New guidance released on car park design as growth of e-vehicles impact fire considerations

The growth of electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure has altered the use of car parks in recent years.

Meanwhile, fire safety experts concerned about lithium-ion battery fires regularly cite concerns over the growing risks that large numbers of electric vehicles in one place pose.

The new guidance notes that car parks need to be designed to handle the changes in modern car design. The weight and size of vehicles have changed as a result of electric and hybrid batteries being used – therefore altering fire safety considerations and risk assessments.

Fire safety is just part of what’s covered in the guidance, which is split into two parts:

  • Part one is aimed at those involved in procuring car parks
  • Part two covers design issues and recommendation for structural and civil engineers

Chair of the Contributor Group Mark Punsdack, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers (FIStructE), explained: “As we move to using more electric or hybrid cars, we are now exposed to risks from vehicle compositions and propulsion systems which current design guidance does not acknowledge. We have moral and legal duties to make buildings accessible for all – and car parks are no exception.”

The guidance is available from The Institution of Structural Engineers.


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