How to Design a Car Park: What’s the Process?

Designing a car park might seem like a straightforward task, but in reality, it requires careful planning and consideration.

A well-designed car park not only provides convenient parking for visitors but also enhances the overall functionality and aesthetics of a building.

By understanding the importance of car park design, you can ensure that your project meets the needs of both drivers and property owners.

How to Design a Car Park?

Initial planning and site assessment

The first step in designing a car park is to conduct a thorough site assessment. This involves evaluating the size and layout of the site, as well as identifying any environmental or logistical constraints.

By gathering this information upfront, you can develop a design that maximises available space and minimises potential disruptions during construction.

Developing a functional layout

Once you have a clear understanding of the site requirements, it’s time to develop a functional layout for the car park. This involves determining the number of parking spaces needed, as well as designing efficient traffic flow patterns and car park line marking.

By weighing factors such as entry and exit points, signage placement, and pedestrian pathways, you can create a user-friendly parking experience for drivers.

Consider drainage in the area

When planning the layout of a car park, effective drainage is key. Without proper drainage, rainwater will accumulate in pools across the surface. This creates hazardous puddles that can lead to slips, falls, and damage to vehicles.

By incorporating features such as sloped pavement, drainage channels, and storm drains, designers can ensure rainwater and snowmelt drain away quickly and safely.

Considering drainage early in the design process allows for a car park that is safe and functional in all conditions.

Implementing sustainable design practices

Incorporating sustainable design practices into your car park project not only benefits the environment but also enhances the long-term viability of the facility.

From using permeable paving materials to installing energy-efficient lighting, there are numerous ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your parking structure.

By prioritising sustainability, you can create a car park that aligns with modern environmental standards.

Ensuring compliance with regulations

Designing a car park also involves ensuring compliance with local regulations and building codes.

The design process must address various legal considerations, from accessibility requirements to stormwater management guidelines.

By working with experienced professionals and staying up-to-date on regulatory changes, you can avoid the costly delays and penalties associated with non-compliance.

Do car parks need foundations?

Foundations provide a stable base and help prevent settling or shifting of the ground underneath. For large car parks made of concrete or asphalt, foundations are usually recommended. They create a solid platform that can withstand the weight of vehicles driving over it repeatedly.

Smaller gravel car parks may not require foundations, as the gravel itself creates a permeable, shifting base.

Overall, foundations for car parks help ensure safety and durability over time. Their needs depend on factors like the size of the car park and the materials used in its construction. Proper site preparation and foundations can extend the usable lifespan of any car park.


Designing a car park is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a functional and sustainable parking facility that meets the needs of both drivers and property owners.

Remember, a well-designed car park not only enhances the overall user experience but also contributes to the success of your building project.

If you need further guidance or information about how to design or create a car park, ‌get in touch with one of our car park surfacing contractors to learn more!