Glossary Index of Parking Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



Sale-Leaseback Arrangement

Used to finance the construction of new parking garages. Here's an explanation of what sale-leaseback arrangements entail and how they can be utilized in the context of financing new parking garages.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of optimizing websites and web pages to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves various techniques and strategies aimed at increasing organic (non-paid) traffic to a website from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Seismic loads

Forces and vibrations generated by earthquakes or seismic events that act on structures. These loads are a critical consideration in the design of buildings and other structures located in seismically active regions. The response of a structure to seismic loads depends on various factors, including the intensity of the earthquake, the proximity of the structure to the seismic source, the type of soil, and the structural characteristics.

Shear Wall

A shear wall is a vertical structural element that resists lateral forces such as wind loads and seismic forces acting on a building. It is designed to transfer these forces from the roof and floors to the foundation, providing stability and preventing excessive deformation or collapse of the structure. Shear walls are typically constructed of reinforced concrete or steel and are strategically located in a building to form a rigid vertical plane. In high-rise buildings, shear walls are often positioned in the core or along the perimeter to provide increased stiffness and resistance to lateral forces. The main function of shear walls is to resist shear and overturning forces. When subjected to lateral loads, shear walls transfer the forces to the foundation through their connections, preventing the building from swaying excessively. In addition to providing lateral stability, shear walls also contribute to the overall stiffness of the structure, which can help control building vibrations and improve occupant comfort.

Single-Loaded Module (See also Module and double-loaded module)

The parking design term "Single-Loaded Module" refers to a specific layout configuration used in parking facility design. In this configuration, parking spaces are arranged along one side of an aisle or access lane, typically with vehicles parked perpendicular to the aisle. This results in a single row of parking spaces facing the access lane, hence the term "single-loaded."

The single-loaded module is commonly used in parking garages or structures where space efficiency is a priority. It allows for a straightforward and compact arrangement of parking spaces, maximizing the number of vehicles that can be accommodated within a given area. However, it may require wider aisles to facilitate maneuverability and access to the parking spaces.

The single-loaded module is one of several layout options available in parking facility design, offering advantages in terms of space utilization and ease of navigation for drivers.

Self-park garage

A parking structure where patrons navigate, park, and retrieve their vehicles independently.


SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. It refers to the page that a search engine displays in response to a user's search query. When a user enters a search query into a search engine, the search engine algorithm processes the query and presents a list of relevant web pages on the SERP.

Service Load

The anticipated or expected load that a structure or component will experience during its intended use or service life. It is a design parameter used in structural engineering to determine the strength, capacity, and performance requirements of a building or structural element. Service loads include both dead loads and live loads:

1. Dead Loads: Dead loads refer to the weight of the structure itself and other permanent elements, such as walls, floors, beams, and fixed equipment. These loads are constant and do not change over time unless there are alterations or additions to the structure.

2. Live Loads: Live loads are temporary or variable loads that result from occupancy, use, or activities within a structure. They include the weight of people, furniture, equipment, and moving loads, such as vehicles, stored materials, or dynamic forces caused by wind or seismic events.

Shared Parking

Shared parking refers to a parking arrangement where multiple users or businesses share the same parking spaces or parking facilities. This concept aims to optimize the utilization of parking resources by efficiently allocating parking spaces among different entities based on their respective needs and usage patterns.


A type of structure construction where the span of a beam is less than the total length of the structure. This usually involves columns between the outer walls of the structure.

Short-term parking

Parking for a short period of time, usually less than eight hours.

Single-helix configuration

A single-helix configuration refers to a specific design layout of a parking ramp or parking garage where the vehicle circulation follows a continuous spiral path along a single helical ramp. In this configuration, the ramp is designed in a helix shape, resembling a spiral staircase, allowing vehicles to move smoothly between different levels of the parking structure. The single-helix design optimizes space utilization and provides efficient access to parking spaces by minimizing the travel distance and maximizing the number of parking spots available. It is commonly used in multi-level parking structures to facilitate the vertical movement of vehicles while optimizing the use of limited space.

Single-loaded parking bays

Single-loaded parking bays refer to a type of parking layout where vehicles are parked parallel to a single row or lane, with one side of the parked vehicles facing an open area, and the other side facing a wall, barrier, or other structure.


Single-loaded parking bays refer to a type of parking layout where vehicles are parked parallel to a single row or lane, with one side of the parked vehicles facing an open area, and the other side facing a wall, barrier, or other structure.

Smart Connected and Holistic Parking Guidance Systems

Assist in notifying the public or monthly parkers of available spaces by deploying smart counters, with the ability to identify empty spaces, and sending signals to the central counting software that will display the available spaces via dynamic signage or smart phone apps, for example.


Advanced technologies and strategies that aim to optimize parking management, improve the parking experience for users, and maximize the utilization of parking spaces. These systems leverage various technologies, data integration, and real-time information to provide accurate and comprehensive parking guidance and enhance overall parking operations.

Smart Growth

Development that serves the economy, community and the environment.

Smoke Barrier

A physical barrier or partition within a building designed to prevent or control the movement of smoke in the event of a fire. It is an important component of fire protection systems and is intended to enhance the safety of occupants by limiting the spread of smoke and its associated hazards.

Soft Construction Costs

Soft construction costs refer to the indirect expenses associated with a construction project that are not directly related to the physical construction of a building or structure. These costs are typically associated with the planning, design, and management of the project, and may include expenses such as architectural and engineering fees, permits, legal fees, financing costs, insurance, and taxes. Soft construction costs may also include expenses associated with project management, such as salaries for project managers, superintendents, and other staff. Unlike hard construction costs, which are directly related to the physical construction work, soft construction costs are variable and may depend on the size, complexity, and duration of the project. Soft construction costs are a critical component of the overall construction budget, as they can significantly impact the total cost of the project.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model where applications are provided to customers over the internet as a service. Instead of installing and running software on individual computers or servers, users access and use the software through a web browser or a thin client interface.


A descriptor for surface conditions that are damaged with missing pieces or fragments of surface material. Spalling often occurs due to freeze-thaw cycles, chemical exposure, poor installation or construction, and physical impact or damage.

Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV)

A type of vehicle that is designed to provide enhanced off-road capabilities, spacious interiors, and a higher driving position. SUVs are known for their versatility, as they can accommodate both passengers and cargo while offering a robust and rugged appearance.

Stack parking

Stack parking, sometimes similar to tandem parking, but is also known as multi-level or vertical parking, is a parking system that maximizes parking capacity by utilizing vertical space. It involves stacking vehicles on top of each other in a vertical arrangement, typically in a mechanical or automated system.

Steel Bar Joist Systems

A structural system that consists of a relatively thin concrete slab over a light-gauge metal-form deck, with closely spaced bar joists supported by steel girders. This system may be well suited for general office and retail uses, but it is not typically used in parking garages due to the loading requirements and exposure characteristics of a parking structure. When bar joists floor systems are subjected to the high point loads of vehicle wheels, the systems tend to exhibit undesirable deflections that cause the thin slabs to deteriorate.

Structural Steel system

A structural system that has steel columns, beams, and girders with a concrete slab spanning between the beams. The concrete slab may be precast or cast-in-place.

Subgrade Material

The natural or engineered soil or aggregate layer on which a road or pavement is constructed. It serves as the foundation for the entire pavement structure and plays a crucial role in supporting the loads from traffic and distributing them to the underlying layers. The quality and characteristics of the subgrade material are essential factors in determining the performance and durability of the pavement.


A technique used in road, railway and circular parking ramp design to tilt the surface of a curve or bend. It involves raising the outer edge of the drive lane higher than the inner edge to compensate for the centrifugal forces experienced by vehicles when navigating a curve.

Supplemental Cementitious Materials (SCM)

Supplemental Cementitious Materials (SCMs) refer to materials that are added to concrete mixtures as a partial replacement for Portland cement. These materials are typically industrial by-products or waste materials that possess cementitious properties. When combined with cement, SCMs enhance the performance and properties of concrete while reducing its environmental impact.

SCMs can include various materials such as fly ash, slag cement (ground granulated blast furnace slag), silica fume, and metakaolin. These materials are finely divided and react chemically with calcium hydroxide in the presence of water, forming additional cementitious compounds. This reaction improves the strength, durability, and workability of concrete, as well as its resistance to chemical attacks and shrinkage.

The use of SCMs in concrete offers several benefits. First, it reduces the amount of Portland cement required, which helps conserve natural resources and decrease carbon dioxide emissions associated with cement production. Additionally, SCMs can enhance the long-term performance of concrete, improving its resistance to cracking, sulfate attack, and alkali-silica reaction. They also contribute to the reduction of waste materials by repurposing industrial by-products that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills.

SCMs are commonly used in sustainable construction practices and are encouraged by green building standards and certifications. By incorporating these materials into concrete mixtures, construction projects can achieve both environmental and performance goals, promoting a more sustainable and efficient use of resources in the construction industry.


Sustainability refers to the practice of using resources in a way that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It encompasses a wide range of environmental, social, and economic considerations to ensure that the planet's ecosystems, societies, and economies can thrive over the long term.