The humble parking lot is often neglected in discussions about design, engineering and construction. However, this structure plays a crucial role in any building project. If you run a business, the car park of your building is likely to be the first impression that a client or customer receives on entering. A poorly designed or badly constructed car park can do more than give clients a negative perception of your business – it can also be unsafe, and financially unwise once maintenance and repairs come into play. Consider these factors before embarking on any parking car park construction project.
The Foundation Is Key
The long-term strength and durability of your car park will depend substantially on the quality of the soil and foundation on which the structure is built. This is where deep impact compaction, led by specialists like Entracon, will be crucial. Good compaction will lay a sound foundation for the car park, and high-quality building materials will provide a crucial base layer for the structure. Without the right base, the structure of your pavement will not withstand the test of time.
Before embarking on the compaction and foundation of the building, it’s important to assess the soil at the site of the potential car park. A geotechnical specialist will be able to analyse the quality of the soil, as well as providing expert advice concerning the grading of the site, the compaction needed, and how thick the materials should be for the foundation of the building.
Consider Your Materials
One of the most important considerations you’ll face when planning a car park construction project are the materials that will be used. Firstly, we’d recommend heeding the guidance that the engineer who’s worked on the design of the car park will inevitably provide, as they’re generally the first port of call for making important design decisions.
Many construction contractors choose to go with loose gravel when building a car park thanks to the low cost of the material, as well as the ease with which cars can drive through the gravel. Loose gravel is useful for covering pavement that has imperfections in its features and is certainly cost-effective, but it also has its downsides in the long-term. Because the gravel is so loose, frequent driving through the gravel in a busy car park can cause dust, a messy appearance, and displacement of the material.
For those with a slightly larger budget, asphalt is a popular choice, although it is usually better suited to a small car park than larger structures due to its susceptibility to cracking and potholes. Concrete is also a good option, as its more durable than the alternatives and requires very little maintenance. The materials you opt for will, of course, depend on the building in question, as well as the budget available for the project.
Consider Drainage Solutions
A particular problems that car parks face is rainfall and water damage. Because many car parks have open air spaces in their design, there is a possibility that water will enter the pavement and damage the paving materials and soil beneath the building or even your home. When overseeing the design of the car park, make sure that sloping surfaces and drainage features are incorporated to prevent water damage from occurring.