There has been a big growth in the residential and commercial spaces that have been developed throughout India. Developers and architects do not shy from radical new designs. However the bugbear for all is the optimised use of parking space so as to stay within the purview of the law as well as plan for the economic growth of residents and work on the premise of multiple cars per flat.
Today, architects have various options for parking solutions while planning a building.
Open Space Parking
This has been the traditional popular method for parking. However, today with real estate prices ranging from `10k to 100k per square feet, the plot sizes have also shrunk. After accounting for driveway, garden and open area it is just not possible to lose that 5m x 2.5m or 125sqft for parking one car, a space which will have an fsi (floor space index) value ranging anywhere from `12.5 lakh to 1.25 crore.
With the advent of RCC (reinforced concrete) it has been possible to raise the whole building on columns, thus use the space inside for parking cars between the columns, and providing for numbered parking spaces. This is a good option for premium parking since the parking is covered and also safe. If the stilt height is 14ft or higher, double stack parking lift can also be installed in such spaces.
The first floor of the building, also called podium, is used for parking. The developers typically make a ramp driveway for accessing this area. The area can be either open to sky or covered. Car Elevators can be used for this purpose for better efficiency. Using a lift saves valuable FSI as compared to ramps. Also, the construction cost of the ramp is high. Many builders are known to make narrow ramps for up and down directions combined into one which leads to accidents in the long term. The car lift is a one time cost that will be effective in this safe movement of cars.
Hydraulic Car Platform
Cut outs can be made in the slab and the car elevator can be fitted. These can be useful for up to five levels of parking and can be accessed underground also. A pit is required to install the lift (two to four feet deep) and the lift can travel up to a height of 17m. Standard platforms should be 6m x 3m though smaller sizes can also be accommodated. There can be the following options:
? Single, Double or Triple Scissor Lift
? Cantilevered Lift
? Cage on platform
? Gates and doors for the landings
? Side shaft in brickwork
? Buzzers and other safeties
It is always recommended to put two platforms in a location so that it will work in redundancy mode as well as can be used for in and Out.
? Two cars one on top of the other can be located in any area. The advantage is that it is inexpensive to install. To remove the upper car, the lower car needs to be removed.
Some versions are:
? Four Post: This is made in a crude way with wire rope. Has been prone to damage and accidents when the ropes fail
? Two Post: It is the most popular in terms of volume and has been mass produced.
? Unipole: Is for heavy duty applications including customizing it to 4000kg capacity. Nandan is one of the few manufacturers with a successful design. The lack of a post on one side gives the advantage of more ease of parking and also doing parallel parking to the walls.
The advantage of puzzle parking is that in a space of x cars on ground, one can park 3x or 4x cars. The entry and exit is automated with the computer deciding on the best access. E.g. If there is a space for parking four cars presently, there can be a four-level parking system put in which one can park 13 cars with ease. Also the loading and retrieval time is 90 seconds from any position.
This is useful when there is a vertical space available for the parking and there is one entry and one exit point, like a ferris wheel. However this is not a scalable model.
For large public spaces where there is a land bank, as many as 600-900 cars can be parked in a robotic parking complex. These are large projects with very long gestation to handover times.
Parking Consultants and Executors
While there are many parking consultants in the market, the client has to look for the following factors before making the choice: Years in business, number of projects completed, time of response,team strength,service support & AMC.
Typically up to 10% costs of the project, if invested in the planning stage, will go a long way in getting the right solution and right way in operations. In many residential societies, many builders go for the cheapest possible solution but then for the members it becomes a nightmare. Hence choosing the right partner is important. Parking issues exist but with the efficient use of technology and planning, the solution can be found which will help in implementing smooth solutions.
CEO & Director, Nandan GSE
Nandan GSE is based in Mumbai and provides specialised products in aviation, handling solutions and car parking. The company specialises in customized hydraulic car lifts, executed in bungalows, residential complexes, commercial complexes and public places.