Toronto Pearson International Airport (TPIA) is Canada’s gateway to the world. As the largest airport in Canada, TPIA receives over 30 million passengers annually and is a key hub for domestic, US/Transborder, and international passengers.
As part of ongoing improvements to TPIA the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has been constructing major new facilities to improve the quality of services it provides to passengers and the community at large. One of the current improvements to the development program is the new Area 6B Long-Term Passenger and Employee Parking Garage. This new garage facility has been constructed on the Area 6B lands adjacent to Ontario Provincial Highway 409 and is directly connected by a pedestrian bridge to the GTAA’s Automated People Mover which serves the airport terminal buildings.
To facilitate the design and construction of this major new facility for the GTAA development program, a selection process was conducted to seek out the best possible consultants to deliver this project. NORR Architects Engineers Planners was selected as the prime consultant. NORR worked closely with Walker Parking Consultants of Indianapolis to provide a cohesive team with previous experience in large, complex parking structures.
The design and construction of the new Area 6B Long-Term Passenger and Employee Parking Garage has been quietly underway since 2003 by NORR in two (2) stages.
The first stage, completed in the Fall of 2006 included the garages main Lobby Tower and new Pedestrian Bridge connecting to the GTAA’s Automated People Mover. The second stage completed recently in October 2009 encompasses the garage proper including all parking systems, building amenities and improvements to existing roads and adjacent surface parking.
The second stage of the garage provides 8,000 parking spaces over six (6) levels on opening day with the possibility to expand internally to 8,500 parking spaces as growth requires. The total area of the new garage facility is in excess of 165,000 square metres (1,800,000 square feet) or approximately 27,000 square metres (300,000 square feet) per level. Also designed and planned for the future are two (2) exterior helical ramps that will serve future parking functions to facilitate better entry and exit flows when the number of garage spaces increases.
The new Area 6B Long-Term Passenger and Employee Parking Garage is state of the art with a full Parking and Revenue Control System (PARCS) linked to the overall system of parking garages. Also part of the PARCS systems will be a space counting system per level and Pay on Foot kiosks to provide a better level of service for garage patrons.
Prior to beginning detailed construction drawings, NORR undertook a detailed investigation of the possible structural systems available for this large, multi-level parking structure. After a detailed review of key factors such as cost, schedule, timing, and constructability, it was concluded that a precast concrete garage was the ideal solution.
As part of the design process, NORR engaged local precast concrete manufacturers to solicit ideas and approaches to ensure that the market was kept up to date on the project prior to a general contractor tender. Prior to tender, NORR held design sessions with major local precast manufacturers, to solicit technical advice on this large scale parking garage.
After project tender and award, detailed sessions with Pre-Con (Division of Armtec) were held to accelerate the preparation of the shop drawings and to jump start the fabrication of components. The last pre-cast component for the project was delivered prior to the end of April 2009, just over fifteen (15) months after starting fabrication in the plant. In order to meet the fast paced schedule for erection Pre-Con started fabrication in early January 2008 working in close cooperation with the NORR team. Approximately 5,500 pieces were manufactured for the new parking garage with the last piece being cast in January 2009 and final erection completed in April 2009.
“In designing, coordinating, and constructing the largest precast garage facility in Canada, the entire team of NORR Limited, Architects Engineers Planners and Walker Parking Consultants, EllisDon, and Pre-Con can take great pride in the final product that was created for the new Area 6B Long-Term Passenger and Employee Parking Garage” says Rolfe Kaartinen, Principal for NORR. “The effort put forward by EllisDon and Pre-Con to fabricate and erect the garage in a very short timeframe was extraordinary! The phasing and coordination between these teams was professional and skilled”.
One of the many unique aspects of the new Area 6B Long-Term Passenger and Employee Parking Garage is its architectural design for the all the major building elevations. The exterior elevations are composed of architectural pre-cast panels in combination with aluminum screening. The use of both pre-cast and aluminum screening allowed the long and low elevations to be broken up and scaled down to a more approachable level. The elevations used an architectural liner panel with an abstract stone finish in combination with flat panel pre-cast panels in smooth, semi-smooth and rough textures provide for a more articulated treatment. The result is a subtle palette of precast panels coordinated with architectural aluminum screening to create a distinctive and bold design.
Technically, the facility was designed as an open concept/flat floor plate parking structure being supported by precast columns and inverted tee beams with the floors of the garage constructed of 3.5 metre wide double T’s. At 28 square meters (330 square feet) per space, the garage is extremely efficient which in turn provides for cost benefits. Another key technical aspect to the facility is the central core of the new garage which was constructed from cast-in-place concrete with the surrounding floor plate constructed of precast double T’s. The cast-in-place core allowed for a large open atrium complete with an opening to the top level to be created. This atrium serves as a major focal point for users of the garage to gravitate towards as they make there way to the main elevator Lobby Tower. The atrium area provides for garage users to navigate between levels by stairs and ramps as they to make their way to the Lobby Tower and eventually the terminal buildings. Also, the atrium space provides for the circulation of air within the garage to reinforce the design of an open-air non-ventilated facility, thereby foregoing any requirements for mechanical ventilation, which saved the project considerable costs.
As the new Area 6B Long-Term Passenger and Employee Parking Garage begins operation on schedule, services to the public will be enhanced not only through efficiency of design but by architectural sensitivity given to both interior and exterior spaces. This new facility will enhance the services provided by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and ensure the continued success of the airport within the community and country at large.
Owner: Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Architect: NORR Limited, Architects Engineers Planners
Precast Supplier: Pre-Con - Con-Force A Division Of Armtec Limited Partnership Prestressed Systems Incorporated