Big Foot supports shopping centre redevelopment

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Published: 07 February 2018


Big Foot Systems has supplied HD Beams, Custom Steels and Custom HD Frames as part of a £40 million redevelopment of a shopping centre. Originally constructed in the late 1960s, the centre required a refurbishment to be able to compete with other local retail complexes, including new HVAC plant.

With retail space at a premium, new locations were needed for the chiller plant with the rooftop an obvious choice. Meanwhile, the existing AHUs also needed to be replaced and relocated. The original AHUs were on plinths constructed when the shopping centre was built, but since the new AHUs were larger, the existing plinths could not be used without structural alteration.
Big Foot Technical worked with the contractors to come up with a solution. The 1960s roof had not been designed to support plant and so the permissive loads were limited to a UDL of less than 4kN/m². Another challenge was that the building is due to be re-roofed at a future date, meaning any frame supplied had to provide adequate stability and clearance for re-roofing.

Sam Birch of Big Foot Systems said: “This was a complex project due to the weak roof. Initially it was thought that the plant loads would need to be taken back to the main structural beams but, working with the contractors, Big Foot Technical was able to design a solution that could be supported by the roof whilst being secure, below the UDL and at a lower cost than initial options. The client is very pleased with the end result and we are delighted to have been able to provide a high quality, cost effective solution.”