Expandable and demountable
Like a meccano our structures are open to any time modification throughout their life span. Modifications can be slight (removal of one or two modules to give way to a new pedestrian route for example) or extreme (dismantling or displacement of the whole car park).
Temporary car park
There are advantages in the possibility of labelling a structure temporary and demountable. We have often come across projects that encounter the hostility of those living in the immediate vicinity of the project area. Somewhere else the planning authority has a different view about the long-term use of the area where the construction of the car park is proposed. It also happens that the central government endorses projects promoting public transport to the detriment of private transport. In similar situations the possibility of labeling a structure temporary and demountable offers the ground to a compromise solution to the decision makers, that can't remain indifferent in the face of ever mounting pressure for more parking space at a hospital site.
It might be the owner himself to be looking for a car park in the short medium term, and for something else in the long term. He might have an option to buy a new plot of adjacent land in five years’ time but needs in the meanwhile to cater for additional demand of parking capacity to maintain his business growing. The cost to relocate a parking structure to a nearby area is small, roughly 25% of the initial cost. Generally, this extra cost is amply repaid by either the revenue yielded by the additional spaces provided in the short term or by the so permitted growth of the main business (even for a relocation taking place after just 5 years from first installation).
While horizontal expandability can be pursued, insofar there is extra land available, vertical expandability also poses no problems but has to be programmed in advance of the erection of the single deck. In this case, in fact, pad foundations will have to be provided beneath the pillars, to cater for the future second deck. Open structure in this sense also means scalability of the investment, beginning from small and ending up large by progressive addition of new tranches of structure (parking capacity) when and if they will be required.
Demountability is made possible by two design principles: bolted steel structure, floors made up by individual elements that can be transported (maximum width 2,50 m). A demounted car park can be re-assembled in a completely different location. This has be done several times in the past:
- Roma Fiumicino to Milan Linate
- JKP Parking Servis in Belgrade, different locations
- Airport Catania Fontanarossa, partial dismantling
- Portsmouth St Mary's to Southampton Hospital
- Charleroi City to Belgian Railways Depot
- Orio al Serio Airport, from one location to another
- Aosta, partial dismantling to give way to rearrangement to roads layout