House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage

If you’re planning a visit to Washington DC, stop by the National Building Museum and take a look at the exhibit “House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage” which runs through July 11, 2010.

House of Cars explores the relationship between parked cars and the buildings that hold them.

As soon as there were cars, there was a parking problem, and cities responded both by finding ways to fit cars into old structures – such as carriage houses – and inventing a new building type made specifically for automobile storage. As the parking garage’s building type evolved, innovative engineers explored the best ways to lay out parking places and create structural systems to accommodate both cars and people.

“What does the future hold for parking?.”

Obviously, we think automated parking garages offer innovative solutions to improve our cities and address the problems of parking. Robotic Parking Systems creates space by reducing the area needed for parking by up to 50%. Architects and developers can use that space for design features and benefits that enhance the project and the community. For more information, visit


NFPA To Release New Chapter For Automated Parking Garages in 2010

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is expected to release in 2010 a new chapter in NFPA 88A – Parking Structures which specificially covers automated parking garages. Mr. Gerhard Haag, working with other members of the Automated and Mechanical Parking Association, was instrumental in getting the needs of the automated parking industry recognized in this key international code. Mr. Haag is the CEO of Robotic Parking Systems and a member of the NFPA Garage and Parking Structures Committee.

Solar Parking Lots Charge Electric Bicycles

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. has opened two “Solar Parking Lots” that use solar panels to charge electric hybrid bicycles powered by Sanyo’s eneloop lithium-ion batteries.

The solar powered parking lots are located in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward west of downtown Tokyo. The lots are completely independent and clean systems that eliminate the use of fossil fuels. The power generated from the solar panels installed on the roof is used to charge up to 100 bicycles as well as illuminate the parking lot lights.

Woman Struck By Car In Parking Lot – Such Accidents Can Be Prevented With An Automated Parking Garage

WCVB of Boston reported that a  woman was struck today in a parking lot after a driver failed to stop at a stop sign.

These types of incidents can be prevented with automated parking. Security for both the individual and car are greatly increased with an automated parking garage such as the one from Robotic Parking Systems ( You don’t need to drive through the garage to find a parking space or walk to your car. You simply drive into an entry station and leave your car to be picked up by the computerized lifts that will safely place it inside the building on a shelving system. When you leave, you return to the lobby of the garage and your car is swiftly delivered to an exit station.

“Greenroads” rates sustainable road projects

Road construction is a more-than-$80 billion annual industry in the United States. Yet nothing comparable to the LEED rating system for buildings, or the Energy Star system for appliances, exists for highways and roads.

University of Washington researchers and global engineering firm CH2M Hill have unveiled Greenroads, a rating system for sustainable road design and construction. Environmental, economic and social impacts are included.

The system outlines minimum requirements to qualify as a green roadway, including a noise mitigation plan, storm-water management plan and waste management plan. It also allows up to 118 points for voluntary actions such as minimizing light pollution, using recycled materials, incorporating quiet pavement and accommodating non-motorized transportation.

The first complete version of Greenroads is available at

In addition to “green” roads, sufficient, easily accessible parking can also reduce pollution and greenhouse gases and contribute to a more green environment. The Department of Transportation reported that  “… recent research shows, that over 50% of the traffic in typical downtowns is simply on the road, cruising around the block searching for vacant convenient parking spaces.”  Architects and developers in urban areas can supply the parking needed in half the space by using an automated parking system. The space created can then be used for more green space and common areas for the community.

Parking Outside the Box

The parking garage is the Rodney Dangerfield of building types, the troubled snag in the urban fabric, the Gordian Knot of design. But for all the ugly-red-haired-stepchild car parks of the world and the many generic, bunker-like auto warehouses, there are also stunning examples of man-and-machine triumph that incorporate both function and aesthetics.

Each of the parking garage designs shown in this article could have been built in half the space using Robotic Parking Systems. “Parking outside the box” with automated parking creates space for architects and developers to incorporate more green space, retail space, residential or office space or combinations of these

via – Parking Outside the Box

New Officers Elected at Annual Automated & Mechanical Parking Association Meeting

New officers were elected at the annual Automated & Mechanical Parking Association (AMPA) meeting held on 7 March 2010 in Chicago.

The new officers are:
Chairman – Lee Lazarus, A.P.T. Parking Technologies
President – Martin Wright, FATA Automation, Inc.
Vice President – Ari Milstein, Automotion Parking Systems LLC
Secretary – Constantin Haag, Robotic Parking Systems, Inc.
Treasurer – Jackie Smith, Spacesaver Corporation

For more information on AMPA, visit