Key Issues For Car Park Design - Part 1
Car parks are an integral part of most modern facilities like shopping centres, offices, supermarkets, cinemas and sports arenas to name a few. Unfortunately in a lot of these situations, the car park is the first thing they see when they approach a facility. That’s why creating the “right” first impression is extremely important!
Consequently, an optimal design for a car park is not one that delivers the maximum quantity of parking spaces but one that addresses a wide range of considerations covering both pedestrians and vehicles alike.
For instance, safe circulation of vehicles, pedestrian safety, practical turning radii for vehicles, generous size parking spaces, pleasant appearance, adequate provision for rainwater dispersal, no steep gradients, easy maintenance, is close to the facility it is serving and has good security provision including traffic control lights and car park barriers.
Car Park Design Principles
A lay person would not appreciate the complex nature that planning and managing such issues may have in practical car park design.
A whole host of research exists in this area. For instance, one study has revealed that the use of shaded parking reduces vehicle emission effects saving up to 1 tonne of noxious fumes for an average city. Using pavements with porous construction can reduce the size of rainwater drainage required.
On top of this, there may be additional requirements to conform to various local, regional and national regulations for car parking facilities as well.
Here are a few examples of the considerations that should be borne in mind when considering the development of a new parking facility.
Planning and Development of Car Parks
Be sensitive to the context of a proposed car park location when it comes to the planning and financing of car parking developments.
Parking facilities should not dominate the visual aspect of the facility they serve. Good car park design practice will direct the visitor’s eye line to the facility’s main entrance or display feature toward which facilities management would like attention to be drawn.
When considering locations for car parks think about the impact that the parking facility could have on neighbouring buildings and facilities, the layout of the land it is to be built on and surrounding natural plantings etc. One example here would be the need to address the existence of a copse of trees and how the proposed car park could be sited to accommodate the copse and preserve it.
Another example might be site selection based on the minimal amount of surface preparation required to develop the parking space.
It is also important to anticipate how provision will be made for access by various types of vehicle from bikes to cars to vans and most important of all people!
Car Park Management
In the first instance, ensure that all local, regional and national regulations are accommodated in the car park’s design to ensure legal compliance.
Design for ease of maintenance with adequate spacing and access between vehicle parking spaces, plantings and footpaths.
The aisles between parking bay rows should allow easy access by road sweepers and prevent the build up of litter or leaves. There should be adequate gradation of road surfaces to ensure that rainwater does not pool in any corner of the car park.
Environmental aspects also need to be addressed to ensure air quality and the preservation of “green” spaces and wildlife habitats.
edit @ 22 Feb 2016 23:07:37 by Victoria Gale
edit @ 22 Feb 2016 23:08:14 by Victoria Gale
edit @ 22 Feb 2016 23:08:45 by Victoria Gale
edit @ 22 Feb 2016 23:09:51 by Victoria Gale