Face Consultants Ltd, specialists in the design, surveying and testing of commercial and industrial concrete flooring, have successfully completed services for 28 units at Rushden Lakes Retail Park in Northamptonshire.
Face Consultants were instructed by the Flooring Contractor, Stanford Flooring, to provide design and surveying services for the retail park’s first phase development, which included several well-known high street retailers such as M&S, House of Fraser, Primark and Next.
The design of the floor was relatively complex. Spread across three buildings, the 28 units presented a unique set of challenges in terms of project management. Although working directly through Stanford Flooring, Face Consultants essentially had 28 Clients, each with their own expectations, requirements and standards.
For two of the buildings, a mesh reinforced, ground supported slab design was adopted, with sawn induced joints at nominal 6m centres, whilst the third building had a pile supported, ‘jointless’ slab, reinforced with 45kg/m3 of steel fibres. As is often the case, Face Consultants worked with the Project Engineering team on the finalised pile layout in order to meet an optimum cost balance between pile spans / total pile count and the slab thickness.
The design, carried out in line with guidance from The Concrete Society’s Technical Report 34 (TR34), was only really finalised once the last pour was completed, as a number of late changes driven by Tenant requirements meant that the Face Consultants team had to remain fully flexible and respond swiftly to ensure that no programme delays were encountered by late design variations.
Following the construction of the slabs, the units were surveyed and checked for compliance with the FM2 classification of TR34, however several units also had their own bespoke level surveys and straight edge testing requirements.
Across these units, Face Consultants surveyed a total ground floor area of approximately 16,000m2.
Duane Scarfe Operations and Quality Manager said: “This is the 14th Retail Park with multiple units in the UK, that Face Consultants have surveyed and provided testing services on in 2017 and up to present in 2018, with two more in the North of England currently nearing completion.”
Floor surface regularity should be checked and validated, to ensure that the required tolerances have been achieved. This is essential for both the end users requirements and also to show that contract compliance has been met.