Glossary Index of Parking Terms

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Factored Load

Also known as design load or load factor, is a concept used in structural engineering to determine the maximum load that a structure or structural component needs to be designed to withstand. Factored loads are obtained by multiplying the nominal or unfactored loads by a load factor, which is a safety factor applied to the loads.

The purpose of factoring loads is to account for uncertainties and variations in load magnitudes and characteristics, as well as to provide an additional level of safety in structural design. The load factors are specified by building codes and engineering standards and vary depending on the type of load and its probability of occurrence.

Fees-in-lieu (parking)

A policy or program that encourages sustainable transportation choices and reduces the reliance on personal vehicles. This policy is often implemented in urban planning and transportation management strategies to address issues such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and limited parking space availability.

Financial Feasibility Analysis/Study

An analysis of parking needs, cost of recommended improvements, and projected revenues/costs, which establishes the basis for the construction of an individual improvement or a complete system.


A fire-resistant barrier constructed within a building to prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one area to another. It is designed to compartmentalize a building into separate fire compartments, limiting the spread of fire, protecting occupants, and allowing safe evacuation.

First Cost

The initial expense incurred in the planning, design, and construction of a project. It represents the direct costs associated with building a structure or completing a construction project from start to finish. First cost typically includes expenses related to land acquisition, design fees, permits, labor, materials, equipment, and any other direct costs necessary for the construction process.

Flat fee

A set amount charged for parking fro a specific period of time, such as an hour, day, or month, or per event.

Floor Diaphragm

A horizontal structural system that provides lateral stability to a building by transferring lateral loads, such as wind or seismic forces, to the vertical resisting elements of the structure. It essentially acts as a horizontal plate or membrane that distributes these forces across the building's vertical elements, such as walls, columns, and shear walls.

Foundation Systems

Foundation systems are structural elements that support and distribute the loads of a building or structure to the ground, often referred to as “footings”. They are essential for ensuring the stability, safety, and longevity of the entire construction. Foundation systems vary depending on factors such as soil conditions, building type, and local building codes. Various types of foundations or footings are, Strip Footings, Spread Footings, Mat Foundation (Raft Foundation), Pile Foundations, Pier Foundations, Caisson Foundations, and Basement/Foundation Walls.

Free-standing parking garage

A free-standing parking garage is a multi-level structure specifically designed to provide parking spaces for vehicles. It is a self-supporting building that is not attached to any other structure and is intended to be used solely for the purpose of parking. Free-standing parking garages are usually constructed in areas where there is limited space for parking and are designed to maximize the number of vehicles that can be parked in a small area. These garages can be found in urban and suburban areas, and can range in size from a small single-level structure to a large multi-level complex. They often feature ramps or elevators to allow vehicles to move between levels, and may also include additional amenities such as security cameras, lighting, and payment kiosks.