A peek into  the  old  Debenhams unit at Grosvenor’s Liverpool ONE six months before Gravity MAX  was  launched,  would  have revealed   a   lone  figure riding a  high-powered  e-kart  across  a  freshly  constructed  racing circuit. Meanwhile,  a   team  in  the  construction  site  of  a  new Marks and Spencer’s,  two  floors below,  were  testing  the acoustics. MPN working  with  Momentum Group  delivered   both  spaces. Acoustic   bearings   added   to   the  Go-kart where it connected to the slab were the solution to the vibration levels!

With the continued demise of retailers, the repurposing of vacant space in our shopping centres and on our high streets continues apace. After spending decades working on new-build shopping centre projects in Australia, the UK, and other international locations, MPN has now spent over ten years considering the structural implications of repurposing these spaces.

At first landlords and asset managers looked for other retailers to fill the space, and then leisure became an obvious choice. However, now they are becoming more open-minded and adventurous towards other uses, and MPN is involved in creative ways of attracting and accommodating these different tenants.

This can mean more onerous demands on the existing structure, such as adding floors, inserting an atrium, turning inward-facing buildings to be outward facing and so on. MPN is currently working on numerous feasibility studies, considering everything from high-rise residential, education and health, offices, and SciTech uses.

Whilst a technical solution may be possible for these types of building projects, the financial viability can prove marginal. Therefore MPN is being brought in early in the process to identify potential solutions, keeping as much of the existing frame as possible, and conceiving of “light engineering” innovative solutions that consider cost, logistics, buildability and environmental impact in order to provide clear information about any risks and overall project viability.

MPN has extensive experience with the implications of changing the use of a building. Testing to assess structural integrity can be expensive and challenging to access. Building code compliance can affect modifications. Environmental hazards may mean expensive remediation. Sites themselves often provide limitations directly or may impact existing occupiers of adjacent parts of the building. If intrusive works are required, for example, escalator or lift installation, compensation for disruption to existing occupiers may make it cost prohibitive.

If you are considering the change of use of a building then get in touch. MPN can provide early advice that can improve viability of your project at an early stage.

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