Did you know that more than half of the world’s population lives in urban environments? And that by 2050, two thirds of all people in the world will live in cities? In other words, global population growth combined with urbanization will attract an additional two and a half billion people to live in cities. This figure is hard to imagine, but its consequence is very clear – the resulting lack of space in urban centers will become an increasingly serious problem, and every square meter of space will be increasingly valuable. Consequently, the basic daily problem caused by high real estate prices is – finding a parking space. Needless to say, it is especially hard to find when we are in a hurry and out of time. Logically, our search for potential new parking areas will include all previously unutilized areas. Hard to believe but true – even roofs can be turned into parking spaces.
Roof or high rise parking
In Slovenia and abroad, constructing high rise and roof parking areas is more and more popular. The idea was embraced both by private investors into small residential buildings and by construction companies building multi-storey commercial buildings. In the past, the quality of simple roof solutions in high rise parking buildings was relatively poor. Often, asphalt was laid directly on a thin layer of waterproofing on the load bearing structure. Consequently, the asphalt layer was exposed to strong vibrations which shortened its lifespan. With an inverted flat roof, the vibrations are be reduced, the asphalt remains intact for a longer period of time and so does the load bearing capacity of the building.
An inverted flat roof above open or heated spaces
Often, a convenient parking area can be gained so on roofs above heated as above open lower storeys. Many commercial buildings are designed with a larger basement and ground floor surface as compared with the roof, with the intention to provide a driveable roof. Once, the thermal insulation layer, a necessary component of the inverted flat roof, was often omitted as an unnecessary cost – at first glance, it does not make much sense to thermally insulate open or unheated spaces. Yet, already a thin layer of solid extruded polystyrene will significantly reduce vibrations and asphalt load on the roof, while simultaneously protecting the waterproofing layer underneath it. In this way, the concrete load bearing construction is much better protected from deterioration caused by rainwater retention, condensate and oil or fuel spills – which, after all, regularly occur in parking areas.
Thankfully, as the need for quality and lasting thermal insulation above living space is now considered normal, we may take advantage of the inverted flat roof’s solidity and use the roof as a parking area – all we need to do is find an access way for vehicles. Sometimes, the solution is easy, and sometimes more problematic. The roof access in a building partially dug in on sloped terrain seems completely natural and is painlessly integrated into an overall architectural whole. With buildings on flat terrain, a little more ingenuity will be required to design roof access, but with professional advice, virtually any problem can be solved to our satisfaction.
Puddles on the parking area surface
Surely, you have parked your car, disembarked and splashed ankle deep in a generous puddle of accumulated rainwater. Puddles in parking lots occur due to incorrectly designed or improperly executed sloping, and usually, the problem is typical with large parking areas. In the construction of roof parking areas, the inverted flat roof easily eliminates the puddle problem, as correct and permanent sloping is easy to achieve. Instead of demanding designs of a sloping load-bearing structure or pouring heavy inclination concrete that exerts an extreme load on the supporting structure, the inverted roof solves this problem by using INCLINE thermal insulating boards with corresponding gradients (1.67 or 2.00%). The boards have exceptional compressive strength and are, consequently, suitable for use in driveable roofs.