Need to save space and money with your new parking garage? Look at what this automated parking system can do

by Brianna Crandall — July 12, 2017 — Dasher Lawless Automation was selected to save Creative Office Properties money and space on its new underground parking garage with the company’s high-tech automated parking system, reducing excavation by half and maximizing grade level for rentable space.

AUTOParkit vehicle rack storage structure

Interior view of AUTOParkit vehicle rack storage structure. Photo courtesy of Dasher Lawless Automation.

The companies broke ground last month on a subterranean, 277-stall AUTOParkit Automated Parking System. It is planned to be the largest fully automated parking structure below grade in the United States. The structure will measure longer than a football field and feature multiple load bays to service both tenants and guests. The system will also exclusively feature automated electric vehicle charging stalls and automated bicycle storage.

Dasher Lawless Automation

According to the company, 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 rendered the project unbuildable in its current form. The AUTOParkit System required a depth of only 16 feet — less than half required by the traditional approach.

Christopher Alan, president of Dasher Lawless Automation and creator of the AUTOParkit System, summarized:

The water table notwithstanding, reducing the depth had the project saving over a million dollars. 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. 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 its 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.

AUTOParkit load bay

The driver pulls into a single-stall load bay (“garage”) as shown here, exits their vehicle and completes a short questionnaire, then leaves. The system then automatically parks the car, and later returns it to an available load bay upon request. Photo courtesy of Dasher Lawless Automation.

Lawry Meister, president of Creative Office Partners, added:

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 Wi-Fi, and a 277-car Auto Parkit automated parking structure.

The project schedule calls for the AUTOParkit System, once completed, to be used for material storage for the duration of construction of the project. Christopher Alan, a seasoned developer, explained:

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.

For more information on the AUTOParkIt Automated Parking System, visit the Dasher Lawless Automation Web site. The site also features videos of the system at work.