No gaps or cracks in Bluewater Shopping Centre
When it was built in 1999, the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, UK, was the second largest in Europe. Currently, it houses more than 360 shops and restaurants and accommodates almost 30 million visitors a year. Multinational developer Lend Lease sought bespoke and consultancy services from RSK for what was the first of many successful UK developments together.
The building’s bright, naturally lit design presented a challenge for the developers: the predominantly glass frontage and ceilings had the potential to leak air. A building with high air leakage would suffer from reduced energy efficiency and, subsequently, higher running costs. RSK conducted tests to ensure the centre was constructed with minimal air leakage.
The developers planned to finish the building with ornate, natural-stone paving that would run through the shopping areas and the food hall. However, the paving had to withstand the daily footsteps of thousands of visitors. It also had to be appropriate for the food hall, where spillages and stains were likely, and maintain a high-quality finish. RSK provided materials and treatment consultancy to select the right paving and developed a quality control system to ensure only the best stone was used.