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Designing A Car Park: What Contractors Need To Know

Entrance ramp of a multi-storey parking lot

Hayes Potter + Loris Marie form Unpslash

When designing a car park, there are a number of different factors contractors need to get right in order to ensure the end result is of a high enough quality. If you’re going to be involved in the designing and building of a car park, then take a look at the following guide we’ve put together to help you get started. We’ll be covering subjects such as planning the structure and layout of a car park, how to source the right materials, and how to budget for your project. Read on to find out more.

Following A Budget Plan 

As with any project, you need to make sure you are following a budget plan for the building of your car park. This will help to make sure the project gets finished to the standard layout in the design and that the quality is of a good standard. In the budget plan there should be listed the total cost of the project as well as the individual sums of different components of the build. This can help you and other contractors to reduce the risk of overspending and predict what budget you have to work with. It can also help you to identify areas in construction of the car park where money could potentially be saved, or costs cut to put towards more expensive elements of the build.

Deciding On The Best Type Of Car Park 

The first phase of designing a car park is planning the design of the structure for the car park. For example, will you be designing and building a car park that will be underground, single-level, or multi-storey? This will depend on the land you have to work with and what design you think would suit it best. It could also depend on the capacity the car park needs to hold and what purpose it will be used for. The design of a large commercial car park might need to be different to that of a small business car park.

Planning The Layout  

The layout of the car park is an incredibly important aspect of designing a car park as it can affect other areas of the project. For example, you need to make sure the layout of the car park will fit its purpose and be able to hold the predicted capacity. You should also make sure the layout allows for enough space for vehicles parking, turning around, and where the entrance and exit will be located. Consider aspects such as whether the car park will be single storey or on multiple levels, in whichcase you will need to make sure the structure of the car park is sound and can support the level of parking and traffic it will experience. Plan how many total car parking bays there will be, and how best to plan them to make the space efficient and practical.

Choosing The Materials To Use  

The next step will be deciding on the right type of materials to use for the construction of the car park. This can be decided between contractors and the project lead or architect responsible for designing the car park. The right materials to choose could depend on factors such as the cost and what materials would function best for the purpose. It will also depend on what elements of the construction need to be included. If you’re building a multi-storey structure, it’s likely that you will need steel supports and strong materials such as concrete. In terms of flooring for the car park bays, you might want to choose between different options such as concrete or  asphalt. You could also consider hiring a specialist asphalt contractor to complete the flooring of your car park for a highly durable and effective surface. You will need to consider how much traffic and wear and tear the car park will be experiencing to help make sure you choose the right materials for the job.

 Detail of a car parked in a multi-storey parking lot

Designing According To Usage Purpose And Vehicles  

Another aspect to consider for the build of a car park is the vehicles that will be using it. For example, you could be designing a car park for a commercial space such as a shopping centre, which will be mostly made for standard cars. However, it could also be used by commercial vehicles such as lorries and vans that will require more access height and larger parking pays. Make sure you’re clear on how the design of the car park needs to include access for different vehicles and how this will affect the layout. Also, ensure that parking bays are designed to the correct measurements for different vehicles and that access and exit points have the right height capacity to fit larger vehicles if necessary.

Road Signs And Paintwork 

During the construction of the car park you need to make sure that signs and surface paintwork are included. This helps to create the parking bays, one-way systems, and directions for the car park. It can also include speed limits and warning signs for things such as height limits and pedestrian crossings. Plan where the signs will need to be located to help make sure the car park is efficient and safe.

Installing Drainage Systems  

Part of the construction of the car park you will need to consider is ensuring that there are drainage systems in place for rainfall. If there isn’t an effective drainage system present, car parks can become flooded and out of use, costing time and money. It can also lead to damage to property such as customer cars which can lead to legal action and expenses. A drainage system is still important whether it’s a multi-storey car park, underground car park, or single-storey.

Electricity And Lighting   

Especially if your car park is going to be located underground or have a cover over multiple levels, you need to make sure that planning is included for the instillation of electrics and lighting. Consulting a specialist electrician on the project will help with planning the most effective lighting systems for the design. Lighting is important not only for practical purposes but also in terms of safety for customers using the car park at night. For the same reasons, CCTV systems should also be a consideration when designing a car park electrical system.

Pedestrian Areas

As well as planning for vehicles, your car park will need to feature access areas for the safety of pedestrians. For example, you will need to include walkways and zebra crossings for customers using the car park to help prevent accidents and injuries. If the car park is multi-storey or underground, you should also include emergency exit systems and staircases as other systems such as elevators are unsafe during the event of an emergency.

Creating Security Methods  

Car parks are common places for crime to take place, so the security of your car park needs to be a major consideration. If the car park is only going to be used during certain hours, then there needs to be a system in place for securing the car park when it’s not open. For example, barriers, locked doors, and gates can all help to prevent unauthorized access. As mentioned previously, CCTV systems are an important aspect for the safety of customers and can also help to prevent crime and vandalism taking place in the car park. ANPR technology can help to identify vehicles that are involved in crimes in the car park. This information can then be used to identify criminals and those that require a fine for not paying parking fees.