Samuel I. Schwartz, P.E. in his article The Garage of the Future Must be Green compared the operating and captial costs of a conventional garage versus an automated parking facility for a proposed 892 car garage in Manhattan, New York.
In the article Mr. Schwartz concluded that the operating costs for a conventional garage are considerably higher with greater needs for maintenance, security, cleaning, snow and salt removal. He stated, “In addition, the useful life of a conventional car deck is about 20 years. The earliest European systems (automated parking garages) show little or no wear after about 15 years. These steel structures probably have twice the life of conventional garages.”
In fact, one of the first mechanical systems built by Krupp in Munich, Germany for the Deutsche Bank is still in operation since 1956 – after more than half a century!
“When all factors are considered, the cost of operating an automated garage is less than half (-55%) that of a conventional garage. In this particular case an operator can save over $1.1 million / year with automated parking. In the current real estate climate, this is equivalent to a capital cost savings of over $15 million.,” Schwartz said.
(Source: The Garage of the Future Must be Green, March 2009 issue of Parking, the National Parking Association’s magazine.)