Conventional parking lots have hardly changed in the last 50 years. Does this mean that they‘ve reached perfection? Can something be perfect if its space efficiency (the space used per car) is only at 20%. A car usually has a cubic volume of less than 20 cubic meters. However, in a parking garage more than 100 cubic meters per car are being needed.
Conventional parking garages need for every two rows of parking spaces one manoeuvring corridor between them. This is different for Automatic Parking Systems APS, where the cars can be placed in tandem, so for example such a double-deep arrangement only uses a fifth instead of a third of the space required for the transport corridor, with the result that 21% additional space is available to park cars.
Furthermore, there will be large savings in the vertical dimensions. The vertical distance from deck to deck in an APS is less than 2 meters, while those in conventional parking garages are 3 meters and more. In combination with the smaller lateral distance and the different sizes of parking bays in an APS, a 3 to 4 time’s higher density is possible.
In a parking garage sometimes 10 tons of steel and concrete are used per parking place. This represents a ratio of 1:5 comparing the weight of a car to the weight of the building material. In APS in average 2 tons of steel and concrete is needed per car. In addition, an APS usually does not need much lighting, no emergency exits, ventilation, stairs or passenger lifts. Perfection is not when you cannot add anything anymore, but when you cannot omit anything anymore. This is the principle we follow in the development of our APS.
Project in Sharjah, by Konstantin Karagiannis
A conventional car park needs a plot of at least 35 x 35 meters, thus around 1000 square meters. Smaller plots of land or gaps between buildings cannot be utilised. Car parks therefore have to be built on valuable large plots of land that otherwise could be used for residential and commercial developments. An APS can be erected on almost any area which measures at least 20 square meters or more. They can be built as slender towers onto existing buildings or as attractively integrated structures complementing a modern urban environment.
The most important requirement for an automated parking system is its performance or throughput; in other words the maximum number of cars that can enter or leave the APS within one hour. It is therefore important to know the highest daily expected traffic peaks in the busiest 15 Minutes of the day. Conventional parking garages can handle a throughput of around 200 cars per gate. Skyline Automatic Parking Systems handle approx. 60 to 100 cars per conveyor belt. In larger installations with 10 to 20 conveyors the same results as in a similar conventional parking garage can be achieved hence a throughput of 1000 or more cars per hour. Automated Parking Systems are therefore well suited for high capacity installations, and specifically also for airports where the average parking time is high, the traffic flow is distributed over long periods of time and the peak is rather low in relation to the capacity.