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Contractors World UK Ireland Vol 6 No 2


Curved Steel Raises The Roof On

M&S Car Park

As part of the £70 million redevelopment of Longbridge

town centre, the developer has constructed a new su-

perstore for Marks & Spencer that is be one of the larg-

est in the country.

The adjoining car park has been constructed from

steel with the roof and floor sections being curved by

Barnshaws metal bending, to ensure sufficient strength

and controlled water runoff. The work was carried out

for specialist steelwork contractor James Killelea Limited

Redeveloping industrial sites, such as that at

Longbridge, forms an important part of council strategy

to create business and employment opportunities, and

optimise investment. In this case the new store alone is

expected to generate up to 350 new jobs while the ad-

ditional retail, restaurant and cafe areas will further

enhance the development and its potential to attract


In addition to the retail areas there is also an under-

ground car park that has been constructed from steel

in order to create the most cost effective solution and

the shortest build time.

The ‘roof’ of the car park is at ground level and the

designers needed it to be strong enough to carry the

weight of the roof sections as well as providing a suffi-

cient camber to ensure any rainwater is directed to the

surface drains.

Greg North, Commercial Director at Barnshaws


‘The crucial aspect of this contract was the speed

of supply. We have a long standing relationship

with the steelwork contractor and they

appreciate our ability to deliver large tonnages

of curved steel on time. In this case it was very

nearly 500 tonnes of universal beams that

required a camber of between 50 and 100 mm.

“The camber in each beam is carefully cal-

culated to allow some deflection due to the

weight of the roof section while still retaining

enough of a curve to prevent any standing water

on the car park surface. The sections ranged

from 533 x 210 x 101 to 533 x 312 x 182 and

each batch of beams was ordered in a specific

sequence to suit the construction programme.

“In fact there are a large number of differ-

ent specifications in terms of section size, length

and camber that go to create the 15 metre

square lattice formation that forms the roof.

While our proximity to the site helped, we coor-

dinated our production schedule with the build

programme to ensure that each component ar-

rived on time, ready for installation.’”

In all, 210 universal beams were supplied all of which

are CE certified as per the requirements of the

Construction Products Directive, which came into force

in July 2014. Barnshaws was the first steel bending com-

pany to achieve the CE Marking accreditation which

allows it to supply components to Execution Class 4, for

the most complex buildings and bridges.

Barnshaws Section Benders