By Heather Bender
From the increasing density of urban areas to the growing popularity of mixed-use construction, major societal changes across the country impact the way people live, work, and play. They also impact a lesser considered (but no less relevant) aspect of daily life in terms of urban planning: the way people park.
As population density rises, cities continue to reach skyward and the price per square foot of leasable space increases accordingly. At the same time, car ownership rates remain stable, even in increasingly urban areas with highly accessible public transit options, and despite the proliferation of ride-hailing services. This confluence of trends creates architectural challenges for cities struggling to cope with a growing concentration of automobiles.
This means, architects and designers (A&D) have to create affordable solutions that provide residential high-rises, office towers, and the like with reliable parking options that are safe and secure in tighter spaces.
One way the A&D community is adapting parking facility design to fit into this new landscape while also keeping costs down, is by creating facilities that are more compact and condensed, reducing headroom and shrinking space between floors. However, as the space between parking garage floors shrinks, how can architects create ingress and egress points with enough headroom for wheelchair accessible and emergency vehicles without compromising esthetics or security?
The answer has not always been easy as traditional rolling grilles simply take up too much headroom. Fortunately, the A&D industry has an ally in manufacturers who have developed new advanced high-performance compact rolling grilles.
Not only do these innovative products combine the reliability and high-speed operation of other performance-driven door products, but also do it in a more compact design with an esthetic that blends in with emerging architecture and façade design trends seen in metropolitan areas throughout the country.