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concrete provides a structurally efficient, reliable, and cost-efficient
solution for the construction of concrete parking garages. By eliminating
closely spaced joints found in other construction methods, properly designed
post-tensioned parking structures are virtually crack-free, maintenance free
and offer great aesthetic freedom and flexibility for today's architectural
square feet of cast-in-place, post-tensioned parking garages are built in the
United States each year. Post-tensioned parking garages continue to gain market
share in terms of both the number of structures built and volume (number of
spaces). When all of the factors are evaluated, it is easy to see why
cast-in-place, post-tensioned concrete parking garages are the system of choice
for the nation's hospitals, universities, developers, parking operators,
commercial owners and public institutions.
Advantages of using post-tensioning for your
next parking structure project:
and Life-Cycle Costs Savings:
Post-tensioned structural systems often provide initial cost savings and better
life-cycle costs when compared to other framing systems.
Maintenance: Loss of parking spaces during
maintenance work results in loss of revenue and inconvenience. Post-tensioned
floors are relatively crack-free, resulting in minimal maintenance issues.
Control-Watertightness: Post-tensioned structural systems
eliminate closely spaced joints and help ensure water-tightness by placing the
floor in bi-axial compression, thereby controlling and counteracting shrinkage
and flexural cracks.
Riding Surfaces: The elimination of closely spaced
joints results in a superior riding surface. Differential deflections across
joints are not an issue in cast-in-place post-tensioned floors.
and Security: The long spans, wide beam spacing,
and flat surfaces provided by post-tensioned structures enhance lighting and
improve patron security. The open structural systems also enhance lighting and
create a more welcoming environment.
Resistance: The slab thickness and beam widths
commonly used in post-tensioned structures provide fire ratings that meet code
Flexibility: Post-tensioned construction allows
long column-free spans and is adaptable to other functional requirements of parking
structures such as the need to accommodate slopes to drains, straight or curved
ramps, warped surfaces that provide smooth transitions between ramps and level
floors, and irregular plan layouts.
construction allows for versatility in structural layout. Structural floor
configurations are virtually limitless. Cast-in-place forms can be used to
create helical ramps, spiral ramps, compound slopes and more.
Curvilinear shapes and forms are
easily achieved in a cost-effective manner with cast-in-place structures.
Architectural treatments of exposed concrete are easily achieved.
Structural Depth: Post-tensioning can reduce
structural depths by one-third or more in comparison to other systems. In the
case of underground parking garages, structural depth reduction is desirable to
reduce excavation, soil retention system costs, and dewatering costs in sites
with high water tables.
and Vibration Control: The pre-compression, draped tendons
and the monolithic nature of cast-in-place concrete garages significantly
reduce deflection problems. The monolithic construction, continuity and rigid
connections between beams and columns reduce vibrations.
Loads: Monolithic connections between
slabs, beams and columns provide rigid frame action to resist wind and moderate
Loads: Post-tensioned parking structures
performed well in the 1971 San Fernando, 1989 Loma Prieta, and the 1994
Northridge earthquakes. Research has shown that, under some conditions,
unbonded post-tensioning improves the behavior of moment frames under seismic
loads. Code provisions developed by the Building Seismic Safety Council allow
the use of unbonded post-tensioning in ductile moment resisting frames.
Integrity: Research and experience have shown
that post-tensioned structures inherently provide structural integrity under
abnormal and catastrophic loading. Well detailed cast-in-place post-tensioned
structures have significantly higher structural integrity, redundancy and
resistance to catastrophic loading than precast systems.
Advantages: Both the time and cost of hauling
prefabricated pieces from the plant to the job site and the need for heavy
lifting are eliminated. Large panel flying forms, modular forming systems and
ever improving concrete technology continue to enhance the construction speed
and economy of cast-in-place post-tensioned parking structures.
Economics: Over the life of the structure, the cost to
maintain cast-in-place, post-tensioned parking garages is typically less than
PTI Publications and Certifications for
Post-Tensioned Building Design and Construction:
Click here to download an informative brochure on post-tensioned parking structures