April 2017

Parking spaces

Apple’s new campus will have more parking spaces than offices

When this opens later this monthApple’s new Norman Foster-designed headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., will be more than just a spaceship-like orb nestled in 175 acres of trees. It will have enough space to park 11,000 cars, an area far larger than the square footage of the current building.

Apple’s parking infrastructure serves as the opening anecdote of “Parkingeddon“, a survey of The Economist examining why humans devote so much land to storing stationary vehicles:

For 14,000 workers, Apple builds nearly 11,000 parking spaces. Many cars will be hidden under the main building, but most will pile up in two huge garages to the south. Total up all the parking spaces and the lanes and ramps that will allow cars to access them, and it’s clear that Apple is allocating a huge area for stationary vehicles. In total, the new headquarters will include 318,000 square meters of offices and laboratories. The car parks will occupy 325,000 square meters.

That’s nearly 3.5 million square feet, or about 80 acres dedicated to parking.

Did I mention the building was named apple park?

But before blaming the tech giant for paving heaven, like The Economist quickly points out, it’s not really Apple’s fault:

Apple is building 11,000 parking spaces not because it wants to but because Cupertino, the suburban city where the new headquarters is located, demands it. Cupertino has a requirement for every building. A developer who wants to build a building, for example, must provide two parking spaces per apartment, one of which must be covered.

Ah of course. Even the most cutting-edge new structures are subject to retrograde parking requirements, often the most outdated and outdated aspect of local zoning laws. An estimated 25,000 square miles of land nationwide is dedicated to parking our vehicles, an area roughly the size of West Virginia.

But Cupertino’s arcane parking minimums don’t just take up valuable space in the city (and at great cost to its biggest taxpayer, I might add). By prioritizing parking minimums, accommodating all these cars at Apple’s new headquarters will only exacerbate the region’s horrible traffic jam. In addition, even though the building will run on renewable energy, the emissions generated by all these vehicles will significantly increase its carbon footprint.

Apple knows this, which is why the company is funding a vast private shuttle transit system which transports its employees from San Francisco and other cities in the region. The plan for the new building also includes an on-campus bike-sharing system and parking for 2,000 bikes. Additionally, the company offers incentives to entice employees to use shuttles, carpooling, or bicycling, so by Apple’s own estimates, about 28% of its employees do not drive to work. And yet, the city needs far more parking than Apple employees and visitors will ever need.

Should Apple have pushed back more? It is interesting that the city demanded infrastructure funds from Apple to prepare the region for increased automotive demand. Apple is paying $1.3 million to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and Caltrans to improve local roads. One would think that the same reasoning would apply to solutions that might reduce the number of cars. What if that $1.3 million was spent on improving public transportation to better connect campus to Caltrain? What if the city demanded that instead of offering free parking, Apple had to charge employees to park? What if Apple had – gasp – moved to a city with better transportation?

A high-performance building and a forest of 9,000 trees is certainly better than what was on the site before. (It was once an aging Hewlett-Packard building surrounded by a huge above-ground parking lot.) Still, the the company promise to “turn miles of asphalt sprawl into a haven of green space” is really only partially true. Apple is actually making the city sprawl worse and cleverly distracting everyone from the problem with a giant black glass donut.

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Corrosion treatment of parking lot reinforcements

All images are courtesy of Hoffman Architects Inc.

by Steven J. Susca, PE
Parking garages are an integral part of the infrastructure of our country. Although they are prone to more deterioration than other types of buildings, their maintenance is generally not considered to be of primary importance to building owners or managers, who are often forced to prioritize problems. high profile facade or roof leaks. Yet deferred maintenance ultimately means costly repairs. One of the main problems associated with the deterioration of parking structures is the corrosion of built-in reinforcements.

Structural concrete used in parking structures is reinforced with steel rebars, which are embedded in the concrete to improve resistance to tensile and compressive stresses. Normally, the surrounding concrete protects this embedded steel from the corrosive effects of water and salts dissolved in the environment. However, breaches in concrete due to cracks, defects, thin covering, or poor consolidation of the concrete can allow the steel reinforcement to come into prolonged contact with corrosive elements. As steel corrodes, it expands, leading to further damage to the concrete, more water infiltration, and further corrosion in a self-sustaining cycle of deterioration. If not stopped early, the gradual nature of cracking and corrosion can eventually lead to a hazardous structure.

Fortunately, there are preventative measures that building owners, managers and designers can take to protect against the onset of this corrosion. For garages already showing signs of corrosion, various treatment options can stop the cycle of damage and restore structural integrity. Good design and construction practices are essential to preventing reinforcement corrosion, as are products and materials that help prevent corrosive elements from reaching flooded steel. The creation of favorable conditions which can overcome the electrochemical reactions inducing corrosion can also be of great help.

By identifying early signs of rebar corrosion and reacting quickly, building owners and managers can avoid or mitigate the costly and time-consuming repairs that typically result from uncontrolled deterioration of parking structures. (The rate at which deterioration progresses will accelerate over time.)

Corrosion of embedded steel reinforcement is one of the main causes of premature deterioration of parking lots, like the one pictured above.

How Corrosion Works
When steel is exposed to the acidic environment created by dissolved chloride salts and water, the effect is that of a giant battery. As oxygen diffuses through concrete, it reacts with water to form hydroxide ions on the surface of the steel, creating the cathode (that is to say negative pole of the battery).

To maintain electrical neutrality, an anode is formed through an oxidation reaction where positively charged iron ions migrate away from the rebar, leaving electrons behind and forming a pit in the steel. Iron ions travel to the cathode by means of an electrolyte solution in the pore structure of the concrete (usually composed of chloride salts dissolved in water). The remaining negatively charged electrons then travel along the bar to the cathode where the aforementioned hydroxide ions are formed by a reduction reaction.

Under the acidic conditions of the saline solution, the ferrous ions initially lost from the steel recombine with the hydroxide ions at the cathode to form hydrated ferric oxide (that is to say rust), which is deposited at the interface between the steel and the surrounding concrete. Without the presence of the electrolytic solution in the concrete, this reaction cannot occur.

As steel corrodes, it expands to eight times its original volume. The expansion forces cause extreme pressures in the concrete, which are eventually relieved when the concrete cracks. In turn, these cracks admit more water and chloride salts, speeding up the corrosion process, which leads to more cracks, and then more corrosion, in a gradual cycle of damage. Over time, the cumulative process reduces the cross section of the reinforcing steel, compromising the structural integrity of the parking structure.

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Parking spaces

There is no shortage of parking spaces, what is lacking is sharing

Real estate developers and the city codes under which they operate do not appear to be successful in framing parking spaces – putting the right number in the right places – in multi-family dwellings and commercial projects in cities and suburbs.

And because a flawed policy has been in place for decades, at least according to some urban planning groups, there is in fact a large inventory of parking in most high-density or high-traffic areas. These spaces just need smarter use.

Part of this solution may reside in parking lot matching applications which, by bridging the gap between supply and demand, generate additional revenue for advertisers, convenience and profitability for drivers, and better quality of life in the neighborhood. The apps aren’t new and aren’t exclusive to the US (UK-based Just Park operates there and elsewhere), but their acceptance is growing, with the help of great planning thinkers. .

“The uniform parking standards of transport engineers and municipal ordinances apply the same guidelines whether the development is two blocks from public transport or covers the needs of two to three cars in a remote suburb,” said Linda Young, a managing director specializing in urban analysis at the Center for Neighborhood Technology. The Chicago-based nonprofit has researched Chicago’s parking patterns; Seattle; Washington DC; and the San Francisco metropolitan areas in particular.

In Chicago, for example, rental buildings are over-supplying 0.27 parking spaces for each unit.

Neighborhood tech center

Planning organizations, which previously may have been willing to wait, or had no choice but to wait, for building code policy to catch up with trends see the ‘sharing economy’ helping to mitigate the problem sooner, especially when used as part of a larger plan that includes transit subsidies, ride-sharing programs, and bike-friendly design.

Rethinking the parking economy

Parking lot rental apps, much like an Airbnb for parking, help, including the Chicago-based ParqEx app. These apps differ from apps that notify drivers of their proximity to available car parks and parking lots, such as ParkWhiz and SpotHero. Even Google Maps now lets users know if parking will be easy or limited to their destination.

Instead, these apps act as a matchmaker between building managers, individual owners, and businesses who want to generate income by renting out their parking spaces when not in use. This covers short-term use, like when drivers are heading to a restaurant, and longer-term use, perhaps securing an area near the workplace that is otherwise empty during the day. ParqEx even received accelerator support, $ 20,000, from venture capitalist Elmspring, reinforcing that smart parking should be part of smart planning. (He also raised $ 90,000 from the Milwaukee-based accelerator called gener8tor to secure a total round of $ 1.3 million in seed funding in December.)

Don’t miss:Uber, Zipcar and self-driving cars among postmen blazing a trail for the “parking scourge”

“Rather than paving more lots with parking lots, we could help each other out using what we already have,” said Vivek Mehra, CEO of ParqEx, which operates in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, in an interview with MarketWatch . .

“If you don’t park in your spot all day, why not list it when you’re not using it so that someone who needs a spot can use it and you earn extra income?” ” he said. That averages out at $ 116 per month in Chicago.

Read:Do you know what North Dakota needs? More parking meters

Rival app SPOT, which operates in eight cities, including Miami, Philadelphia, and notoriously car-dependent Los Angeles, offers indicative rates on its site. For example, currently in Boston’s Back Bay, average monthly rental rates are $ 285 to $ 325 for a single space, weekly rates are $ 75 to $ 90, and hourly rates range from $ 2.25 to $ 4. .

The legality of renting, essentially subletting, private parking spaces varies from place to place. A few years ago, San Francisco sued a company called Money Parking and others, accusing the sites of selling the first rights to public places on the streets.

Why the need anyway?

The parking formula shouldn’t be that hard to chew on. It is however the case. Construction requirements demand a certain number of spaces per capita, often at the request of neighbors worried that residents of a new development will gobble up scarce street parking. Insufficient supply can also endanger the marketing of real estate. But reality shows that the number of spaces allocated often exceeds the actual space needs and that parking spaces are often underutilized, by residents who rely on public transport, for example, the Center said. for Neighborhood Technology. At the same time, empty private pitches have historically been off limits to commuters or car-dependent buyers heading to a neighborhood.

Parking lots at commercial locations, or even short-income schools, have traditionally remained closed after hours for trolling drivers heading to a restaurant or a movie. The sharing economy can change that too. Mehra from ParqEx confirmed the interest of schools among its clientele.

The gap between parking supply and demand bothers the Center for Neighborhood Technology, as excessive or misused parking capacity hurts neighborhood affordability, says center; the cost of managing underused spaces is reflected in the rent.

Read: VW buys the PayByPhone mobile application

Technology can provide relatively nimble solutions to matchmaking challenges. ParqEx has already overcome a big setback to on-demand sharing: locked or security-protected parking spaces hidden behind doors or gates. The IoT capability built into its app opens 98% of portals and garage doors (once permission is granted), Mehra explained. Overall security may leave some users reluctant, and ParqEx claims that its rental inquiry and verification elevates the service over direct owner listings on Craigslist or similar personal ad sites.

For now, acceptance of widespread parking lot sharing may increase as growing pains resolve and awareness spreads. ParqEx, for example, says it has around 15,000 users; 80% are space seekers and 20% are space listers. So there is clearly a certain imbalance between supply and demand as users get interested in the concept. ParqEx will not release revenue figures for the company, but said it has seen 25% monthly revenue growth over the past 12 months.

In light of the slowness of policy development in this area, urban planning groups accept that the sharing economy, agile enough to keep pace with changes in transport and lifestyles, is taking on responsibility impatience part of the burden.

“Just after the [2008-09] recession, alternative transportation had really grabbed a new generation, whether it was a reduction in the number of cars per household, car-less cycling or carpooling, as with Uber and Lyft – not as an alternative to taxis, but as an alternative to [owning] a car itself, ”added Erin Grossi, CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

“So preferences change, but cultural measurement systems often lag behind,” she said. “Technology can be at the forefront. “

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