USL & intu Scoop Award For Best Refurbishment 2016

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 QIC.

Merry Main2

Above image show exterior of Merry Hill Shopping Centre

Structural Motivations:

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 ground level.

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 complete refurbishment.

Car Park refurbishment - Before

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.

 Car Park refurbishment - before

Above images shows ruckled mastic asphalt systems

Environmental Considerations:

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.

Car Park refurbishment - After

Image above shows newly installed lighting

Business Motivations:

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 weekends.

 Car Park refurbishment - After

Image above shows Merry Hill Multi-Storey Purple Car Park after refurbishment works

Customer Motivations:

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.

Car Park refurbishment - After

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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