car park build using steel frame and composite steel decking

Steel Frame Car Park Construction

In this knowledge article, we’ll look at the advantages of steel frame car park construction, what it involves and the benefits this form of construction offers car park designers and car park operators.

The increasing need for steel frame car park structures

According to the BPA, at any one time 30% of city centre drivers are searching for a car parking space.  The BPA also predicts a potential increase in traffic of up to 43% over the next twenty years placing an even greater importance on delivering high quality, high volume, future-proof car park structures.

Land in town and city centres is expensive and in short supply. Multi-storey car parks, sometimes consisting of many floors or a raised deck above a new or existing surface level car park, are the best solution if you want to accommodate many vehicles within a limited footprint.

However, the places that most need multi-storey car parks constructing are often the most densely populated, making constructing a car park using traditional methods challenging due to access limitations and no availability on site to store materials.

What are the benefits of using steel frame in car park construction?

Many multi-storey car parks are being constructed using steel frame technology. Those tasked with designing a multi-storey car park recognise that the combination of steel frame and composite concrete flooring (composite steel decking and reinforced concrete floor slabs) delivers many benefits, including:

  • a time (and cost) efficient method of car park construction
  • large unpropped spans meaning fewer columns beneath the levels
  • flexible design options in order to maximise the number of car parking bays and, therefore, car park revenue
  • reduced foundation requirements, as steel is lightweight
  • low maintenance
  • durability and longevity
  • fire/vandal resistance

Being able to construct high parking bay volume car parks quickly is a particular advantage for commercial operators, such as railway stations, airports, ports, office blocks, shopping centres, supermarkets and hospitals, as they can remain open .

How to ‘Future-Proof’ a car park through construction

Multi-storey car parks can be designed and built so as to be ‘future-proof’. They should accommodate renewable technology and smart parking solutions such as solar powered charging points for electric vehicles, ANPR access systems and intelligent bay monitoring.

Steel frame car park construction offers flexible design options and large free span layouts. They can also easily accommodate emerging technologies, including self-drive vehicles.

Car parks that are durable and have longevity

Car parks must be durable by design.  Their purpose is to accommodate a high volume of moving and stationary traffic all day, every day.

Whilst the majority of vehicles on the road remain reliant on polluting fossil fuels to function, the basic design of multi-storey car parks requires an openness to allow pollutants to escape and fresh air to circulate, thereby leaving much of the building exposed to the elements.

Over time, heavy traffic coupled with vehicle pollutants, de-icing salts, and chemicals in the natural environment, such as salt in the air around coastal locations, can begin to damage car park structures.

Any full or part closure to instigate repairs is ‘down time’ which is commercially and reputationally damaging for the operator, and causes inconvenience for the motorist.

Steel is incredibly durable and robust and is resistant to fire and vandalism. The longevity of structural steel frame and steel decking (also known as metal decking) can be further enhanced with special protective coatings applied during manufacture.

Kingspan Multideck, a class leading galvanised steel decking of which Metpark UK is an approved supplier and installer, is being widely used in car park construction.  Different metal deck profiles can be specified according to project requirements. 

Kingspan Multideck MD206C is a steel deck manufactured specifically for use in car park construction and is powder coated for enhanced durability. 

Kingspan Multideck is also be manufactured with Magnelis corrosion protection, known as Kingspan XP, for use in the most aggressive C5 and C5 environments. It provides up to three times more protection in an outdoor environment than standard galvanising. For more information on Kingspan and on steel deck and concrete flooring construction visit the Construction page.

Why Metpark UK are the car park construction specialists

Metpark UK is a specialist car park consultancy delivering the design and build of high quality raised deck and multi-storey car park structures. Our steel car park structures are designed and built using a combination of galvanised structural steel frame, composite steel car park decking, reinforced concrete floor slabs and waterproof toppings. Metpark UK will design and build a bespoke raised deck or multi-storey car park that accommodates specific project requirements.  To discuss a project, please contact our Design Team on 01695 566880 or email us.