Thinking out of the dashboard and tackling a parking problem

A stack parking facility at 13th Main Road in Anna Nagar  

Visitors to Livia Spaces, a 12-flat residential complex at busy Luz Church Road, do not go to the trouble of finding parking space outside the building. The vehicles are treated as “guests” and invited into the complex.

This magnanimity is made possible by a mechanical system that enables cars to be stacked in the basement. It allows every family to park an additional three to four cars. There is a dedicated parking area for visitors with a capacity to take in 10 to 12 cars.

So, even if a family has a group of guests, none of these visiting cars have to stay on the road.

“Once we had 24 guests for a get-together and all the guests’ cars could be accommodated inside as we coordinated with other residents and found parking slots for them,” says Rajeev Mecheri, a resident of Livia Spaces.

Finding parking space is going to get only more challenging in the future. Thinking out-of-the-dashboard with parking solutions is the only way out for roads congested with unauthorised parking.

Rajeev says there are only two options: “Stop buying more cars or move to buildings that have a facility to accommodate more cars.”

Thinking along the same lines, the Gorantla brothers residing at 13th Main Road in Anna Nagar have invested in a stack parking arrangement at their two-storey building.

“We had a facility to park six cars but we wanted additional space and at the same time we were clear we did not want to occupy the road, so we got this facility built,” says Rajasekar Gorantla.

At Livia Spaces, this feature was incorporated at the development stage.

Multi-tier parking facilities may not be common yet among residential spaces, but they are expected to emerge as an attractive business opportunity for many engineering and urban infrastructure companies. Many developers are said to be exploring such an arrangement in their upcoming projects.

A CMDA official points out that the department encourages it as it addresses the issue of on-street parking.

“Besides new projects with such features, we have come across existing buildings that have incorporated it,” says the official.

“Today most customers want additional car parking area and unless you offer such a facility that can accommodate multiple cars it is difficult to sell a project,” says S. Sridharan, chairman, CREDAI – Tamil Nadu.

In Chennai, he says, there are two types of parking systems that residential segments are adopting – multi-level parking at the upper level (above the stilt) and mechanical parking, also known as stacker parking, usually at the basement.

There are at least four engineering and urban infrastructure companies that are involved in the design and marketing of such parking facilities in Chennai.

“The dimensions of the driveway, stall size and foundation where the facility needs to be built are factors we consider before taking up a project,” says Micky John, engineer with Wohr Parking Systems, which has done four residential projects in Chennai.

Experts point out that maintenance is an additional factor one must take note of.

“Besides power consumption which is a small element, an annual maintenance contract is cost that the residents’ association needs to bear in mind,” says Rajeev.

As most of these facilities are kept in the basement, water logging, if not managed properly, can be an issue.

Getting permission

Multiple stakeholders are involved in its implementation. The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services has to sanction an NOC for the apartment, certifying it for electrical and mechanical compliance.

“CMDA gives the planning permission after getting the NOC and also looks into the completion certificate after the work. The local body takes care of the licensing,” says a planning engineer with CMDA.

Can multi-tier parking be implemented for an apartment of eight to 10 years? Here is the answer from an official: “You cannot go by the book for this system, but a few factors that would determine permission include stability of the building, fire safety measures that are in place and the height of the basement.”

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 11:38:14 AM |

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