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Planning for Construction of Parking Structures

Whenever there is need for parking more than that can be accommodated in the surface lots that is served by a building or a service center, there comes the need for parking structures.

Parking can be defined a large consumer of land and resources. In general shopping centers requires 1.5 square feet of parking for every leasable square foot. This is 1 square feet for office buildings.

The owning and operation of parking structures are very costly. Its construction cost is five times greater than the amount taken for the surface parking construction.

Surface parking is not considered as the highest and the best use of parcel land. But a denser development or expansion of an existing land is possible by the construction of parking structures.

Acres of free land is given for parking which is not utilized properly. This can be taken a route of transportation making the public transportation economical and having good roadways.

It is essential to know while planning parking structures that how much parking is really needed. Along with it the best method to construct it in a cost-effective manner has to be decided. This will give a clear idea on the finance and how much to pay.

Planning for Construction of Parking Structures

Planning for Parking Space

The peak accumulation of the vehicles that are parked, which are generated by the land under the present conditions is called as the parking generation.

The number of spaces that have to be provided by a single building or a group of buildings to facilitate parking is called as the parking demand. This include extra spaces over and above the expected peak accumulation of the vehicles.

The demand for parking vary from one location to another. The variations will be dependent on the rate and density of development of that area, the availability of public transportation, the policies governed in the local area, the price incurred for parking and the local economic strength levels.

A sensible way of finding out the parking demand is by starting with a national standard. This standard assumes a 100% modal split to the automobiles that are running private. Then the adjustments are made based on the local conditions of the area under consideration.

Issues in Parking Demand

While planning, the parking demand is subjected to variety of issues. These issues are mentioned below:

  1. Issues in Units
  2. Design Day and Hour Issues
  3. Effective Supply
  4. Accessory Uses
  5. Complementary uses

Issues in Units

The requirement of parking is mainly expressed as ratio of x spaces per y unit of land use. Most of the ratio is represented by sq. ft. or square meter of the area of the building.

In old standard methodology, the calculation is carried out based on the net floor area(NFA). This is calculated as inside to inside measurement. But virtually the gross floor area (GFA) is followed by many which is outside to outside measurement of the building area.

There is gross leasable area (GLA) which is the GFA which is leased by the tenants. When multiple tenants occupy a land type we call it as GLA.

Design day and hour

Another important issue is the need for parking analysis to select a feasible design day and hour. It is not recommended to have a parking system to accommodate the vehicles number equivalent to peak accumulation. And such a decision will make the parking lot to remain free for non- peak times.

A parking system must not be designed that it cannot take adequate number of vehicles. The parking generation provides a regression curve of the average value of peak accumulation of vehicles.

Effective Supply

The need for effective supply becomes necessary when situations arise where the parking system shows a lesser efficiency than what it is expected to have. In situations where a vehicle is misparked, or the area is covered with snow, or reasons of vehicle manoeuvres must have the ability to accommodate for an extra space when necessary.

This means the parking demand must include the planning of providing the effective supply cushion when necessary. Parking demand is equal to the sum of the parking generated and the effective supply cushion.

Accessory Uses

These are space in the land use which is not a principal activity generator. But these have a role in the required operation. These areas become a question while calculating the parking area land and rate.

Complementary Uses

When a multi-tenant building land space is leased and used to serve the primary one we call it as complementary use. These have a different parking characteristic. This can cause sharing of the parking by different user.

Like the parking needs of a coffee shop of a multi-storey building can be figured in the same rate of office space. Use of multiple tenants in a mixed have must follow the regulations.

About Neenu ArjunVerified

Neenu is a Civil and Structural Engineer and has experience in Design of Concrete and Steel Structures. She is an Author, Editor and Partner at