Sunshine Garage requires little ground space but offers unrivalled technical safety and speed as well as safety of valuables - in congested cities or as a P+R facility. Also, it offers the quickest return on investment in the non-residential sector.
Not having been satisfied with the operation of the different parking facilities available, a Hungarian engineer team came up with a unique solution that rectifies most of the problems drivers are concerned about when trying to park their vehicle in the more and more congested cities: small ground space, operational safety, safety of valuables and quick access.
No vehicle stuck in there
The worldwide unique feature of the tower called Sunshine Garage is its technical safety that ensures access to the vehicle even when the lifting apparatus breaks down. As the inventors, Gyula and Terezia Friwaldszky explain this is possible by having two, independently operated, controlled and powered elevators that can substitute each other in serving all parking places in the tower.
The Sunshine Garage that enjoys international patent protection is a galvanized steel frame structure of standard elements. It can be set up quickly and cost-effectively, and can even be disassembled and set up at another venue should it be necessary. Its basic format is an open structure with no need for ventilation, heating or cooling.
Quick access to cars
Due to its compact size and practical arrangement, no other parking facility in the world can hold so many cars in such little ground-space (some 320 square meters – a circle with a diameter of 20 meters). While it can be of 5-20 stories, the ideal height is 10-12 floors, storing 120-150 cars – ideal for the operational speed that ensures the driver will have access to the vehicle within less than a minute!
The operation of the Sunshine Garage is simple and fully automatic. You drive to the facility, stop at one of the receiving places, turn the engine off, get out of the car, close it and receive a smart card necessary to claim your vehicle when you return. From that point, the computer-controlled mechanism takes over, transporting the vehicle to the optimally designated storage place. When you return, you swipe your card and the mechanism returns your car. The safety of property (both the car and the valuables inside) is ensured as no one can access the car during the parking process.
In congested areas with high demand – but little ground space – for parking, the return period of investment for a Sunshine Garage (without the price of the real estate) is estimated to be a mere 5-6 years, while the lifespan of the facility is 30 years. This is because its construction costs about half of that of mechanized parking systems of other types. If the exterior façade can be sold as advertising space, the recovery period may be as low as 2-3 years.
A safe P+R facility
The Sunshine Garage – with its excellent protection of property – is also very suitable for use as a “park and ride” (P+R) facility. Any flattened ground in the outskirts can be designated for P+R parking but many people – in contrast to the point of the P+R concept – would rather drive to the city than leave their vehicles in a place where their valuables are not guarded until they return at the end of the day.
With little ground space required, Sunshine Garage can be set up right next to public transport terminals, providing a safe and quickly accessible solution, leading to less pollution and congestion in inner cities.
A truly Hungarian invention
The operation of the facility is energy efficient and environment-friendly – especially if it is equipped with solar panels on the roof and perhaps on the sunlit side. Depending on the conditions of the set-up venue, it can be constructed with any number of floors either above or under the ground.
The dry-weight of the Sunshine Garage is about one third of a concrete building of the same purpose, making it suitable for being built on soil of loose structure or even above tunnels. It can also be built with an earthquake-proof foundation and may be fitted with different types of covers in order to blend in with its environment. The project is a truly Hungarian invention that provides an ideal solution for the ever-growing problem of increasing demand for parking worldwide.