Chiara Del Core 16 mar 2020 Articles 0 comments
For the design of the underground multi-storey car park, the conditions change from an aesthetic point of view, since in this case, the impact that the structure will have on the built environment will be reduced to the maximum. However, although the surface appearance is not to be considered as primary, since only accesses will be present at street level, at the end of the work it will be necessary to restore the initial state of the context or even better requalify it. In most cases, in fact, leisure areas are created where urban furniture and vegetation contribute to increasing the psycho-physical well-being of the citizen. Along the external perimeter of the parking area, it will be necessary to provide for the insertion of special natural ventilation systems, in order to ensure the healthiness of the rooms and safety. In fact, in case of fire spread, the flames and the smoke produced, would prove lethal if they were not immediately thwarted.

By inserting the ventilation devices, it will be possible to reduce the heat, promote the escape of toxic air and increase visibility to reach the escape routes. Furthermore, it is good to ensure the right measures against possible explosions caused by flammable substances generated by cars.
The second classification of the multi-storey car park concerns the type of vehicle movement that can be manual or automatic. In the first case, if the car has to be moved or picked up, the staff of the facility will take care of it, in the second case instead, these movements are carried out by mechanized systems.
Parking lots with these characteristics are classified into:

With variable dimensions, they host multiple cars, the management of which is the responsibility of the structure's employees. Sometimes more contained systems for private or semi-private use also fall into the category: guarded parking spaces belonging to residences, parking areas for hotels and gyms.

Complex and large structures where many cars are stored, managed by automatic systems capable of responding to various needs. In fact, following the deposit by the owner, the car will be moved and kept safely, through special computerized systems that will also take care of preparing the means for collection at the end of the service. The car parks are very advantageous within complex urban contexts, since they guarantee the maximization of reduced useful spaces with the offer of many parking spaces. These structures protect vehicles from vandalism and harmful maneuvers (since there is no possibility to access the parking lot except for the storage and collection of the car) and reduce the production of smog thanks to the management with the engine off. The stalls affecting this type of parking can be of the locked or interchangeable type. In the first case, the cars are moved through a motorized roller that can work horizontally or vertically and once positioned, they are no longer moved until they are picked up. The mobile stalls, on the other hand, provide for the translation of the vehicle which is moved to "make room" for the next one, subject to availability.

Archweb scheme - mechanized stall model (click on the image to access the drawings area)

Finally, a further distinction can be made according to the type of car that the multi-storey car park will accommodate:

Intended for all those categories of vehicles with higher dimensional and weight characteristics than
to normal cars. These include buses, trucks, trucks, trucks, car transporters, vans, articulated vehicles and vehicles intended for the transport of goods. One of the most important aspects for this type is security: the entire area must be monitored and inaccessible except by the staff and owners of the vehicles. From the dimensional point of view, the structure must be designed on very different needs than those intended for cars.
First of all, the height of the floor, designed to ensure the transit and parking of larger vehicles. In addition, in the entrance areas to the car park, the presence of suspended swinging panels is required, which provide an indication of the maximum height that the vehicles must have to be able to access the structure.

These structures are designed for the storage of cars and heavy vehicles for periods of variable and even prolonged time. In these car parks, safety and reliability in the safekeeping of vehicles are guaranteed, thanks to the presence of video surveillance systems active 24 hours a day.

Minimum dimensions and aspects to be observed

As for the construction of any other building typology, the design process relating to multi-storey car parks must take into consideration some fundamental aspects for obtaining a result that is satisfactory, primarily from a functional point of view. It should be considered that any typological choice is strictly bound to the building regulation and the legislation in force in the territory where the intervention is located. The value of the average area intended for the individual car park varies according to the functional area in which you are located and on average it corresponds to 10-12 m2 approx. As for multi-storey car parks, as the term indicates, they consist of several floors that must have a minimum height of 2.4 meters and higher, depending on the characteristics of the vehicles they are suitable for hosting. In the case of multi-storey car parks, the height can drop to 1.8 meters.

Archweb scheme - structural section of a multi-storey car park (click on the image to access the drawings area)

The height of the floors is increased at the car's fulcrums, at the end of the connecting ramps, since the lifting causes an inclination of the vehicle which could sometimes lead to direct contact between the vehicle roof and the roof slab of the parking lot. The structure can be composed of a single level or of several staggered or oblique levels, connected to each other by planes that have a dual function of ramp and lane. The ramps can have a straight or curved shape, they can have a single direction or a double direction of travel and can be located outside or inside the parking area.

The difference between the one-way and the two-way driving of the ramps consists in the distinction between the ascent and descent of the cars or in the co-presence of the two directions in a single lane. The latter choice presupposes the advantage of maximizing space (two functions in a single space) but entails the need to provide a larger area of ​​the entrance and exit areas, in order to avoid traffic jams and dangerous collisions between vehicles in circulation. As regards the minimum width that a ramp must have in order to be functional, the Ministerial Decree of February 1986, establishes the values ​​of 3 meters when the same is one-way and 4.5 meters when instead it provides the double direction. The slope of all types of ramp must not exceed 20 °. The driving lanes, on the other hand, must be at least 5.5 meters wide so as to ensure the free movement of the vehicles and facilitate the entry and exit maneuvers from the car stall. This last element, of fundamental importance, must be sized on the characteristics of a "typical" car, taken as a reference. By calculating the average length and width of a vehicle, increased by a margin of variability depending on the type of vehicle, the regulation deliberates the standard measures of a stall equal to 2.5x5 meters. However, in the case of public multi-storey car parks, accessible to customers, it is mandatory to insert a parking space for the disabled, every 50 standard spaces. This stall will have a greater width and will be flanked by two lateral spaces suited to accommodate the wheelchair.
From the point of view of the efficiency of the individual parking spaces, the arrangement at 90 ° with respect to the lanes is optimal, at the expense of the 45 ° arrangement. Taking these aspects into consideration, the load-bearing structure of the multi-storey car park must necessarily allow maneuvers and ensure the minimum distances between lanes and parking spaces, in order to guarantee their practical use in the full absence of obstacles.

The spaces used for passage or waiting must also be designed to ensure free use and total accessibility: this is the case with pedestrian walkways and stairwells and elevators. The former must guarantee adequate safety from the point of view of the dimensions and materials used on the surface, as well as the total absence of architectural barriers. The study of stairwells must take into consideration the optimal measures of risers, treads and landings, and provide for parapets, handrails and signs for the visually impaired. The spaces in front of the lift must be free of obstacles and well lit, while the cabin must also allow use for disabled people who move in a wheelchair. The push-button panels and the writings must provide for the translation into Braille to allow its correct use also for the disabled.
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