As healthcare workers man the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the challenges they’re forced to confront is how – and where – to manage the dramatic increase in patient volume. This unprecedented demand for additional beds and space to treat patients has resulted in some hospitals seeking to utilize unused parking garage floors as temporary treatment centers. However, if you are considering using structured parking to manage this overflow, there are important safety considerations to be aware of.
Parking structures are designed for much lower structural loads than hospitals, offices, and residential buildings.
While it may seem counter intuitive, the average weight of a car relative to its footprint is much lighter than that of a human being. Therefore, the floor of a parking structure is only designed to support 40lbs per square foot. While this is more than sufficient for vehicles, human use is a different matter. In addition to a much greater weight density per square foot, human uses also typically mean heavy equipment and furniture that contributes to higher live loads.
Therefore, if you:
Thank you to all who are going above and beyond to help us through this global crisis. Your safety is our top priority.