‘Always ask the question within the preconditions: what does the end user want?’

How do you design the ideal parking garage, in other words: the best functional solution? In fact, very simple. By always keeping the end user’s wishes in mind. What is comfortable for the driver? Are the parking spaces spacious enough? Are the lanes wide enough? Are the hiking routes ready? Interparking incorporates decades of international experience in its designs, as evidenced by the interesting conversation Vastgoedjournaal has with CEO Rolf Oostendorp and senior project manager development Erwin Lund.

With the latter, Interparking immediately takes a significant lead over its competitors, because there are simply few parties that have internal professional knowledge about the development of parking garages. “Therefore, Interparking wants to be involved as early as possible in the process,” says Rolf Oostendorp. “We can already offer added value in the phase from sketch design to final design. We are active in the operation and management of parking facilities in nine European countries, but we would also like to play a role in the development phase, whereby we can contribute our experiences from the utilization phase in the initial phase. We have focused more and more on it in the Netherlands over the last ten years. ”

One of the reasons why Interparking likes to be part of a development at an early stage is because it is then not only possible to contribute ideas about optimizing the functional design, about which more later, but also about the feasibility. Rolf Oostendorp: “Most parking garages are difficult to get profitable. In a city like Amsterdam, you have to deal with high investments, but also with high parking prices, which makes a parking facility profitable with a high occupancy rate. In many other places, where the rates are much lower, you may come from the operating costs, but not always from the interest and depreciation costs. The location of the parking basement in relation to the tractors in the area is significant. Therefore, we want to be part of the development process at an early stage, because then we can quickly provide a definitive answer to the feasibility. In order to complete the business case, too little thought is given to the investment plan in advance, and this is often at the expense of quality. ”

Customer-friendly design
“Apart from the fact that the inclusion of Interparking will provide faster clarity about the financial feasibility, the quality of the facility also plays an important role,” says Erwin Lund. “You have not only the financial picture, but also the functional one. We can provide insight into what is allowed and not allowed and ensure that you get a customer-friendly parking garage. If we are involved in the process from the beginning, we can implement the design optimally. At a later date, it is hardly possible anymore. We therefore ask owners, builders and municipalities: Let us please see. We often say: When building a car park, do it well and make sure it is as functional as possible. During the design process, we pay close attention to realizing, for example, an efficient entry, passage and exit of motorists and pedestrians. ” To which Rolf Oostendorp adds: “You can no longer bend an existing design to your liking, but we were able to prepare a program with requirements for a new facility to be built, such as the Museum Quarter in The Hague. We primarily look at aspects such as separate entry and exit to prevent crossing traffic. Column-free parking is also important. This is easier to achieve above ground than below ground. It is also about conditions such as: do you have sufficient space when entering and exiting, can you park without anyone waiting impatiently behind you, is it clear how a pedestrian can leave the garage? But also: is the decor and signage of the garage so obvious that you can easily find your vehicle? Within the preconditions, we always ask the question: what does the end user want? You need to create space in the right places. The sum must be correct. Parkers have fear of damaging their valuable vehicle and sometimes also fear of tunnels. People therefore prefer to park on the street or in a parking lot. By realizing a spacious parking garage, we believe we will convince visitors to enter our location. ”

Optimal customer experience
This functionality does not only look at NEN 2443, which includes functional requirements, performance requirements and recommendations for the design of parking facilities. According to Erwin Lund, these are the minimum requirements for a parking garage and can be far from the quality that Interparking strives for if the synergy between the components is not taken into account. Interparking goes a big step further and therefore also places high quality demands on its locations. In addition, there is a lot of attention paid to the appearance of the car parks in particular. In other words: a car park must have an attractive appearance. An optimal customer experience is central to Interparking. This knowledge is the result of more than sixty years of practical experience. Rolf Oostendorp, with a wink: “We are no wiser than the architect, we have just made the mistake more often.” During the conversation, it becomes clear that it also works when we look at the real-time occupation of one of the most recently completed Interparking garages, the three-storey Boulevard garage in Scheveningen. It’s nice to see that the parking spaces in the garage are completely filled up as expected. Erwin Lund: “We do everything we can to give parking an optimal customer experience. Parking must be fast, easy and hassle-free. ”

More information?
Would you like to know more about Interparking and how it can be useful for you as a strategic partner in the development, realization and operation of parking facilities? Check out https://www.interparking.nl/nl-NL/About-Interparking/ or contact Mariska Kornet at mkortnet@interparking.com.

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