With rapid urbanization has come an increase in demand for real estate and a concurrent rise in prices. The steep climb in prices has forced the parking industry to innovate and move away from the traditional way of doing things. Cities now offer several parking garage facilities such as single level, multi level, underground, and automated to suit the evolving needs of urban dwellers.
Single level garage
This plain vanilla facility is the most common type of garage with just a single floor for parking.
Multi-level, as the name suggests, has parking garages at multiple floors. It could also have ramps or lifts to move between levels. There are also garages with robotic systems to move cars from one level to another. These offer the advantages of optimal space utilisation, lower maintenance, and reduced operational costs. Nowadays, multi-level parking garages are equipped with automatic car parking and retrieval facilities. They commonly use a system of pallets, lifts, and signalling devices. On the flip side, they demand a detailed and comprehensive assessment of parking space demand, space availability, and expected traffic flow.
This type of garage has all its levels below the ground. These are often found in places that have a space crunch but need a big parking facility.
An automated garage moves cars to an available parking space using mechanical or hydraulic lifts. Such a facility comes with several benefits. It is space efficient – because the cars are moved with the help of lifts and platforms, more of them can be stacked inside a compact space. Since the robotic systems don’t need the amount of space humans do, parking spaces can be smaller. Moreover, there is no need for ramps or pedestrian areas due to the automation. These are also more environment friendly since there is no wastage of fuel while driving around to search for available parking spaces. The equipment, however, must be cleaned and checked for proper functioning at least one to four times a year.
Latest technologies are making parking more cost, time, and space efficient. Modern parking lots use parking information system, such as adaptive lighting, sensors, indoor positioning system (IPS) and mobile payment options to help drivers find available parking slots and retrieve their vehicles. With parking spaces becoming scarcer in urban landscapes, conventional parking lots are evolving, paving way for the more optimum multi-level car parking facilities, especially automated multi-level parking garages. What is perhaps most important is that the parking garage meet the functional requirements of the driver and be an efficient proposition for the municipality and other city authorities.