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    Kommersant, 29 May 2019
    Infrastructure: car parks move to a new level

    For developers, parking lots are more of an additional cost item, rather than an opportunity to earn money. They strive to sell them at least at cost, and even this is difficult.

    Olga Lyubartseva

    Automobilization of the population is ahead of the construction of infrastructure. As a result, there is an acute shortage of parking spaces in the city. The solution to the problem could be the construction of multi-storey car parks, but such projects have not yet received wide spread. Olga Lyubartseva, Chief Specialist of Design department of Metropolis, gave a comment to Kommersant about the design and placement of parking lots in metropolises.

    Complex environment

    One of the most difficult factors in the construction of underground structures is the tightness of the construction site, the presence of historical buildings, architectural monuments. So, during the construction of a three to four level underground parking, it becomes necessary to construct a foundation pit 15–20 m deep, while it is necessary if not to exclude then to minimize the impact on the foundations of buildings of the surrounding buildings due to the installation of massive structures that hold the movement of the walls of the pit. It is also necessary to take into account the underground infrastructure of the city: tunnels and lobbies of the subway, engineering communications, the impact on which must also be practically eliminated. The cost of such construction, taking into account the monitoring of the condition of buildings, and perhaps the strengthening of their structures, may turn out to be so high that it is better to completely abandon the idea of these works.

    During the construction of underground structures, it is inevitable to solve the issue of diverting water from the pit, and during the design and operation, it is also necessary to protect structures from the effects of water and their penetration into the parking spaces. In the presence of a huge range of insulating materials, the weak point is the process of their installation. At the same time, the requirements for the quality of work remain very high: the humidity regime must be observed in the parking lot, not to mention the fact that water does not seep along the walls.

    You can also face the problem of crossing traffic flows. Simply put, the process of cars entering the underground parking can block the movement of cars on the main highway. This is especially true for office buildings, where the arrival and departure of employees occurs simultaneously in the morning and evening.

    Due to the factors listed above, the cost of a parking space (rent or purchase) today remains high for most urban residents. If it is unprofitable to build parking lots in residential areas, then in the center there is simply no place to do that. In the city center, the problem of parking can be solved by developing underground space. However, it should be understood that with each meter of deepening of an underground structure, all technical and economic indicators of the object increase: the consumption of materials and energy resources, construction costs. In this regard, the most important issue in the design of underground parking is the choice of the minimum possible floor height while ensuring the required passage height even for large vehicles, taking into account the laying of utilities and the height of the supporting structures of the floors.

    When designing modern residential and public buildings, car parking areas are provided based on the number of visitors or residents.

    Thus, when designing the Vodny multifunctional complex in Moscow, which includes a 28-storey office center, a shopping center with hypermarket and cinema premises, when assessing the number of parking spaces required, the architects of the project decided to arrange parking areas not only in the underground part, under the premises of the shopping complex, but also in the form of a separate building of a multi-level parking lot. To place all these areas underground was simply impractical.

    Read the full material on Kommersant website.