Coventry University MSCP – Stirling Lloyd
Coventry University MSCP
Stirling Lloyd Construction
As part of Coventry University’s £160m ten year development to meet the needs of their 14,000 full time students and 2,000 staff, the fragmented campus parking was addressed with the construction of a modern, vibrantly coloured multi-storey car park (MSCP).
The £5.6m MSCP comprises 457 spaces, including thirty disabled parking bays, motorcycle parking, storage for bicycles and ten electric vehicle charging points. Designed by architect Ingleton Wood; the eight storey, fifteen split-level car park incorporates an elegant curved design clad with vertical steel panels providing natural ventilation and light.
Important to the project was the safety and security of the car park users. The design included a security desk, segregation of pedestrians and vehicles by clear demarcation and a well lit environment. To protect the car park’s decks the Main Contractor, McLaren Construction, required a long lasting waterproofing solution together with vibrant coloured surfacing. Consequently they selected Stirling Lloyd Polychem’s Decseal system, which is based on the company’s advanced methylmethacrylate (MMA) technology, and was applied by Stirling Lloyd Polychem’s Authorised Contractor who won the contract for the installation, Stirling Lloyd Construction. The quick delivery of the specified colours, the two companies’ reputation for excellent service and capability to reduce programme time assisted in both the selection of the product and Authorised Contractor.
With a work schedule totalling 14 months, just eight weeks were allocated to Stirling Lloyd Construction to carry out their works. Decseal’s simple, rapid application combined with its fast cure meant that the system could easily meet these tight deadlines, one of the reasons for Decseal’s specification.
The unique colour scheme implemented required eight vivid colours, with each storey being coated in a different colour, which was used on the pedestrian walkways and associated masonry. Although Stirling Lloyd Polychem offer a wide range of standard colours, to meet the specified colours Stirling Lloyd Polychem produced Decseal in bespoke colours to the requirements of the project. Consequently Decseal pigmented ‘Lemon’, ‘Pastel Orange’, ‘Traffic Red’, ‘Signal Violet’, ‘Signal Blue’, ‘Sky Blue’, ‘Chrome Green’ and ‘Pale Green’ was used. In addition the system pigmented ‘Mid Grey’ was used on the main roadways while ‘Asphalt Grey’ was used for the parking bays.
To protect the 3,000m2 of top decks and ramps from water ingress, which could lead to corrosion of the steel reinforcement and cause safety issues, there areas were protected using the full Decseal waterproofing and wearing course system.
Prior to the application of the system the deck was prepared by captive shot blasting. Tensile adhesion tests were then taken over all the decks and ramps to assess the bond strengths the system would achieve. The tests found bond strengths in excess of 1MPa with the mode of failure being within the concrete itself, confirming that the Decseal system would easily resist the shear forces it would be subjected to. The decks and ramps were then primed using Decseal primer. This was roller applied to the substrate, sealing the concrete, preventing any natural outgassing and enhancing the adhesion of the subsequent membrane.
Once the primer had cured, always taking less than an hour, the first coat of the waterproofing membrane was spray applied. Into this reinforcement scrim was embedded whilst the material was still wet to help ensure that any natural movement in the structure will not compromise the integrity of the waterproofing. A spiked roller was then used to release any trapped air and once this reinforced coat had cured the second coat of the waterproofing membrane was spray applied. Once the second coat had cured, again taking less than an hour, the pigmented wearing course was applied.
The roadways, parking bays and pedestrian walkways were marked off with tape to ensure a clean neat edge was achieved. The pre-batched wearing course, which contains aggregate to provide appropriate skid-resistance, was then mixed together and poured onto the area to be coated and spread out using a notched squeegee to a minimum thickness of 2mm. The wet material was then back rollered to achieve the required texture. Once cured, pendulum tests were carried out to measure the SRV values being obtained. Results were in the mid to high seventies confirming the system was providing the required slip resistance.
The lower levels, which are not exposed to the elements, did not receive the waterproofing element of the Decseal system, however the primer and wearing course have inherent waterproofing properties sufficient to resist the water brought in on cars tyres. Consequently on levels 1-13 the deck was prepared, then primed and the wearing course applied using the same techniques as on the top decks and ramps.
In line with the planning application made by the University all materials used on the car park are of the highest quality, robust, with a long design life, reducing the whole life environmental footprint of the structure. The Decseal system is known for its durability and long service life. In addition as the Decseal system utilises high quality pigments, which do not fade or degrade when exposed to UV, the University and its Students are assured of having a colourful, well protected car park for many years to come.