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4.5Grouped (basement, podium and undercroft) parking

Design Outcomes

Quality street environments are established where each home positively addresses the street

Convenient and safe routes between the parking space and the house are provided

Car and cycle parking is safe and secure

An efficient use of the land is achieved

Grouped parking located in basement, podium and undercroft structured are integrated into the overall design of the terraced housing scheme. 

When parking is in structured situation the design should also address:

  • Optimal use of any slope to accommodate structured parking in an efficient and low impact manner.
  • Quality shared and private open spaces are created on top of structured parking.
  • Blank edges to structured parking are avoided / shielded or contained behind single-aspect ground level habitable spaces.

This section discusses the positive and negative attributes of basement, podium and undercroft parking, and offers better design practice and rules of thumb for achieving quality outcomes.

 

Advantages of grouped (basement, podium and undercroft) parking

  • Land is efficiently used particularly on sloping sites.
  • Access to the dwelling is provided.
  • There is an opportunity to secure and monitor the parking area.
  • Cars are hidden from the public realm, with opportunity for high quality amenity space above.
  • Basement parking under terraced housing can maximise engagement between the ground level of the house and the street.

 

Disadvantages of grouped (basement, podium and undercroft) parking

  • This type of parking is more expensive than surface parking.
  • It provides little or no access to natural ground or soil depth, to provide for mature tree planting and landscape amenity.
  • Fee-simple titling cannot be used, although unit-titling with rights to a parking space can.
  • Exposed edges of parking structures can be unattractive.
  • Front doors located off the podium level or in the basement can be difficult for visitors to find,  and less welcoming than front door accessed from the street or an at-grade accessway.
  • The design is complicated and will require specialist experience due to the greater complexities involved in providing high amenity open spaces and good quality journeys to the front door.
  • Undercroft and structured parking can create unsafe areas due to limited natural surveillence.

 

Better Design Practice

Use natural slope for basement and undercroft parking wherever practicable.

Maximise opportunities for habitable spaces on the ground level above basement or podium parking.

Utilising the space above parking structures can provide quality shared and private open spaces providing valuable amenity in more dense housing schemes.

Align the design of individual parking spaces in a basement or undercroft with the design of the terraced house above.

Naturally light and ventilate car parking areas where possible. Semi-basement or undercroft car parking can provide light and air without the need for mechanical assistance, however this must be balanced with creating a safe and secure environment.

Blank edges of parking structures should be avoided by 'wrapping' them behind single-aspect ground level habitable spaces.

Avoid undercroft parking on any street frontage. Above-ground structures should be limited.

Utilise CPTED principles and design out potential crime attractors. A qualified CPTED advisor can review the safety of the site layout and design details.

Design sufficient manoeuvring space for visitor parking, emergency vehicles and utility vehicles into the ground level area, where the front doors to terraced housing are located.


Utilise CPTED principles and design out potential crime attractors. Larger developments should engage a qualified CPTED advisor to review the safety of the site layout and design details.

Design sufficient manoeuvring space for visitor parking, emergency vehicles and utility vehicles into the ground level area where the front doors to terraced housing are located.

Articulate and provide opportunities for personalisation beside the front door to each terraced house. . This is to improve way-finding for visitors and opportunities for chance interaction and life on the street.


Rules of Thumb

Limit above ground parking structures to 1200mm above the pavement to ensure adequate natural surveillance of the street and limit the extent of blank frontage.

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