Manufacturer and distributor of free-standing parking structures Modular Parking Solutions (MPS) has introduced a freestanding parking deck in South Africa that can double the capacity of an existing or new surface area.
This comes at a time when South Africa needs additional parking space at lower cost and erected in a short space of time, says MPS MD Peter Tullener.
Prefabricated elements are installed on any surface without the traditionally excavated foundations. The finished structure can be demounted and reassembled on another site in the desired configuration. “The system is designed and manufac- tured to ensure complete lock-down inte- grity of the system,” adds Tullener.
Further, installation of the MPS system can be phased to retain spaces for an ongoing parking operation and its revenue stream. It is an efficient solution to increase capacity, for both the surface and multi- storey car parks.
Tullener explains that the MPS system doubles up parking without increasing the original footprint; is less expensive than buying additional land; is cost-effective in contrast to conventional concrete structures; saves time; has no foundations; and can embody perimeter cladding that can be used for advertising space.
In terms of saving time, the MPS deck can be operational within 14 weeks, where one-hundred parking bays can be installed in a month. It does not require excavation, piling or erecting and striking of any concrete shuttering. The entire structure is delivered to site in 20-ft containers ready for the erecting crews. “The steel structure makes this system a more cost-effective option owing to the cost of the materials and labour required for the off-site manufacturing and on-site erection,” he notes.
The structure is mounted on steel bear- ing plates that are placed on the existing surface.This removes the requirement for the excavation for footings and foun- dations. The existing substrate is suitable for the new bearing plates for the structure to be placed directly onto the existing parking facility wearing layer.
Tullener says that the perimeter of the structure can be clad with precast deco- rative panels to enhance its appearance. If advertising is placed on the cladding, it can be used for the recouping of the initial capital cost of the project.
Further, the MPS system has all-weather ramps with single, two-way or individual entry and exit points; double-wave crash barriers; bright underfloor, upper deck and emergency lighting; lightning protection; a dedicated internal drainage system, which is ducted to existing drains; an emergency staircase; optional pedestrian strips; waterproof screeds; traffic markings; and flexible layouts and designs.
The basic elements of the system are square modules and can be installed in undefined ways to obtain different forms. The spheri- cal joint and the eight pillars ensure perfect verticality and resistance in case of soil subsidence, also allowing for unevenness in the ground below.
The height of the deck can be between 2,5 m and 4,1 m. The car access and exit points, to and from the first floor, are facilitated by ramps, that are variable in length and width.
All steel elements of the MPS system are treated with hot zinc galvanisation by immersion, giving the steel a double pro- tection, both physical and electrolytic. The deck is composed of concrete slabs and profiled steel sheeting. The thickness of the concrete deck is 150 mm. This includes an ultraviolet stable polyurethane, a nonslip wearing layer and traffic demarcators.
Tullener explains that the MPS system is an Italian-patented system, known as Fast Park in Europe, and has been used in a diverse range of applications on the continent.
“It has been installed in European railway stations and has been of particular benefit to all transport interchanges, where it has provided a temporary or intermediate parking solution. It is appropriate for highly frequented and congested parking areas, because the instal- lation can be phased to ensure an increased use of existing parking operations and revenue protection, while also reducing disruption during installation,” he notes.
The MPS system has also been installed in Rome’s Fumicino Airport, following an urgent need to enhance car parking capacity in anticipation of a world event. One phase of the original installation has since been relocated to Milan’s Linate Airport.
In congested city centres, Tullener says, the MPS system is an ideal solution between surface and multistorey car parks. As the structure is 100% demountable and reusable, planners can be assured that if given temporary permission, it can be easily removed to make way for development.
MPS systems have proved useful in hospi- tals. The installation is a compartmental progression across a carpark using only a pick-up, a small forklift truck and hand tools. Installation is, therefore, without the disruption normally associated with traditional building.
An MPS system has yet to be sold in South Africa, but Tullener’s vigorous marketing drive is making impressions in the hospital industry, he says. Owing to the influx of tourists for the 2010 soccer World Cup, this system could be of interest to transport and logistics officials.
Tullener concludes that the company offers financing options, which provide significant tax benefits.