Project: Brunel West MSCP – Swindon
Client: Swindon Borough Council
Main Contractor: Churchman-fenner & Brown Ltd
Project Value: £487,000.00
Swindon Borough Council invited tenders for the replacement of parapets at Brunel West MSCP in Swindon. The current parapets/Edge Protection consisted of Precast concrete fins which were connected to successive decks with integral steel brackets. These brackets had over time began to corrode and had started to fail making the fins unstable. Emergency works had been carried out to install steel brackets to secure any loose fins but it was decided for health and safety reasons that all the fins should be removed and replaced with steel railings. Tenders were submitted and various planning and committee issues had to be resolved before CFB were finally awarded the contract.
Work commenced for a programmed duration of 24 weeks. Approximately 2600 concrete fins were removed each weighing in excess of 175kg, fins were stockpiled in large skips on site before being removed in 20 tonne loads to be crushed and recycled at a local facility. Health and safety was a prime concern in handling and removing the fins and each elevation had protective scaffold erected before any fin removal could take place. The fins were supported using special low headroom forklifts before being severed top and bottom using diamond cutting equipment. Any residual concrete or steel was then removed using mechanical breakers whilst the client had allowed for some Concrete Repair to the edge beams, it soon became apparent that the corrosion of the fin brackets and the overall condition of the beams meant considerable concrete repairs would be required. The repairs incorporated Fosroc Sacrificial Anodes, which were tied on to the prepared steel to provide on going protection against further corrosion.
Following the award of the contract the client requested proposals for incorporating a feature into the new steel railings. CFB’s subcontractor Balmer Lindley group came up with an innovative pattern that involved twisting individual bars within a panel at different heights to create a wave like effect. This coupled with the client’s choice of powder coating colour gave a much more pleasing effect than the concrete fins.
The decks on the car park are sloping and there is some variation in height. As a result each post had to be specifically designed to allow for the angle rake and variable height. During drilling for the fixing significant steel rebar was encountered and a detailed survey was required to allow the client to check that coring through the rebar would not compromise the integrity of the structure.
All the vertical concrete surfaces of the structure were finally coated with an Anti Carbonation paint in the client’s chosen colour and even with the extensive additional concrete repairs and core drilling the project was completed to the clients satisfaction in 28 weeks