The shift towards more sustainable parking methods that consider people, the environment and the economy as fundamental parts of urban and global living, is seen in the rise of Automated Parking Structures.
The dynamics inherent in our urban approach to parking are changing. Inefficiently large, heavy, and complex structures designed with ramps, drive-aisles, passenger elevators and way-finding that has to be constantly lit and monitored for security are proving rather unsustainable in our global attitude toward finding better solutions in the built environment when dealing with parking structures.
Parking structures make up one of the largest land uses in our cities; these are also among the least occupied at any single moment, making them grossly inefficient in terms of function. Simply stated, conventional parking remains one of sustainability’s greatest challenges, and strong emphasis is being directed toward developing smaller, high-density, low energy, and more efficient parking structures that meet the expectations of designers, planners, developers and city planning departments.
10 benefits of shifting to sustainable parking with Automated Vehicle Storage and Retrieval Systems (AVSRS):
1. Land Use Efficiency
For the same amount of parking, AVSRS Parking Structures can be built smaller as the unoccupied storage areas are limited to mechanical equipment and vehicle dimensions, thereby eliminating the need for additional building mass and space normally presented by access ramps, drive aisles, height clearances, stairs and elevator lobbies.
Average sqft per parking space for AVSRS is 225 sqft compared to 350 sqft for conventional structures. Vehicles can be stored in multiple rows that share a common central transfer aisle, providing for an increased density in parking capacity.
3. Reduced Carbon Footprint
Up to 83% reduced carbon emissions have been reported in AVSRS since no running engines are circulating in the storage vault.
4. Water Efficiency
The reduced size of the facility also plays an important role in controlling excessive storm water run-off and minimizing the urban heat-island effect created by large impervious surfaces which is dramatically reduced in an AVSRS facility.
As less building materials are required to construct AVSRS facilities for an equal number of cars parked, fewer resources are utilized.
6. Localized drop-off/collection areas
User experience is optimized: Safety of patrons is monitored at localized drop-off/collection stations, which can be well-lit and equipped with limited cameras rather than extensive areas in conventional structures which can be intimidating.
7. Low Energy
Reduced HVAC requirements, reduced lighting (only required for maintenance)
8. Economic Benefit: Capital Depreciation
AVSRS Parking Structures consist of mechanical devices; there is an economic benefit in the form of capital depreciation. This is an annual tax deduction that allows recovery of costs over the expected useful life-cycle period of the equipment.
Redundancy in the form of dual performing equipment and/or backup power supply should be designed and integrated into the system to ensure constant functionality. Backup systems include gas-powered generators or battery-pack units, and are similarly adapted to the system as with backup-power for passenger elevator equipment.
Some systems make use of rechargeable batteries as alternative energy sources, which can be energy efficient and recyclable. Having the potential to link to alternative sources of energy, the AVSRS facility can function with alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, bio-mass and fuel cell along with green grid solutions.
Established in 1969, PARKPLUS designs, installs and maintains patented solutions for mechanical car stackers, automated robotic vehicle storage systems, and display units. PARKPLUS provides complete service across every project, employing professional full-time staff dedicated to design, manufacturing, installation and support. PARKPLUS has unparalleled experience in creating cutting-edge products and executing the most complex projects.
For more information on this article, contact:
DIRECTOR, M Arch (Prof), Associate AIA
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