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The new parking garage at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) is a tribute to the latest technology, and OMG EdgeSystems products are helping assure that technology stays safe and dry.

The parking garage features a “Smart Park” system, an automated parking guidance systems that makes finding a space easy. Ultrasonic sensors mounted over each space show which parking spaces are available. Lighted electronic“ way-finding” signs at the end of each row display the number of spaces available per row. Green arrows point the way to vacant spaces. Red Xs tell people where no spaces are available, and blue lights indicate disabled parking spaces. Signs at the entrance reflect the status of vacant parking spaces on each level.

Independent sales representative Rob Bushnell of Unified Technologies in Maryland managed the process for the Company, working with PCC Construction of Gaithersburg, MD. He explained that there were eight towers that required coping, four are a mirror image of the other four, but all eight required careful measurements. Bushnell took the measurements for each tower, creating a template of each one. The templates were then sent to the factory for manufacturing. PermaSnap® Coping was manufactured in special lengths so that the joints could be aligned with aluminum panels.

“This is a state-of-the-art parking facility that’s located close to the terminals. The garage has two helix spirals shaped like a spring, you can exit on whatever floor you want. One spiral takes you up, the other takes you down,” explained Bushnell. “It’s a beautiful architectural creation. Along with the two spirals, there are eight elevator/stair towers, four per side, which is where the coping resides. These stair towers are elliptical shapes, with glass and tile exteriors.”

The mixed use nature of many of these structures has changed the way cities, developers and even drivers view parking garages. “I’ve even had an amazing number of clients that have asked us to be a little more cost effective in other areas, such as structurally, so they can keep the architectural enhancements,” says Mary Smith, director of parking consulting for Walker Parking Consultants. (As quoted in Building Design & Construction Magazine, Dec. 2004, “Parking Structures”)

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