The basic layout of the Robotic Parking System design is a modular base of 2.4 m x 6 m and requires a typical concrete slab / mat foundation (that is the preferable solution due to the low required soil pressure of 30 to 50 PSI), a steel structure (or in some cases concrete support ) and the automation machinery riding on the provided supporting set of beams and columns.
The steel structure is a kind of erector set with the needed amount of levels (not floors because there are no ceilings – it is an open rack structure). It is composed of columns and beams with sufficient bracing to meet all loads resulting from external impacts like wind, snow and earthquake as well as internal loads. This steel structure can also support the horizontal and vertical loads of the roof and the facade. Therefore, the roof and facade do not need separate super structures and can be attached to the actual steel structure with vibration and sound absorbing anchor elements.
In the case of a mixed use development, there are two possibilities. Either a concrete structure can be utilized as the supporting system for the automated parking machinery, or the supporting structures for the building and the parking facility can be separated which will eliminate any special requirements to avoid the transfer of sound or vibration into the actual building structure whether it’s an office, apartment / condo, retail or entertainment space.
Since the system provides for a closed facade and roof to architecturally blend into the neighborhood, and to protect and shelter the vehicles; there is a practical need for a fire fighting system such as a sprinkler system. (See NFPA 88A for the full requirements for such automated parking facilities.) Lighting can be eliminated and ventilation requirements are much reduced to 2 ACH (air changes per hour) which can be achieved in most cases through natural ventilation.
Per existing national codes, no other special provisions need to be met for permitting purposes since the building is treated like a conventional storage building. It may however be necessary to adjust the zoning codes as several municipalities have done in the past to accommodate for the reduced sizes of the parking spaces of 7 x 19 feet – no need for turning radii, slope for ramps and width of drive aisles as there are none.