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Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Sustainable parking

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How often do you look for a parking spot on any given day?

How long have you circled a block waiting for a spot to open up?

How much time have you wasted circling an indoor parking lot to find you cannot fit into a spot that opens up?

Do you use valet parking so someone else can deal with the parking hassle? Do you trust the person driving the car not to damage it?

If you must drive a car because it is more convenient than public transit, would you be interested in using parking that can reduce the amount of gasoline burned and reduce emissions? 

Both below- and above-ground parking structures can accommodate more cars within the same perimeter of a flat outdoor lot by building up or digging down.

All three parking options allow cars to park side by side and require sufficient space for car doors to open without causing damage to neighbouring cars. Each requires lighting to ensure the safety of the users.

 In an indoor underground structure, lights have to be on all the time, and ventilation must operate continuously to make the air breathable for parking patrons. Depending on the height or depth of the structure, both lit stairwells and elevators would draw electricity.

Through its North American subsidiary, an innovative Israeli company, Unitronics, is solving many of these parking-facility problems by applying principles used in physical warehouse logistics management to the automation of the parking process.

By automating the parking system, two to three times the number of parking spaces can be accommodated within the same volume (footprint and height or depth) as a conventional self-park, ramp-access garages.

Due to the precision of the computer-controlled automated vehicle-conveyor system, automated parking systems can use narrower spaces than self-park garages do. By storing the cars door-to-door and bumper-to-bumper and keeping a minimal clearance between them, occupancy density can be increased.

Since there will no longer be pedestrians in the parking garage, height requirements above the car can be reduced by 30 to 50 per cent, leading to another opportunity to increase parking density.

Without car owners in the garage and with cars being stored with their engines stopped, the need for ventilation is minimized and the need for air-conditioning is eliminated, thus saving in utility costs. Lighting would be required only for emergency or maintenance purposes and supporting personnel. The need for stairs and elevators is also eliminated as a result of this automation.

So what are you left with, a sustainable parking solution through reduced car emissions, reduced fuel consumption and lower power consumption. The construction of this type of parking facility would also require fewer materials to be used than a standard parking garage or underground facility.

Insurance costs dealing with collision and damage risk can be reduced as the risk of the owner or designated valet damaging the car is no longer incurred with automated machinery doing the work. Also, the storage area is secure, as it is not accessed by the public.

Happy Chanukah shopping!

Winegust@gmail.com

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