Structural configuration Print

Design Outcome

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Design Checklist

  • ​​The configuration of parking facilities makes efficient use of the site and minimises impacts on its
     surrounding area​


​Parking facilities for a mixed use development can be ​configured in a number of different ways. 

While basic rectangular modules are efficient and simple, site constraints and parking demands may mean more complex alternatives need to be devised.

This section looks at possible configurations of parking facilities within a development and a summary of the associated factors that will support or exclude their application in a project. 

Well-configured parking facilities will realise the ‘best-fit’ typology to suit the project and should allow for best economy of building materials and space efficiency to save on development costs.​


Better Design Practice

Ramp and deck

A simple and intuitive parking structure is comprised of individual parking levels interconnected by a single two-way ramp.

If the site is of appropriate proportions, the ramp can be a simple ‘side-appendage’ to the main parking structure, making for a simple construction methodology.​

Split-level parking​​

Split-level parking can offer a space-efficient solution to parking structures as they require only half the vertical ramping distance of a full level-to-level structure.

Short ramps at opposite ends of aisles will fit within the depth of two rows of parking spaces.

Circular ramps​
  • Circular ramps can be a dynamic solution to connect separate parking levels that return vehicles to the same location on each level which can aid navigation (as opposed to a long linear ramp). 
  • Circular ramps are suited to large capacity parking buildings. This is because there is a capacity threshold (e.g. over 300 spaces) at which separating circulation from parking spaces becomes necessary to avoid congestion between vehicles manoeuvring in and out of spaces, and vehicles moving towards an exit or between levels.
  • A traffic consultant will be able to provide advice on detailed design and traffic flows at these volumes.
  • Circular ramps require a large footprint in order to facilitate the turning circle diameter of the vehicles that will be using it – i.e. if service vehicles are required to use the ramp, its diameter will be larger than if it is for private cars only.
  • Two-way circular ramps require a larger footprint again in order to accommodate vehicles passing on a curve.
  • Consideration should be given in the design as to whether two individual one-way circular ramps are more space efficient and cost effective than a single two-way circular ramp.​

Ramped floors​​
  • An alternative to the standard typology of multi-storey parking levels joined by ramps would be a parking building or parking levels of a building being constructed as multiple 'ramps,' with cars parked on sloping levels that link upwards.
  • This typology allows for efficient parking layouts, however it requires careful consideration on the part of architects, engineers and other consultants in the planning of the structure (beams and cross bracing etc.) and services (hydraulic and ventilation stacks etc.).
  • Hybrid ramped parking structures are also achievable where the bulk of parking is on typical level floors, but the ramped element is made large enough to accommodate parking spaces also.
  • Parking on slopes is not suitable for all parking user's requirements, for instance disabled parking spaces, so consideration must be made to accommodate this parking on flat areas.

Integrated architecture
  • Carefully designed multi-storeyed developments can incorporate parking levels within the bulk of mixed use buildings.
  • Parking buildings can also be designed to provide articulated and interesting building frontages / street interfaces.
  • Screens, ramps and circulation cores can be employed as devices that disrupt or articulate the large and potentially unbroken facade of a parking building, restoring a sense of ‘human scale’
  • Parking levels within a mixed use building can create ‘podiums’ or base levels, and by sleeving parking with active uses (such as retail) a vibrant street elevation can be retained. 
  • Parking levels can be integrated into the core of a building complex so that they become invisible. The space on top of the parking levels can be used as courtyard, landscaped area, play scape or more parking, or all of these.​

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