Posted by Albert Berenguel - 12 January, 2022
In 2019 there were more than 340 million passenger cars in Europe, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (1).
All of these cars need a place when they are not being driven.
Car parks play an essential role for people who need to park their vehicles while they go to the office, run an errand, or keep an appointment.
It’s not surprising then that the European Parking Association (2) counted in 2013 nearly 22 million off-street parking spaces in European cities with over 20,000 inhabitants.
These off-street parking spaces are located in dedicated structures, shopping centres, sport and cultural facilities, airports, etc.
The maintenance of car park structures is vital for safety, environmental and economic reasons. Prolonging the service life of any building or structure, rather than demolishing it, is now recognised as a good way to reduce carbon emissions and lessen environmental impact.
It makes commercial sense too: the European Parking Association estimates that in 2013 the off-street parking sector in Europe generated at least 17,000 million Euros, so there is a strong economic incentive to ensure that car parks are always in use.
Multi-storey car parks are demanding structures from a maintenance perspective, yet only receive limited attention when they become unusable, with a consequent loss of profit.
The floors and deck surfaces in a car park come under attack due to the circulation of vehicles: abrasion, abrupt braking, sudden changes of direction, etc. Additionally, they are exposed to chemical damage due to the leakage of liquids such as petrol, diesel, antifreeze and brake fluid from cars.
Top decks and other open decks are also exposed to weathering due to environmental actions including sunlight, rain and snow. In cold climates, the use of de-icing salts can be an additional source of attack on reinforced concrete.
And, last but not least, exhaust fumes produced from the combustion of hydrocarbons produce large quantities of carbon dioxide and water vapour that increase the degree of concrete carbonation.
To maintain a car park – and ensure its ongoing profitability – it is vital to repair and protect concrete and to waterproof and finish trafficked surfaces, in the least possible downtime.
Below are some examples of car park refurbishment jobs completed with Master Builders Solutions’ complete product portfolio:
Shopping Centre Clare Car Park (Peterborough, UK)
This multi-storey car park in a shopping centre has a capacity for 2,300 cars. Refurbishment works included repair to the concrete decks and soffits using MasterEmaco T 545, MasterEmaco S 5400, MasterEmaco S 5450 PG and MasterEmaco N 5200 and finishing the trafficked surfaces with MasterSeal Traffic 2260 on the interdecks and MasterSeal Traffic 2205 on the roof deck.
Europäischer Hof (Heidelberg, Germany)
An underground car park, where two different systems were used as finishing layers: MasterSeal Traffic 2239 for the intermediate decks (2,700 m2) and MasterSeal Traffic 2273 for the lower deck with slab on grade (2,500 m2).
Parkeergarage Arnhem Centraal (Arnhem, Holland)
Another underground car park with four levels that required renovation after 18 years of use.
MasterSeal Traffic 2264 was applied to a total surface area of 8,000 m2.
To easily access information about Master Builders Solutions’ systems, use the “Car Parks” module in the Online Planning Tool by Master Builders Solutions to scope out potential projects.
The tool asks for input about the repairs needed and requirements for the different decks of the car park (exposed top decks, intermediate decks, ground and below-ground floors or ramps and spindles). It will then recommend the best possible surface finishing and waterproofing system for each specific project.
After the solution has been defined, the tool can generate a customized specification report which includes all related product documentation, such as datasheets, certificates and BIM Objects.
More information about the systems and experiences of Master Builders Solutions for car parks can be found at the links below:
- Blog Post: 9 factors to consider when choosing a protective car park waterproofing system
- Blog Post: Car parks, what makes the difference
- Blog Post: How to properly protect deck surfaces in a car park?
- European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, (ACEA) “Vehicles in use, Europe 2021”. January 2021. Available at: https://www.acea.auto/publication/report-vehicles-in-use-europe-january-2021/)
- European Parking Association. “The Scope of Parking in Europe”. Available at: https://www.europeanparking.eu/en/documents/data-collection/