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Car Park Design Melbourne: The Ultimate Guide



Architects, want to put your car park design on autopilot? Read our guide to designing efficient car parks.


While car park design in Melbourne is an essential part of building design, it is far from the most attractive element.

So as architects, you ideally don't want to spend too much time on the car park.

But in reality, regulations that developers need to follow mean that car park design is far from an afterthought.

This is why architects often bring in Quantum Traffic to ensure that their car park design is up to standard, efficient and complementary to their plan.

Here's our cheat sheet to ensure you get car parks right quickly and easily for any development.

What is the standard car park size in Australia?

As traffic engineers, it is our job to ensure all car parks are as efficient as they can be.

And efficiency starts with having regard to the relevant standards: The Australian standard and planning scheme clause 52.06 for Victoria.

However, those standards can vary, in which case, local governments will have different preferences about which one to adhere to, which causes headaches for developers who work across multiple municipalities.

As traffic engineers, our local knowledge helps developers work through the variables and understand the standards needed to apply for each specific project.


How do you design a parking area?

We start by looking at these two things.

  1. Vehicle access to the external road network

  2. Is it appropriately located?

  3. Is it appropriately designed?

  4. Internal element

  5. Ensure the car park is functional (can cars safely and easily manoeuvre through the car park?).

  6. Does it comply with the relevant standards in terms of grades, car parking dimensions, headroom clearance?

These factors assist architects and building designers put their designs to the council, as these are critical issues developers need to address before planning approval.

Modern car park designs for tight spaces

As the way we live changes and shifts towards high-density living, so too should the way we think about car park design.

Many modern development sites offer much less room for car parking than the standard requirement, which is where modern innovations in car park design come in.

They include:

  • Car stackers: A system where cars are mechanically placed on top of one another.

  • Car lifts: Lifts allow cars to access a basement, alleviating the need for ramps.

  • Car turntables: Automatically move cars out of their parked position, reducing the need for manoeuvring space.

Quantum Traffic has vast experience in all three of these car park designs.

Car park ramp gradient Australia

One of the critical considerations in car park design for a proposed development are the ramp gradients.

The Australian standard sets out specific grade requirements, as does the Victorian planning scheme.

Something often omitted in plans we review is the first section of the ramp from the property boundary. The guidelines for this opening section vary across those two standards. But what we will generally look at is the first five metres providing one in ten.


If you don't take this into account at the early stages of design, you will find yourself hit with the arduous task of building over the ramp to achieve the required headroom clearance.

How much headroom clearance will my car park need?

Your ramp will need to have sufficient headroom so that cars of all sizes can get down with no stress.

Architects want to bring the building forward to maximise space, but they do so at the expense of headroom clearance.

Headroom clearance needs to be checked not only for cars but also for medium vehicles such as those used for waste collection. Allowing sufficient size for waste collection does not only mean having enough headroom clearance for larger-sized vehicles but also allowing for the elevation of bins waste collection involves.

Adequate car parking is crucial to any urban development's value, whether residential, commercial, or public.

And we are here to help you save time on your design by designing an efficient car park that meets standards and compliments your plan.

Quantum Traffic will ensure that your development's car park design impacts are assessed correctly and to the highest standard.

To see how we can help bring your design to life with efficient car park design Melbourne, get in contact with us today.


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