Has this happened to you?
You’re enjoying the view of a new
development: striking new buildings surrounded by lush landscaping. Or, you’re soaking
in some centuries-old classic architecture on a tree-lined boulevard. Then,
your eye is drawn uncontrollably to something else…a squared-off, gray
structure right in the center of your vista...a parking garage. Ugh!
You might wonder why they don’t do
something to cover up or disguise these relatively unsightly structures. Why
not make them blend in with a some type of facade? It seems like a simple
question with a simple answer. The question is simple; however, the answer is
Car exhaust is not good for people, so
parking garages must be capable removing bad air while bringing in fresh air. For
this reason, above grade multi-story parking garages typically have an open design
- to allow for the natural exchange of air. Parking garages that qualify as
“open-air” or non-enclosed structures can often not avoid the need to install expensive
forced (mechanical) ventilation systems.
Since parking garages are considered
“occupied space”, similar to office buildings, many building codes require that
all of the air inside enclosed parking garages be changed at least every 5 or 6
minutes. In something as large as a parking garage, that’s a lot of air and
large cost for hardware. Operating and maintaining a large forced ventilation
system is, of course, also a significant ongoing expense.
Even if a facade does permit natural ventilation
to some extent, extensive analysis and modeling may be required to satisfy
local regulations. Then, there is also the possibility that a facade
necessitates a more extensive fire protection system. But, that’s not the end
of the challenge.
If the point of a facade is to limit
visibility of the parking garage, it also limits visibility into the garage.
This is contrary to the best practices for parking garage security. Limiting
the view of passing motorists and pedestrians inside the parking garage creates
an environment more conducive to crime.
If you want car parking and architectural
aesthetics, an automated car parking system may be the best and lowest cost
Contact Skyline Parking to find out all the
ways you can achieve car parking, pleasant views and higher profits in a
sustainable fashion - all at the same time.