need of refurbishment. The car parks were identical and were to be refurbished within a very quick timescale, within which, the car parks had to be kept fully operational.

Car park renovation

Looking at the concrete repair and protection needed, it was decided that a full-scale essential maintenance package was needed. On USL StructureCare's advice, the existing specification was overturned in favour of Masterseal (Formerly Conideck) deck membrane. To ensure that as much of the car park as possible was kept open during refurbishments and to minimise disruption to users, no more than 40 % of all parking bays were taken out of service at any one time.

The existing coatings had to be removed and the surfaces brought up from a rough tamp to U3 grade. This was achieved by grinding and then filling with BASF's Masterseal 524, a fast-setting, pumpable, self levelling screed. Once the decks had been prepared and blasted, it became apparent that the concrete substrate contained lytag aggregate, making it more porous than normal. This meant that extra primer had to be applied before the Masterseal coating was installed. Once the decks and ramps had been prepared and made good, they were coated with products from BASF's Masterseal range to provide protection against chloride and water ingress. The fully elastomeric Masterseal 2205 was used on the exposed roof decks and Masterseal 2257, a fast-curing system, was used as an intermediate deck coating on covered levels. The client had been particularly won over by the BASF solution as it was important to achieve a single source of supply for all systems used on the refurbishment contract.

The refurbishment project had the primary function of essential maintenance. Thanks to the systems used, it also made a radical difference to the visual appeal, efficiency and safety of the car park, leaving a bright, clean and inviting place to park. Customers now enjoy a vastly improved and very positive car parking experience, and the shopping centre management is proud of the car park's new look and feel.

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