Creative Office Properties and Dasher Lawless Automation broke ground last month on a subterranean, 277-stall AUTOParkit™ System. Longer than a football field and featuring multiple load bays to service both tenants and guests, it’s the largest fully automated parking structure below grade in the U.S. The system also exclusively features automated electric vehicle charging stalls and automated bicycle storage.
Going below ground with a traditional approach would have required a depth of over 40 feet and with the high-water table it would have render the project unbuildable in its current form. The AUTOParkit System required only 16 feet, less than half required by the traditional approach.
“The water table notwithstanding, reducing the depth had the project saving over a million dollars,” said Christopher Alan, President of Dasher Lawless Automation and creator of the AUTOParkit™ System. “An AUTOParkit System below grade is actually less expensive than a comparable traditional concrete structure which really opens up opportunities for developers that face similar issues. Additionally, locating the fully automated parking structure below grade allows the development to maximize the grade level for rentable space.
“AUTOParkit is a modular, scalable system,” Alan continued. “It can be designed for above grade, below grade or both. The project with Creative Office incorporates a variety of equipment to increase through-put to meet the project’s peak hour demand. A key advantage of the AUTOParkit architecture is it’s building block approach and off-the-shelf technology. While the underlying API System adapts to the individual site, the user experience remains consistent. The driver pulls into a single stall load bay (garage) exits their vehicle and completes a short questionnaire then leaves. The API System then automatically parks the car. When the driver requests their vehicle from the system it is returned back to an available load bay. Simple.”
Earlier this year, Lawry Meister, President of Creative Office Partners, toured the most recently-opened AUTOParkit™ system at Helms Bakery.
“We have incorporated new technologies to make this project as relevant 20 years from now as it is today, including very high-speed fiber, campus-wide WiFi and a 277 car Auto Parkit automated parking structure,” said Meister.
The project schedule calls for the AUTOParkit System, once completed, to be used for material storage for the duration of construction of the project.
Alan explains, “Most sites have their challenges with material delivery, staging, damage, and theft. The AUTOParkit System is built to automatically store vehicles however the system does not distinguish between a 6,000-pound vehicle and 500 2x4s or 40 toilets. If the material fits inside the ‘vehicle envelope’ we can place it onto a pallet and store it in the rack structure where it is secure. The material can then be delivered to the load bay when upon demand. This allows the project manager to know which subcontractor has requested what material to improve material tracking.”