intu's Merry Hill
Shopping Centre car park has been hailed as the UK's best
refurbishment following the prestigious British Parking Association
awards in London.
intu Merry Hill is one of the UK's most successful
shopping centres and is the focal point of a 220 acre mixed-use
complex in the heart of the West Midlands. The 140,800 square metre
shopping centre provides over 220 stores and has an annual footfall
of 23.5 million shoppers. The complex includes 40 places to eat, an
Odeon cinema, external retail park and over 8,000 car parking
spaces. The centre is joint owned by intu Properties plc and
Above image show
exterior of Merry Hill Shopping Centre
The Purple Car Park at intu Merry Hill is a three
storey car park providing a series of permanent openings along the
east and west elevations at ground and first floor levels. The top
storey provides roof level parking and is approximately 6.1m above
The middle deck of the three storey Purple Car Park
had been closed for four years, amounting to a loss of 350 parking
spaces. In addition, the lower and upper deck were in need of
Image above shows
severely corroded steel support beams and columns
The refurbishment of the Purple Car Park became
necessary following the discovery that some of the car park's steel
support beams, soffits and columns had become severely corroded
over time from water ingress from the upper (top) deck. The
corrosion had also had an impact on the applied fire protection to
the car park's structure. In some areas, there was no existing fire
protection at all as the fire boarding had crumbled as a result of
water ingress. There was significant deterioration of the mastic
asphalt wearing surface on the upper deck, which had been
exacerbated by the application of an inappropriate and incompatible
liquid coating years earlier.
Above images shows
ruckled mastic asphalt systems
The removed mastic asphalt wearing surface, totalling
around 450 cubic metres, was removed and also recycled rather than
sent to landfill. Lighting to all areas has been replaced with LED
fittings, providing considerable financial and environmental
savings over the years.
The new installation using LED vapour proof luminaires
are 61.8 watts per luminaire with a total wattage of 40170 watts.
This provided an estimated energy saving of 47% against the
previous lighting scheme.
Image above shows newly
As a super-regional centre, intu Merry Hill provides
free parking for all its 23.5 million visitors per annum and at
peak times of the year there are parking pressures which affect
overall satisfaction for visitors.
To keep the majority of the car park open across the
duration of refurbishment, USL took possession of just 50 per cent
of the car park's upper deck, setting up a temporary traffic
management system to allow the other 50 per cent to be kept in use.
This enabled USL to remove the 450 cubic metres of defective
asphalt and install a new IKO wearing surface. When refurbishment
of the upper level was completed, USL took 50 per cent of the
ground floor to allow works to continue.
Close liaison between intu centre management and USL
was critical throughout the project to ensure that sufficient
parking bays were available for customers, particularly at
Image above shows Merry
Hill Multi-Storey Purple Car Park after refurbishment
The car park has fully monitored CCTV coverage and
Help Points on every level. The safety standards have been
recognised by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and
have accredited the scheme with the prestigious Car Park Award.
Security considerations include a full lighting
refurbishment undertaken to comply with British Standard
requirements. This includes the provision of new, energy efficient
high-lumen LED light fittings to all levels.
"intu Merry Hill is a major player in the retail and
community life of Dudley residents and I was delighted to formally
open the car park which intu have bought back into service very
quickly since they took over the centre. It will be a real boost to
shoppers!"- The Mayor of Dudley.
Image above shows
George Reiling (Contracts Manager) with Cllr Steve Waltho, Mayor of
Dudley and intu Merry Hill's Shopping Centre Manager
John Taylor, Director at USL said "we're honoured that our
efforts, and intu Properties commitment to the Merry Hill car park
has been recognised by the parking industry. This truly represents
a complete transformation of what was an ailing and tired car park
that needed a full and focussed refurbishment. Rather than simply
repairing the structure, we have taken into account environmental
factors along the way, as well as utilising high performing
products whilst considering whole life costs".
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