When it comes to parking lot construction, one question dominates- how much does a parking structure cost? A quick answer in the form of $X per space is anticipated but the correct answer requires comprehensive information. A short answer provides a possibility of error: an overestimate or underestimate. An overestimate can kill the project while an underestimate can result in a project whose costs are drastically more than anticipated.
Factors that affect the cost of a parking structure
Parking lot construction can vary depending on a number of variables. It’s important to first look at the structure efficiency which is dollars per square foot and parking efficiency which is square feet per space. These components are critical in determining the final cost of a parking facility. Structural efficiency is a measure of the total cost divided by the total structural area which includes the ramps, elevators, stairs and all parking areas. The average cost differs with the geographic market and can range from $35 to $65 per square foot. Structural efficiency can be determined by the following factors:
- Slope and structure
- Land utilization costs
- Structure framing type
- Drainage requirements
- Architectural enhancements
- Above ground vs. below ground
Parking efficiency, on the other hand, is the total gross area of the structure divided by the number of spaces. Factors that affect parking efficiency include:
- Mixed use. Will the area be used for other purposes other than parking?
- Footprint. Will the length be enough to allow parking on all ends?
- Column grid. Is the layout a long-span column grid where spaces and aisles are free of columns or a short-span grid where there are columns for the parking spaces?
- Functional layout. What type of layout is needed; a one-way angled parking or a two-way 90-degree parking?
Costs of labor and materials should also be taken into consideration.
How to save on parking lot construction costs
Cost can be a major concern when considering a new parking lot construction. Immediate and future large expenses can be minimized in the following different ways:
- Estimating the costs from the outset
- Identifying risks and uncertainties early
- Using recycled materials such as recycled steel and cement composites
- Sourcing quality workmanship and materials
Thoughtful decision-making can make a project financially feasible. If you don’t fully understand how parking lot construction costs are determined and would like to learn more, contact the Dykes Paving professionals for a free consultation.