Parking Dimensions Don't Work for Garages

One of the most common design errors we see is the use of minimum dimensions for parking spaces being used to design residential garages.

The standard parking dimensions contained in documents like the Auckland Unitary Plan are designed to be the minimum dimensions that will allow for manoeuvring in a parking area with a row of spaces, the sort of layout you get at a shopping centre.  

The problem with using these parking area dimensions for locations such as garages is that the walls add a constraint that simply isn't there in a large parking area.

The following image uses the Auckland Unitary Plan minimum parking dimensions for regular users with 2.6m wide parking spaces.  As the design car is only 1.87m wide, the space available for manoeuvring between adjacent cars is typically around 3.33m (provided everyone else has parked properly).

Contrast that with a single garage with a door that is 2.6m wide, and it should be fairly easy to understand that it is not the same thing.  To get the manouevring to work the door and/ or the driveway need to be wider.  

While we can't provide minimum dimensions that will work in every situation in an article like this, If the driveway width is to stay at 6.3m, the garage door would needs to be at least 3m wide. Alternatively, if the garage door width is to stay at 2.6m, the driveway width would need to increase to something like 8.0m.  Smaller dimensions may work in some situations.

If you need to design a garage and want to make it work in the least amount of space please get in touch as we can help.

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This article is the first in a series on parking and we will be looking at the changing regulations around the provision of parking in Auckland.