Recently, developers of a proposed convention center complex asked Robotic Parking Systems to design an automated parking structure for their project. These types of parking facilities are known to help architects and developers maximize their site development by parking twice as many cars in half the area.
We were able to offer two options for 1200 parking spaces that could save between 59,000 and over 90,000 square feet of land area.
Convention Center Option 1 saves the project 59,202 square feet of land area and gives the developer the option of adding an entire additional building. The developer gains approximately 25,833 square feet of GFA per floor of the additional building. Click Robotic Parking Option 1 to see full size image.
Convention Center Option 2 saves even more space. The project gains 91,463 square feet of land area space for two additional buildings. This gives the developer approximately 41,132 square feet of GFA per floor of the additional buildings. Click Robotic Parking Option 2 to see full size image.
As you can see from these numbers, Robotic Parking Systems creates space for design, develolpment and the community.
Every day there are multiple news stories about accidents, theft and violence in conventional parking garages and parking lots. People are hit by cars or drive off parking decks. Others are mugged, raped, knifed or shot. Vehicles are vandalised and stolen. If you really look at this environment, you see that rows of parked cars or columns in conventional garages offer numerous hiding places for those who intend harm.
There are many ways that parking designers and garage owners work to increase security for individuals. These range from layout to lighting to patrols. One of the ways to greatly enhance security for both the individual and their car is by using a Robotic Parking System design.
REDUCED RISK OF INJURY
There is no need for individuals to walk to and from their car through rows of cars or levels of parking decks. With an automated parking structure, the individual drives into an entry station and leaves their car to be picked up by computerized machinery. When they leave, they return to a well-lighted lobby where their car is quickly delivered to a ground floor exit station. This increases safety and reduces risk of injury.
REDUCED DAMAGE AND DENTS
Parking in a conventional lot or garage almost always results in dings and dents in a car. Space is often tight to squeeze in more parking spaces. There’s always someone who can’t park straight. And, distracted people smash their door into the sides of vehicles, etc. In a Robotic Parking System, no one touches the car after it’s placed on the parking pallet. In fact, the robotic parking garage itself contains only machinery and vehicles – no humans allowed. This reduces damage and dents to the vehicle.
REDUCED THEFT AND VANDALISM Robotic Parking Systems’ reduce theft and vandalism. Vehicles are stored in a fully enclosed structure and are 100% secure from access by others.
Green spaces and common areas in which people can interact are essential to creating cities that are beautiful, livable, safe and desirable to businesses, tourists and residents.
Think of the space consumed in your own urban area for just parking. The orange areas in the illustration below represent typical downtown parking.
Now imagine being able to use half of that space for development, green space or other community projects.
Imagination can easily become reality.
An automated, robotic parking garage can reduce the space needed for parking by 50%. The Robotic Parking Systems’ technology greatly increases the speed and efficiency of parking so that even the largest garage can be made smaller. This creates space for greener cities while still reducing the traffic congestion and pollution of people driving around looking for parking places.
Every driving trip begins and ends with parking and much of the air pollution and traffic congestion in urban areas results from drivers cruising around looking for a parking space. This is a true whether drivers are searching for curbside parking, circling inside a parking garage or trying to find a good spot in a mall parking lot.
One example of this is shown in a research study conducted by Transportation Alternatives on a 15-block area of Columbus Avenue, a major commercial corridor on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They found that the demand for curbside parking in New York City far exceeds the supply. This mismatch was compounded by the fact that curbside parking is free or priced far below garage rates, which are 10-15 times more expensive.
The low price of curbside parking unleashes a torrent of bargain-hunting drivers. Those who find spaces stay longer to make the most of their find. And when all spaces at the curb are occupied, other cars looking for parking circle in traffic for an elusive space. The saturation of curbside parking is a direct cause of air pollution, illegal parking and traffic congestion, all of which exact high costs on New York City’s environment, economy, health and quality of life.
The Transportation Alternative’s study revealed:
Motorists “cruise” a total of 366,000 miles a year as they search for metered parking in the 15-block survey area on Columbus Ave. : further than a one-way trip to the moon.
Drivers cruise on average seven blocks (.37 miles) to find a metered parking space. During peak periods, before lunch and from 6pm to 8pm, motorists cruise an average of 14 blocks (.7 miles) before finding a parking spot.
Drivers searching for curbside parking in the survey area generate 325 tons of Carbon Dioxide annually.
On metered blocks, curb parking is completely occupied up to half the time. Unmetered blocks are completely full up to 75% of the time.
The average vehicle parks for 93 minutes. Posted “1 Hour Parking” regulations are neither observed nor enforced. Each metered parking spot turns over 5.8 times per day. Each unmetered spot turns over 2.3 times per day.
Other studies by Transportation Alternatives have documented that between 28% and 45% of traffic on some streets is generated by cruising for parking.
Many cities lack sufficient parking close to downtown areas often because of the large space required for conventional garages. Automated parking garages such as Robotic Parking Systems can fit the same number of cars is about half the space and opens up numerous opportunities for locating garages throughout downtown areas. Since all cars are dropped off and retrieved at ground level entry / exit stations, this eliminates cruising through the garage looking for a space and patrons of the garage receive premium service.
Sufficient Robotic Parking garages in an urban area could reduce curbside parking and the inherent cruising for a space as well as improve the environment for bicyclists, pedestrians and other drivers.
A recent article in Popular Mechanics entitled The World’s 18 Strangest Parking Garages covers the world’s most interesting, innovative and just plain bizarre parking garages. Robotic Parking Systems’ automated garage in Dubai was selected as one of these innovative car parks.
Parking garages are often architectural afterthoughts. Monolithic and utilitarian, they rarely offer more than the necessary housing of cars for other more aesthetic structures. “It’s an expense a developer generally doesn’t like, but it is a necessary evil to make his development successful,” says Len Tsupros, president of Carl Walker Construction, a design firm that specializes in parking garages. However, as cities become larger and as transportation technology changes, the role and function of the parking garage has to be redefined. Here are some of the world’s most interesting, innovative and just plain bizarre parking garages.
Background: Dubai, a city that boasts a chain of private man-made islands arranged in the shape of the globe, is likewise extravagant and innovative with its parking structures. This is currently the world’s largest robotic parking garage and can handle 250 cars per hour
Why It’s Unique: From the outside it looks like a single-car garage, but hidden inside is a 765-vehicle storage facility. The robotic automation ensures that the cars are parked as efficiently as possible. The automation makes it easy on the driver and saves space, but it requires a lot of capital from the developer, Tsupros says.
For the full story click on the Popular Mechanics link below.
Automated parking garages offer solutions for a wide range of projects, from retail to hospitals to financial centers to mixed-use developments. These types of parking facilities are a key component in helping architects and developers maximize space in site development. The space created by parking twice as many cars in half the area can be put to better use as green space, areas for the community or even to make the project workable.
For example, a marina club needs a parking facility but only has a small footprint available on very expensive property. The garage requires a significant number of spaces but relatively low throughput. The Robotic Parking System designed for this parking facility is only 62 feet by 64 feet but can store 160 cars in a height of only 86 feet. The two entry / exit bays can store or retrieve approximately 60 cars per hour. The system provides redundancy since either vertical car lift can service every car in the facility, both entry / exit bays can be used to store or return cars and either car carrier can retrieve any car in the garage. Click here to see the Robotic Parking System design.
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has released the new 2011 Edition of “NFPA 88A: Standard for Parking Structures” which includes for the first time automated parking structures. The new edition is expected to ship on July 2, 2010.
The new NFPA 88A codes ensure parking garages are fire-safe and provide requirements concerning the construction and protection of open and enclosed parking structures, as well as the control of hazards.
Reorganized for consistency with NFPA 101® and NFPA 5000®, the new edition includes:
• A new chapter on Special Structures including first-time definitions and requirements for the new genre of parking structures termed “Automated Mechanical Type Parking Structures”
• Updated definitions based on current industry best practices
Mr. Gerhard Haag, working with members of the Automated and Mechanical Parking Association and Mr. Don Monahan representing the National 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. Mr. Monahan is a Vice President of Walker Parking Consultants, Inc.