Providing safe, secure and convenient parking for your business’s visitors positively impacts business. Whether you want to attract and accommodate more visitors or make your business easier to access, there are crucial factors to consider so that your project can be a success. Here is a handy guide to help you determine what’s important for your car park design.
Factors to Consider When Planning
Before starting construction on your car park, it is necessary to plan the design, depending on the available space, location and intended use. Whether you want to use a diagonal, grid or in-line design, you will need to consider that different vehicles have different space requirements. If your visitors will mostly be standard car drivers, you should measure an area of 2.4 m by 4.8m for each car. You can include 3.5m by 18.5m parking spaces for lorries and vans if you expect to need them.
Car parks needs to cater to different users’ needs. Blue badge holders, parents with young children up to 12 years and staff all need dedicated spaces. You can also install features such as ramps for drivers with special mobility requirements. Additionally, provide charging ports for electric vehicles.
Once you have settled on a suitable design, it’s time to sort out the necessary planning permissions before you begin any construction. If your car park design is multi-storeyed, there are special council regulations you will need to follow. Surface and underground car parks also require specific permissions.
Key Factors to Consider during Construction
Paving and Structure
Concrete makes an excellent paving material due to its durability; It is also very affordable and requires little to no maintenance. Well-laid concrete easily withstands busy traffic levels, and adding curing with treatment sprays will give the structure more strength. Lay down 4-inch thick paving for cars and 5-6 inches for light vans and larger vehicles.
Avoid future potholes and cracks by ensuring the concrete is evenly laid and allowed to set firmly for the required time, depending on the weather. Drier, milder weather is best for concrete paving. After the paving is complete, keep the car park vehicle-free for at least three days during the summer and seven days during the winter.
- For 4-inch thick paving, keep the joints a maximum of 10 feet apart.
- For 5-inch thick paving, maintain a spacing of 12.5 feet.
- 6-inch paving requires 15 feet of spacing between the joints.
When setting your concrete, the slope of the floor is critical because it affects the drainage. Poor drainage causes pools of standing water to collect, creating cracks and potholes. Standing water also causes damage to vehicles. Make use of sloped roofing, gutters and drains to clear water out of your car park.
Providing enough lighting for your car park is essential, especially for underground car parks. At the same time, it’s best to ensure that the light will not spill out into any nearby residential areas. The best solution is a mix of daylighting, interior lighting and exterior control. Install ample lighting across walls and ceilings and smaller coloured lights to indicate available free spaces.
For easy navigation, leave several feet of space in your car park design for exit paths, stairwells and payment areas, which will need to be well lit and indicated with clear signage. Remember to include emergency pedestrian exits and impose speed restrictions of ten kilometers per hour to prevent accidents. Another consideration for pedestrian safety is the slipperiness of pedestrian walkways during wet or icy weather. For this, you can add slip-resistant surfacing above the paving on pedestrian areas.
Ensure you provide helpful, lawful signage to protect pedestrians in your car park. Some helpful traffic signs for parking lot safety include:
- Stop and yield signs.
- Pedestrians crossing.
- Reserved parking signs for disabled persons.
- Van-accessible spaces.
Ideally, these signs should align with the flow of traffic The placement of these signs should align with the flow of traffic and be visible to both drivers and pedestrians.
The intended size of your car park, choice of construction material, smart technology, payment machines, and lighting will determine the costs of your project. When planning out the potential costs, remember to factor in the costs of licenses and other compliance requirements.
The first step to securing your car park is installing ANPR technology to prevent unauthorised parking and CCTV cameras to prevent crime and vandalism. Ensure that safety and security are built into your car park design by:
- Installing security devices such as video, audio and emergency buttons that call into the booth or local police station.
- Eliminating potential hiding places, such as under open stairs.
- Installing open, glass staircase and glass-backed elevators.
- Making sure airflow is adequately designed for through mechanical or natural ventilation.
- Carefully designed points of intersection between pedestrians and motorists.
Monetising Your Car Park
To generate revenue from the car park, you can use the range of payment features available such as pay machines, online payments, self-ticketing and permits. At Advance Access, we offer car parking guidance and parking payment solutions. Regardless of the type of car park your business needs, Advance Access car parking solutions can help you manage your car park smoothly.