Following are a number of questions that are frequently asked about Carl Walker Construction, Inc.'s capabilities and expertise with parking garages and parking structures. For answers to your specific questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Construction Projects
Repair and Restoration Projects
Q. What construction services does Carl Walker Construction, Inc. offer?
A. Carl Walker Construction, Inc. specializes in the construction of new parking structures and the repair and restoration of concrete parking garages and parking ramps. We also provide deck waterproofing systems for parking structures as a specialty contractor. We provide our services as a design/builder, a general contractor and as a specialty contractor.
Carl Walker Construction, Inc. is experienced with all common types of structural frames used to construct parking garages and parking structures. We maintain our own field crews to self-perform concrete and waterproofing related tasks.
New Construction Projects
Q. What is the difference between the design/bid/build and the design/build approaches to parking garage construction projects?
A. In a design/bid/build situation the owner hires an architect or an engineer to prepare a full set of specifications and drawings for contractors to use in bidding for the parking garage project. The owner warrants the architect's plans and specifications to the contractor for completeness and correctness. All change order requests for items necessary to the functionality of the parking facility that were incorrect or missing from the plans when the contractor bid them are the owner's responsibility.
In the design/build scenario, the design/builder hires the architect or engineer. The design/builder warrants the accuracy of the plans and specifications for the parking structure. The design/builder, rather than the owner, is responsible for any errors or omissions. This eliminates a huge measure of risk for the owner.
Another significant difference between these two approaches is that with the design/build approach, the cost of the parking garage is determined at a much earlier time in the process. Changes in scope can be made to accommodate budget requirements without formally redesigning or re-bidding the parking garage project.
Q. Why is negotiating a design/build contract with Carl Walker Construction, Inc. better than relying on the design/bid method for parking garage construction?
A. Early cost determination, greatly reduced risk, improved building efficiency and a value-added relationship with the builder are the main advantages of negotiating a design/build contract with Carl Walker Construction, Inc.
Q. Does Carl Walker Construction, Inc. recommend the use of a particular type of structural framing system for new parking structure construction?
A. Carl Walker Construction, Inc. is experienced with all of the commonly used structural framing systems for parking structures. These systems include precast, cast-in-place post-tensioned concrete and steel frames. Each of these systems has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the application. Since Carl Walker Construction, Inc. does not produce the structural framing system for the parking structure itself, we are free to use our experience and expertise to evaluate all the options and recommend the one that makes the most sense for a client's project.
Q. What architectural and engineering firms does Carl Walker Construction, Inc. use for its projects?
A. Carl Walker Construction, Inc.designs and drafts all projects internally. Carl Walker Construction, Inc.'s engineering team is lead by Charles Churches, P.E. Charles has designed and/or constructed more than 200 parking structures, participated in more than 50 restorations, and authored the AISC open-deck parking structures design guide.
We will also work with the architect of the client's choice to define the desired aesthetic features and functional requirements for the parking garage. We then apply our in-house engineering expertise about the special features of parking structure design to provide the technical input necessary to deliver a functional, durable cost effective parking structure for our clients.
Q. How much does a parking structure cost?
A. According to a 2005 survey done by Carl Walker Construction, Inc., the average cost of a parking structure in the United States was about $15,000 per parking space. The survey noted that costs were rising rapidly and were likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future. This prediction has proven to be correct. Today the average cost of a parking space can be substantially higher.
Like everything else, costs of parking structures vary widely. Issues such as size, foundation requirements, structural frame type, geometry, appearance, location, and code requirements all have an impact on cost. At the low end, Carl Walker Construction, Inc. has seen projects in the $10,000 per space range. We have also seen those that top $25,000 per-space in recent years. The only way to accurately budget the cost of a parking garage is to develop a preliminary plan and scope of work. These documents can then be used to create a conceptual estimate. This information is meaningful to the client in the planning stages and is generally a good predictor of the end result. Carl Walker Construction, Inc. develops conceptual estimates for parking garages and parking structures at no cost as a courtesy to the client in the early stages of project development.
Q. How long does it take to build a parking structure?
A. Many items can determine the duration of a construction schedule of a parking garage or parking structure. However, working with Carl Walker Construction, Inc. on a design/build basis can give you a firm price, expedite the ordering of long-lead items and initiate site work before final plans are complete. Coordinating certain phases of the design and construction processes can significantly compress the schedule, reduce the costs associated with the project, and ultimately, save time in building the parking garage. Nobody does this better or faster than Carl Walker Construction, Inc.
Repair and Restoration Projects
Q. What are Carl Walker Construction, Inc.'s capabilities for parking garage concrete repair and rehabilitation?
A. Carl Walker Construction, Inc. self performs a full range of concrete repairs on parking garages and parking structures. Typical repairs include:
- Shallow and full-depth patching
- Beam repairs
- Vertical and overhead repairs
- Cosmetic repairs
- Crack repairs
- Strengthening with carbon fiber
- Deck waterproofing systems, including joint sealants, traffic deck coatings, concrete sealers and expansion joint sealing systems
Carl Walker Construction, Inc. also provides concrete toppings, pour strips and washes, slabs on grade, foundations and site work concrete as a specialty contractor.
Q. How do you determine if a parking deck is in need of repair?
A. A parking garage or parking structure with leakage through cracks and joints typically needs concrete repair. In more advanced stages of deterioration, concrete spalling and delamination will appear within the parking structure. When these conditions are present, there is good reason to be concerned that concrete deterioration is a current problem, or will be a future issue for the parking facility.
Carl Walker Construction, Inc. can assist you by making an initial visual evaluation of these conditions within your parking garage, identifying and quantifying potential problems, making repair recommendations, and providing cost estimates. In some cases, if structural problems are suspected, Carl Walker Construction, Inc. will recommend a structural engineer who is experienced with concrete repair issues be engaged to assess a parking garage's structural integrity. Concrete testing may also be warranted for a complete evaluation.
Q. Does Carl Walker Construction, Inc. make structural condition appraisals on parking structures?
A. Most concrete deterioration problems in parking garages are not structural in nature. While Carl Walker Construction, Inc. is familiar with all types of concrete and steel deterioration, we do not engage in the practice of structural engineering. When structural issues in a parking structure are suspected Carl Walker Construction, Inc. will recommend that a structural engineer be engaged to assess the condition and determine the recommended repair materials and procedures.
Q. What kinds of parking garage deck waterproofing systems does Carl Walker Construction, Inc. provide?
A. A deck waterproofing system for a parking garage or parking structure is comprised of elements intended to prevent or minimize leakage through the concrete deck and to slow or eliminate absorption of water and waterborne chloride into the deck surface. These systems are typically comprised of some combination of the following elements:
- Joint sealants, installed in a strategically arranged pattern of joints, are intended to minimize the likelihood of random cracking on a concrete parking deck.
- Traffic deck wearing membranes, which provide a waterproof and decorative parking deck wearing surface.
- Concrete sealers, which are intended to penetrate the surface of the parking deck, provide a hydrophobic barrier against the penetration of water and chlorides into the deck surface.
- Expansion joint sealing systems, which prevent the intrusion of water at the structural expansion joint locations within a parking garage.
- Buried membrane systems, which are placed between the structural slab and a topping, or wearing slab of the parking garage, are intended to prevent leakage and water absorption into the structural slab.
Carl Walker Construction, Inc. is experienced with many different types of parking garage waterproofing systems, and can work with clients to select and install the proper combinations to optimize the deck waterproofing requirements for their projects.
Q. What can an owner do to prevent or minimize leakage and concrete deterioration in their parking garages and parking structures?
A. Carl Walker Construction, Inc. encourages parking garage and parking structure owners to implement a preventative maintenance program to extend the service life of a parking structure. These programs have been outlined in detail by various organizations interested in the preservation of concrete structures, including the Parking Consultants Council of the National Parking Association (NPA), the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI).
Carl Walker Construction, Inc. can provide information about any of these recommended preventative maintenance programs, and work will with you to customize and implement the suggested measures to accommodate your needs.