By: Ian Todd, Director of Automated Parking Systems, Westfalia Technologies, Inc.
According to the Wall Street Journal, global automotive sales reached a record-breaking 90 million in 2017, a 2.7 percent growth since 2016. The increase in sales numbers are being driven by several factors, including rising populations, lower unemployment numbers and a wider array of car options that suit every budget.
Although this increase is significantly benefiting the automotive industry, it is causing a dilemma for building developers: even with the advent of autonomous vehicles and recent parking zoning changes. With more cars on the road, developers now need to provide ample parking to accommodate them on top of tight budget constraints and already limited building footprints, particularly in congested cities. Firms who are struggling with parking in their developments might want to begin to consider a smarter, more innovative solution – automation. Automated parking garages offer developers several benefits over traditional garages, including improved space utilization, reduced costs, lessened environmental impact and a luxurious user experience.
Save Space and Money
An automated parking garage is especially beneficial for projects with a limited construction area since they generally require 60 percent less building volume and 40 percent less area than traditional garages. This advantage allows companies to increase the projects ROI by using the extra real estate for more profitable purposes, like retail stores or additional apartments.
Lower Operational, Construction and Finishing Costs
Palletless automated garages allow developers to save on construction costs through reduced excavation, reduced construction time and lower land costs. A large potential operation saving is in valets or operator salaries, insurance, HR, hiring and benefits costs since they are typically not required in an automated garage. Lower ventilation costs are achievable due to the reduced requirement of only two air changes per hour for automated parking systems.
Decrease Environmental Impact
With an automated parking garage, cars are turned off before they enter the system so the engines aren’t running while the car is being stored and retrieved, reducing the amount of pollutants by 60 to 80 percent.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Users of automated garages always park and retrieve their cars in well-lit, comfortable transfer areas. Since these are the only areas that users interact with an automated garage, it is relatively inexpensive for developers to create a luxurious experience for users.