Can Car Parks Be Recyclable?
The benefits of a modular car park are often seen in terms of the beginning of its life. Modular systems are easier and cheaper to install than reinforced concrete and they are in service and earning revenue much more quickly. But what about at the end of its life?
Increasingly, building programmes must consider the whole-life environmental impact of a building or structure. Within the calculation it’s impossible to ignore the carbon footprint of the materials and methods chosen. You also have to consider how easy it will be to dismantle and recycle the structure when it is no longer needed.
The modular car parking system developed by Osborne and Siderpark uses a steel frame and is designed to be easily dismantled. The design recognises that car parks are sometimes needed for a temporary period of increased demand. When that demand is no longer there the structure is easily moved for use in a new location. With a reinforced concrete structure there is no alternative other than to decommission and demolish.
Temporary, With a 50 Year Design Life
Despite being designed for ‘temporary’ use, Osborne-Siderpark modular car parks have a design life of 50 years. At the end of this time they can be easily dismantled and recycled – something that is notoriously difficult and energy consuming with reinforced concrete.
Predicting future car use and the demand for parking spaces is extremely difficult as so much about how and where people work is changing fundamentally. It makes even more sense to consider what happens at the end of life if we don’t know how long the demand for parking will last.
Alongside this, every aspect of construction is increasingly under the microscope in terms of the environmental impact. This is quite natural as the construction industry is a major contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Modular, demountable car parks offer an effective and more environmentally friendly alternative to reinforced concrete. They also bring the added benefit of reducing rather than adding to the cost of initial construction.