Do you know that architects need to consider vehicle parking provisions in their designs?

In this post, we will share how to cater for adequate and safe design of vehicle parking in developments.

Do note that the following provision requirements are based on Singapore building codes, the concepts are similar but consult your country codes for the exact dimension requirements

In this post, we will cover:

  • Overview of Parking Provision & Layout Design
  • Terminology
  • Dimensions & Layout
  • Clearways & Accessway Design
  • Pro Tips

Why is Vehicle Parking provision and layout important in Architectural Design?

Architects need to cater for vehicular parking spaces for visitors to the building/development.

Thus, it is integral to design and allow for adequate and safe parking spaces.

This includes the consideration of the following:
- quantity, type, dimension and position of lots
- gradient, width, turning radius of clearways, accessways and parking aisles.
- parking layouts

Without proper design of parking spaces, there will be either a lack of lots or unsafe conditions that may present danger to drivers.


Adapted from the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) Code of Practice on Vehicle Parking Provision in Development Proposals -2019 Edition


Driveway that provides access to the parkingplace. Accessway do not have adjacent parking lots.


Inclined floors that provide access between two levels. Clearway ramps do not have parking lots adjacent to them.


The innermost lane, nearest to the centre point of curve.


The distance measured from the inside curve edge to the centre point of the curve.


A driveway where more than one vehicle can pass through at any given time and there is no physical separation/divider, such as kerbs, railings, parapets or walls, between the lanes.


The steepest gradient of ramp measured along the centre line of the lane.


Any lane positioned after the innermost lane.


The space for parking of one vehicle. The parking lot should be rectangular, with the longer side known as length and the shorter side is the width. In parallel parking, the longer side is parallel to the parking aisle or driveway.


An access lane or driveway with adjacent parking lots.


The angle measured between the longer side of the parking lot and the line of traffic flow of the aisle.


Inclined floors that provide access to adjacent parking lots. These are sloping aisles with parking lots adjacent to them.


A lane where only one vehicle can pass through at any given time.


The direction of vehicle movement.

Parking Dimensions

Parking lots size guidelines are based on the space needed to safely maneuver a vehicle to a parked position. Considerations such as safe distances between vehicles, adequate space for maneuvers and accessibility requirements for the disabled are taken into account.

Dimension standards tend to vary depending of city codes, building types and the kind of vehicle or use that the provision is intended for.

Architects and urban planners should study the respective building codes in order to estimate the number of lots that the project requires as well as the general layout and dimensions of each lot.

As a general rule, on most codes in residential areas the amount of lots is calculated based on a relation with the number of dwelling units (e.g., 1 lot per 2 dwelling units). While in commercial, industrial and office areas there must be a parking space for each given number of m² of the project (e.g., 1 lot per 840m²)

Parking Lot Dimensions - Car and Accessible Lot
Parking Lot Dimensions - Access for Disabled Parking

Layout of Parking Provisions

Parking options can range from lots on the side of a road to multilevel structures. In each case the layout in which the lots are arranged is crucial for an efficient organization and use of the space.

The configuration and orientation of the parking area have to be considered early in the design process. Preferably the rows should be aligned perpendicular to the building in order to minimize pedestrian aisle crossings.

Ninety degree layouts are difficult to park in, so they are reserved sometimes for employee or overnight parking. However this layout is the most adequate in terms of space efficiency.

Angles at 45 to 60 degrees are ideal for a parking lot with a high turnover, as in shops or department stores where there is a large amount of cars parking and exiting in shorts periods of time.

90 degrees parking layout with parking aisle
Parallel and 45 degree parking layout
30 and 60 degree parking layout

Clearway Ramps and Accessways

In multilevel parking provisions, clearway ramps can be a efficient way to ensure a safe access to each floor.
They offer a travel path independent of the parking spaces which prevent conflicting movements within vehicles traveling from one floor to another and the ones parking.

For straight clearway ramps and accessways the minimum width per lane is of 3.6m for single-lane and 3.0 m for multi-lane. For multi-lane curved clearway ramps the minimum for single lane is 4.2m and 3.6m in multi-lane.

The recommended gradient is of 1:10 and is measured along the center line of the inner lane when is a multi-lane ramp.

When designing this kind of provisions is of much importance to ensure an adequate visibility and signalling across all the paths to avoid accidents.

Gradient and turning radius of clearway ramp
Multi-lane clearway ramp
Width of single and multi straight lane

Things to Note

Establish the total NUMBER OF LOTS

Depends on location and type of development.
Deficiency charges can be made if the developer chooses to provide less than required lots to the approval from the Authority

Be Familiar with the Size and Clearance between lots...

Depends on vehicle (motorbikes/bicycles/cars/articulated vehicles - 20/40/45ft trailers)

Always cater for 300mm clearance from any obstacle near lot

... as well as critical dimensions


This will depends on:
- Layout of lots (parking angle)
- Is it the inner or outer lane?
- Type of vehicle
- Straight or curved ramp?
- Is there a divider?
- One-way or two-way?

Also know your maximum gradient for ramps

- max 1:8.3 (for motorcars)
- min 1:15 for straight (fire engines, articulated vehicles)
- min 1:20 for curved (fire engines, articulated vehicles)