Live and Park – Aaron Cheng’s Proposal

                                                  Often the examples created by big cities such as Toronto having wide pavements which covers most of the landscape especially parking lots makes water to run off the pavements bringing huge contaminants along with it brings the need of permeable paving technology. Permeable paving technology merges science and design to allow surface water to infiltrate back into the ground. The concept of infiltrating water back to the ground is highly necessary, as it retains the quality of water. According to research, it had proven that microorganisms within the base layer digest the hydrocarbons, effectively treating the typical volumes entering the system from parking lots. This makes permeable systems a valuable part of the storm water treatment train. It is a cost and space effective system as it cuts off the need of pipes laid for storm water facilities and space needed for traditional infrastructure.  Permeable paving systems are also a good consideration for sites with aging infrastructure, where reducing the storm water load can potentially extend the life of the system. It proves to be the long term effective system by cutting short the expenses involved in the initial investment capital to purchase the system, cost savings through the reduction in hard infrastructure, potential cost savings based on intensified land use, and long-term maintenance costs. It gives significant financial returns to the property owners, if the required land for storm water management treatment facilities can be reduced on a site to allow for that land to be developed through adding a permeable system within the parking area.

                                                  Maintenance of permeable paving differs from conventional paving because permeable paving can only function if water can flow through the system, annual cleaning and vacuuming of the surface is essential which removes any fine material trapped in the joints and on the surface, and helps maintain the permeability of the system. The summer maintenance costs are typically offset by the reduction in salt required for winter de-icing as water infiltrates into the system before it can freeze and become a slipping hazard.  Plowing and snow removal are still required throughout the winter months but sand cannot be used for maintenance of a permeable system as it plugs up the joints limiting infiltration. Therefore, permeable paving is eligible for LEED® points under the categories of sustainable sites, water efficiency, materials and resources, and/or innovative design.

                                                 Designer Aaron Cheng’s design has taken the consideration of parking and space design to a new level of innovation. Designed for young single professionals, it involves a Parking Housing concept which combines parking and living spaces to maximize space efficiency. During the day, the small prefabricated housing units are compressed to create parking spaces, and then in the evening, the pneumatic shelters expands to turn back into living quarters. Throughout the global cities, parking had been a problem due to the overpopulation.

Aaron Cheng’s Design – Living Space During the night. Image Courtesy: James Dyson Award


                                                  Through Cheng’s view, one of the main problems within these huge global cities is the poor utilization of space and the challenges of the urban lifestyle by which parking garages are full during the day and are empty at night. Meanwhile, apartments are vacant during the day, and therefore raise the same usage efficiency problem.Cheng’s pneumatic shelter is the focus points for Housing + Parking. The design involves inflating an ETFE skin with air, which assumedly would be from a compressor included within the building, such a system would allow the building to seamlessly transform from living space to parking space and vice versa thus solving the demands of parking spaces.But the question of adaptability to new ideas arises due to the many factors such as lifestyle, culture and the need for rethinking urban spaces had been created.

Aaron Cheng’s Design – Garage during the day. Image Courtesy: James Dyson Award



McCormick, Tim. “A Sustainable Parking Lot? It Can Be Done – Stantec”. N.p., 2016. Web. 28th, April, 2016.
Kaye, Leon. “Aaron Cheng’S Parking + Housing Building Is A Parking Garage That Converts To Housing At Night”. N.p., 2012. Web. 28th, April, 2016.






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