Precast in Parking Structures

May 6, 2021

Parking is the first and last action required for patrons of public spaces, and the quality of this experience can be essential to guest satisfaction. Surface parking is oftentimes out of the way or at capacity when you need it the most, which garners a greater demand for multi-level parking. The main goal for developers and architects in parking structure projects is to design spaces that fit into the surrounding area while providing parking capacity that meets the needs of the community.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to building parking garages and complexes. Safety, traffic flow, design, and durability mark the beginning of key, determining factors for projects of this nature. Precast, prestressed concrete delivers a variety of benefits that ticks off requirements for parking structures in versatility, efficiency, and job site safety and durability.

We’ll explore why more and more architects and construction teams are turning to precast concrete for parking structures in place of conventional building systems, so you can determine if it’s right for your next project. To learn more about precast concrete in parking garages and complexes, watch the video below.


Aesthetic & Structural Versatility

Parking structures are designed in context of location. Multi-level garages and complexes typically have to blend in with surrounding areas, expanding upon and complementing existing architectural messages. Precast offers an array of aesthetic options and finishes, so the completed structure can range from contemporary and modern to historic and traditional.

Precast concrete allows you to skin the building in one material without a secondary structural backup, saving time and money. It is also the optimal choice for elaborate designs, because it supports panel repetition and long-spanning spaces.

There are many determining factors when it comes to designing a parking structure that meets functionality goals, as well. These include security, traffic flow, and location of stairs, elevators, and ramps. Precast supports more open air without sacrificing high-performance objectives, which provides drivers with greater visibility and maximizes ventilation and natural lighting.

Efficiency

Precast producers and design teams coordinate parking structure delivery in order to avoid typical construction issues associated with cast-in-place construction. The precast panels arrive at the job site ready for installation and do not require protection from inclement weather or extreme temperatures. This accelerates delivery, enables year-round construction, and minimizes disruption to neighboring businesses and residents.

Since precast concrete components are fabricated in plant-controlled conditions, every pour is the same. Producers are able to perfect the concrete mixture and curing conditions, guaranteeing quality and consistency. Precast parking structures offer a number of advantages on site, including an accelerated project timeline and reduced waste, costs, and labor.

Job Site Safety & Durability

Load-bearing precast walls can replace CMU for fire separation wall requirements, reducing construction joints and saving time and money. Architectural precast walls with cast-in thin brick replace field laid brick, which creates a cleaner and safer construction site and reduces the number of laborers needed.

Precast offers unmatched durability. Precast, prestressed concrete is a high-performance building material that resists high-compressive stress and cracking. Precast connections are protected and hidden, reducing corrosion for added durability, reduced maintenance costs, and greater longevity.

Learn More About Precast, Prestressed Concrete

Review the benefits of precast, prestressed concrete in the video above and share it with your industry peers and clients to spread awareness of this innovative material.

Interested in learning more about precast and how the precasters of the PCI Mid-Atlantic Chapter support projects of all kinds? Explore the PCI Mid-Atlantic Solutions Center for helpful resources and get in touch with PCI-MA for precast information, higher education partnerships, and more.

Sources

  1. Miller, Brian. Innovative Parking Structure, Design Puts Cars “On Display”, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, January 2011.
  2. Precast Prestressed Concrete Parking Structures: Recommended Practice for Design and Construction, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, 2015.

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