The installation of a mechanical parking system (such as a car lift, turn table or car stacker) can be one of the most effective ways to optimise a car park layout. Historically, mechanical parking systems have been seen as expensive last resorts.
But recent improvements in parking technology and increases in number of suppliers have resulted in mechanical parking systems becoming much more cost-viable in both small and large developments.
For new developments
Conventional car parks have been a prevailing feature in the design of developments for a long time, particularly due to the need to comply with Council statutory requirements for on-site parking. However, with demand for land in prime locations rapidly increasing, building a conventional car park in a new development may no longer be the most cost-effective or structurally-efficient solution.
For existing developments
In developments which have already been built, mechanical parking systems can also be utilised to increase the number of parking spaces available. For example, the placement of a mechanical parking system within the existing parking module of an office or small residential development may provide a cost-efficient alternative to redevelopment.
At SALT, our experience extends to car park design across an extremely diverse range of site sizes, requirements and scope. Depending on the outcomes you want to see in your development, there are a number of different mechanical parking systems available to meet your specific needs.
So when is a mechanical parking system a viable alternative to a conventional car park? Here are three common situations developers come across when it comes to car park design:
I have minimal floor area available for parking, but demand for parking spaces is high
In this situation, one of the most effective and flexible design solutions is a car stacker. Whether it be a dependent stacker system based at ground level allowing two cars to park in the footprint of one parking space, a shuffling pit system that will allow 26 vehicles to fit in place of nine conventional spaces, or afully automated system (where the driver only has to park the car in a designated bay before the vehicle is whisked away to its storage location), car stackers remain a versatile choice when it comes to increasing the number of parking spaces available.
I want to optimise vehicle circulation and access within my development
In this circumstance, car lifts may provide a deft alternative to ramps. Ramps can be expensive, as well as ineffective in facilitating ideal vehicle circulation within a particular site; in contrast, car lifts utilise significantly less floor space, have minimal impact on the overall footprint of the building, and may be able provide a greater number of parking spaces. Car lifts are particularly suitable for sites of shallow width and/or length dimensions. Placed in a conventional multi-storey car park, they can also minimise the number of basement or above-ground levels that need to be built.
I need my development to allow vehicles to enter and exit in a ‘forward’ direction
This is a common requirement for developments which are positioned in front of road zones such as arterial state roads. Whilst larger developments may be able to accommodate turn bays, this design solution may not be feasible within the parameters of a smaller development. This is a frequent occurrence in residential developments, where turn bays compete with the priorities of greater private open space and floor area. In these situations, installing a turn table may provide an adroit way to reconcile competing interests.
SALT has worked with developers and suppliers across Australia to implement various mechanical parking systems within a variety of developments. The strong relationships we have developed with a number of key suppliers ensure that we are able to facilitate the best implementation process and design outcomes for sites (no matter their stage of completion).
To speak to us about the needs of your site, contact us here or at
+61 3 9633 1900.