6 Reasons Why It Is Costly to Build Parking Space

Typical parking lot above ground

Spending capital on parking is one of the most financially challenging decisions a person can face. The average spending on parking is higher than what is spent on the office or home. There are several factors that affect the final costs of building a parking space, below are 6 of them.

1) Geography

The location of the project has an obvious influence on the construction cost. Some of the regional factors include the cost of labor, availability of materials, the distance from city center, seismic activity, and soil conditions.

2) Number of Parking Levels

Parking structures that are smaller and shorter will ultimately have less cost per parking space than taller structures.

The general rule of thumb is that the cost of parking on the first level is higher than on the second floor. This is because the taller a building becomes, the heavier it gets, requiring more complex solutions to the foundation. Taller structures have inefficient parking layouts, and they have more space that is being underutilized.

3) Parking Below Grade

It is more costly to park below grade than above the grade. In general, above-grade parking structures cost $50 per square foot. If this structure was created one level under the ground, the cost increases by about 15% and ranges somewhere between $15 to $20 per square foot, depending on the area. The more levels there are underground, the higher is the cost. Which means that the new parking cost for parking five levels underneath comes down to around $72 per square foot.

4) Structural System

An overwhelming proportion of the cost of parking goes into the structural system. This cost can be minimized by careful selection of the framing system which plays an important role in the cost of parking space. The two common types of layouts for parking structure are short-span and long-span.

In short span layouts, a column is situated every three parking spaces to provide support to the floor slab. In contrast, long span places column spacing at a distance of 60 feet, proving support by beams instead. Short span systems cost less but come with less efficiency while longer span systems are more costly per square foot but more efficient.

5) Foundation

The foundation system plays an important role in the cost of the parking structure. Construction in areas with poor soil conditions requires deeper and more expansive foundation systems, which ultimately costs more. The difference is noticeable enough to cause reason for concern. For instance, the price per square foot increases from $50 to $55 when moving from shallow to deep foundation systems.

6) Architectural Aesthetics

Adding architectural elements to make the parking structure appear more beautiful can drive up construction costs by about 15%. Going for an architectural look is aesthetically pleasing, but it requires efficient structural systems otherwise the price bracket for the cost of parking space increases even more.
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