Car Parks

Car Parks

The provision of user friendly, safe and aesthetically pleasing parking is becoming an increasingly important factor in the success of any commercial development. However, the Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP) is a unique building with a range of specific problems that need to be addressed.
MSCP's are generally of lightweight construction with precast elements comprising of lightweight construction with precast elements comprising a reinforced frame with the minimum thickness of deck. Vulnerable to stress they are often loaded and unloaded to their capacity on a daily cycle and are subject to high surface stresses from braking and turning vehicles. With no heat source they have no established environment and feel the force of daily and seasonal temperature variations. 

MSCP's also suffer from water and pollution intake from the roof and sides. Vehicles introduce de-icing salts and their exhaust gases accelerate the carbonation process. Low cover to the steel reinforcing, failure of the joints and inadequate routine maintenance are all commonplace. The hostile environment makes MSCP's prone to attack from cracking, chlorides and carbonation.

To counter this the provision of effective protective systems should be a primary factor in the design of any new - build car park. On existing car parks visual evidence is enough to demonstrate the inadequacies of many systems used to date. The visual deterioration is often the first sign of decay, by which stage the corrosive processes may be well underway! Failure to act at this stage will only intensify the problems requiring more extensive and costly repairs in the future.
Once the decision to initiate repairs has been taken, the most appropriate maintenance, protection and refurbishment strategy that meets the requirements of both the structure and the finance department needs to be established and implemented effectively.

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