Magazine

Client Comfort During Garage Restoration

Sunil Puri

This is the first of a two-part series on restoration and the issue of customer comfort and safety. It will finish in the December issue of Parking Today.

– Editor.



To avoid loss of revenue, repairs needed for parking structures are typically implemented while operations remain open. This article

discusses the significance of a client-oriented restoration program for parking structures. A three-stage proactive strategy is suggested for owners and managers to take the lead in addressing and maintaining client comfort and safety during a restoration

program.

Parking structures are highly prone to accelerated deterioration. They are mostly unprotected from natural elements such as snow, rain and harsh weather conditions; bombarded by de-icing salts and leaking oils from vehicles; and sometimes dropped into a category of least-priority maintenance items due to lack of funds.

Historical experiences and life-cycle cost analyses have endorsed that a timely implemented restoration and maintenance program not only enhances their useful service life, but also avoids financial maelstroms dedicated to repairs in the years to come.

Many owners understand maintenance responsibilities and ensure that regular repairs are made. However, to serve existing customers and maintain revenue flow, it’s not pragmatic for most owners to close parking operations during a repair and maintenance program.

Furthermore, efforts dedicated to efficient operational management seldom leave extra parking spaces available for consideration under substitute parking during a restoration program. Therefore, to make the needed repairs, phasing the program in multiple time durations and different sections of the structure serves the interest of owners and managers. This also diversifies the financial onus of repairs in a broader time window.

The phased restoration program solves concerns regarding parking operations and influx of revenue. However, the issues of client comfort and safety are not always adequately addressed.

How a parking facility looks contributes significantly toward the perception of level of service. Considering other factors constant, this perception affects a client’s decision to park in a structure. To have a steady stream of parking revenue, it is crucial for owners that their facility provides a perception of better level of service in comparison with their competition.

This works not only to maintain existing clients, but also to attract new clients. In light of this, it becomes crucial for owners to provide a parking environment that can ensure client comfort and satisfaction even during a restoration program. Figure 1, on page 18, presents a schematic view of this concept.

Client safety is extremely important (see sidebar, right). Probability of mishap during a restoration program not only can stop or delay the ongoing work, it also can dramatically increase the owner’s liability. Lack of appropriate safety measures during restoration work can expose owners to highly expensive lawsuits. Hence, it is in their own best interests to stay on top of the issue of client safety during a restoration program



Sunil Puri is with Walker Parking Consultants. An article on the actions that should be taken by an owner will be in December PT.







Sidebar:



Safety Checklist During Restoration



Barriers are of sufficient height to prevent trespassing.

Debris and dust-control barriers are effective.

No construction material is stored at unapproved locations.

No materials-handling equipment is parked in a drive aisle.

Public-access area is clear of any oil, water or chemical spillage.

Electrical cables and temporary utilities are properly protected.

Proper lighting arrangements are available around the project boundaries.

Disposable waste is not accumulated on the job site.

Walkways for pedestrians are protected by a canopy, as needed.

Temporary signage diverts vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Article Abstract from November, 2007




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