Design geometry and layout

Typical split level car park

Cul-de-sac parking (Parking limited to 6 bins)

Figure 4.9

Cul-de-sac arrangement with larger end bays

The principles of each of these layouts are reviewed in the sub-sections below. Flat deck layout A flat deck layout is shown in Figure 4.10. Each deck is flat. The decks are linked by ramps, the illustration showing external curved ramps. Straight ramps may be used, in which case they are usually internal. Flat deck car parks are normally built in multiples of a bin width, but the layout is adaptable. In Figure 4.6, the ramp circulation is anticlockwise to suit the entrance and exit arrangements. In the UK, a clockwise circulation is preferred, that is with the driver on the inside of the turn. This is not regarded as essential. Split-level layout Split-level layouts are shown in Figures 4.11, 4.12 and 4.13. The illustrations operate with drivers entering by the up ramp system and leaving by the down ramp. In an underground car park, the same principles apply but the ramps reverse. The parking levels are flat decks or levels. The rise between levels is half the floor-tofloor height. Since the rise between levels is usually 1.50m or less, the ramps may be at 1: 6. This class of car park is commonly built with up to 12 levels, inclusive of the ground levels. It is usual for aisles to be one-way since they are part of the ramp circulation, which is one-way. The usual widths of the levels are a bin or multiples of a bin but may be adapted to a site. In Figure 4.11, the up-and-down ramps are at the ends of the structure. The scissor arrangement of the up-and-down ramps has a low dynamic capacity because sight distances are short where traffic streams merge. As shown in Figure 4.11, the departure route is long. In Figure 4.12, the up-and-down ramp systems have been separated. The down-ramp system is short, and the up- (or entry-) ramp system, in principle, includes the remaining bays.

Dow n


• Good turnover capacity • Rapid entry/exit
Figure 4.10 Flat deck car park with external ramps




Do Up wn

• Low turnover capacity but full search path • High degree of conflicts
Figure 4.11 Split-level car park with combined entry and exit circulation and with end ramps 36

The Institution of Structural Engineers Design recommendations for multi-storey and underground car parks – fourth edition

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