Advanced warehouse automation and the implications for car parking
The industrial and logistics sectors are experiencing strong growth, driven in part by the growing demand for e-commerce. To keep pace, new facilities are being planned and designed with consideration for Advanced Warehouse Automation Technology. Whilst this technology is relied on to improve productivity and optimisation of space, it also means that less employees are required.
This reality is not adequately addressed in planning guidelines, particularly in respect to car parking requirements which assume a directly proportional relationship between car parking (employees) and floor area. This leads to a disproportionately high requirement for parking spaces.
This disproportionate requirement triggers an unreasonable anchor that influences decision-making and adversely affects the approval process.
Research based on our work with leading operators and landlords (and supplemented by recent studies in various municipalities), confirms that the statutory requirements are out of touch.
These requirements need to be refined to provide confidence at the technical and local community level. As a result, this will avoid unnecessary delays and reduce the heightened tensions induced by the current guidelines.
Whilst planning guidelines are based on a framework that provide the decision maker with discretion, we have observed at the technical and local community level that the participants in the process are jarred by the gap between the statutory requirement and the practical requirements of modern facilities.
Our research indicates that the parking demand characteristics of these facilities can be segmented into three-tiers, with convergence observed in the following segments: #1. less 3,000 sq.m, #2. 3,000 - 15,000 sq.m, and #3.15,000 sq.m and above. In these segments, we have observed demand that is generally 40% - 80% less than the statutory requirements.
We also observe that location or municipality are not significant variables given that most of these facilities share a common attribute, ie: they are generally not well served by public transport and that staff arrival and departure is often most convenient by car.
Our ability to leverage this research and deploy tailored workflow processes to each engagement has enabled our client partners to realise the right balance between parking provision and building area, whilst simultaneously providing decision makers and the local community with increased confidence in the planned outcomes.
In a recent assignment, our unique insights were relied on to unlock an impasse in the decision making and approval process by correctly reframing the challenge and providing the evidence base required tosupport the development outcome.
Our contributions avoided the construction of unnecessary parking at the expense of landscape opportunities, as well as onerous permit conditions that would have disadvantaged the asset.
We are committed to investing in an evidence-based approach to our work. We use these insights to challenge ordinary convention and provide our clients with the tools to achieve their project vision and strategy with precision.
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Impact delivers Traffic and Transport Engineering solutions through a unique 'Inspiring Possibilities' approach. Impact brings you a premium service that is delivered through three specialist offerings: Land Use Planning, Construction Management and Event Management. Impact's offer is extended to built environment professionals and delivers better outcomes and longer term partnerships.