Back from the brink: repair over demolition
With its brutalist concrete structure deteriorating, the imposing Hatfield Road multi-storey car park in Slough was at risk of being demolished. But rather than rebuilding the car park from scratch, Slough Borough Council made the sustainable choice to carry out repair works and save the existing structure instead.
The main structural issues were caused by concrete deterioration and spalling. Spalling can occur for many different reasons, but in this case it was due to the corrosion of the embedded steel reinforcement bars. Corroding steel can expand by up to ten times its original volume, putting additional stress on the concrete around it.
Aside from making the building look worn and uncared for, spalling also poses a risk to public safety. Longer term, it can eventually impact the integrity of the structure.
Two products were specified for the repairs: webercem five star repair concrete for the floor and webercem lightweight for the walls and soffits. The outside of the car park was then coated using a low permeability anti-carbonation coating to give the concrete an extra layer of protection from erosion and damage. webercote smooth in light grey was used on all external works, including the columns on the top level of the car park.
The car park was completed five weeks ahead of schedule and reopened to the public in February 2020.