Concrete Parking Lots 3

Parking lot design shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s the first and the last thing your building’s visitors see. While it might not seem like there are a lot of options when it comes to your concrete parking lot design, there are a lot of considerations before you start pouring the concrete. 

Concrete Parking Lot Design

The design of a parking lot is more than an aesthetic perk. Parking lot design can help guide the flow of traffic through the lot efficiently. Concrete is versatile, and concrete lots can be given different decorative treatments. When you’re designing a parking lot, customization can quickly get expensive. Keep it simple when it comes to decorative design, but keep in mind all the functions a parking lot should fulfill when you’re in the planning process.

More Than Pavement

A concrete parking lot is more than just pavement. In order to make a parking lot attractive and functional, the design should include:

  • Lights 
  • Curbs 
  • Drainage
  • Joints 
  • Slabs 

All of these pieces need to work together, their positions are carefully chosen before you start work. 

Concrete Thickness

You will need to figure out how thick your concrete should be early on in the design process. Thickness will be dependent on what types of vehicles will utilize the lot. For cars and smaller trucks, a 4-inch pavement is typical. For heavier delivery trucks, the pavement should be 5 to 6 inches thick. Areas around dumpster pads or loading docks are often 7 or 8 inches and could be up to 12 inches thick, depending on the number and weight of trucks using the facility.

Parking Lot Drainage

Drainage is an incredibly important component of a parking lot’s design; standing water can cause damage to both the lot and to the underlying soil. Puddles also create slipping hazards for pedestrians accessing their vehicles. Parking lots drain to the center or edge of the pavement, depending on local stormwater ordinances and other requirements. The pavement surface should slope at a minimum of 1%, but 2% is better. In areas of high pedestrian traffic the slope should be held to a maximum of 2%.

Design Tips

Here are a few more tips for designing your concrete parking lot:

  • Parking space size and spacing: The number of spaces you will need depends on the building's capacity and other design elements that will be included.
  • Consider accessibility requirements: ADA accessible spots should be larger and the number of spots required varies by city. 
  • Design for safety: To keep those driving in the lot safe, proper lighting is important. A light broom surface texture provides a non-slip walking surface for pedestrians. 
  • Design for the long-term: Concrete parking lots can carry heavy loads without developing potholes and its long-term maintenance costs are low compared to other materials.

Concrete Parking Lot Design Options

There are some design features that could impact the appearance and functionality.

Lighting: Concrete parking lots reflect light well, presenting a bright clean and safe appearance. The number of lights and the wattage of the bulbs required to light a concrete parking lot is much less than asphalt lots, resulting in significant utility cost savings over the life of the lot.

Landscaping: One area that allows for some creative freedom is the landscaping surrounding the lot. Trees or bushes can create a nice visual but can also serve practical functions. Trees can provide shade for those using the parking lot and help to clearly define the path that drivers should use. 

These features and considerations should be taken into account early on in the design process. It’s important to consult an experienced concrete contractor from the very beginning of the design process. Browse our site to connect with a contractor today.