New Welsh shopping and leisure scheme
Friars Walk is a 36,230 sq m shopping and leisure scheme in Newport, Wales for which Caunton supplied and erected over 6,000 tonnes of structural steelwork.
This major development, by Queensberry Real Estate, will revitalise Newport city centre offering more than 36,230 sq m of retail and leisure space, including a department store, eight-screen multiplex cinema, 44 shop units, 12 family restaurants, 350-space car park and a bus station.
The majority of the development is of three-storey beam and column construction. It has green roof decks in some areas and an L-shaped pedestrian mall down the spine of the development, covered by a curved PTFE membrane roof.
Tekla model facilitates collaboration
Caunton worked very closely with Leslie Jones Architecture and consulting engineer Waterman Structures, to help develop the scheme. Coordination of the many construction interfaces between the steel frame and other building elements was facilitated using our Tekla Structures model, which was split into different building phases for economic modelling.
Plated sections were used in a number of locations around the project and Caunton had responsibility for the design of all steel frame connections, many of which were very highly loaded. Column sizes were designed as small as possible to provide maximum clear retail floor areas.
Many of the floor beams had significant end reactions and because of the small column sizes it made connections more complex. Very careful and detailed analysis of these joints was necessary to determine a structurally adequate joint that would suit our own “design for manufacture” criteria.
Once modelling was complete, the separate models were brought back together to enable project data to be consolidated. If we were doing this project again we’re quite sure we’d use the new Tekla "Model Sharing" process as it provides a more efficient workflow than "Multi-user" on large and multiple building projects.
In addition to the structural steel frame, Caunton supplied and installed almost 55,000 sq m of metal decking and shear studs for the cast in-situ floors as well as erecting the pre-cast concrete lift cores and all pre-cast concrete stairs.
Steel framing, which supports the curved PTFE membrane roof, was supplied by another steelwork contractor, Norfolk-based Novum Structures UK Limited.
Workflow planning made easy
Although the overall site footprint is large, coordinating the site operations of all trade contractors proved to be quite challenging, especially towards the end of the construction period, where all parties needed the only available space.
The model was used to help carefully plan our own activities, which in turn helped both principal contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, and other trades, see the options and plan their own works.
Despite the many challenges faced during both the design development and construction phases, the project was successfully completed on budget and on time, ensuring the scheme opened on schedule.
Friars Walk was officially opened on the 12th of November 2015 by the leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright, accompanied by Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales.