Advantages of Concrete Parking Lots

Concrete Parking Lot Design and Construction

Concrete parking lot design
Tips for parking lot construction

Alternative techniques: Whitetopping, pervious concrete, roller compaction

Building for Durability

Related Information

Resources for more information

Pervious concrete pavements: An environmentally friendly paving material for parking lots

Here's something maybe you have experienced: You are driving someplace with your family, when suddenly you shout "Wait! I have to stop here and take a picture!" My wife always looks at me with a look of long-practiced suffering as I pull into a parking lot and jump out with my camera. "What are you doing! It's a parking lot for God's sake!" I just smile and keep shooting-yes, but it's a really nice concrete parking lot.

OK, maybe concrete parking lots aren't the most exciting thing in the world, but they are a potentially lucrative market for concrete contractors and make good economic sense for building owners. Today, about 90% of parking lots are paved with asphalt, but new equipment and the high price of asphalt have made concrete competitive, even on a first cost basis. When you throw in the other advantages of concrete, especially the long term life-cycle costs, it is, as contractor Len Swederski says, a no-brainer.

A concrete parking lot is really nothing more than an exterior slab on ground (or slab on grade). Perhaps what defines it as a parking lot, and what makes it a little different to design and build, is the sloped surface for drainage, the ability to handle heavy vehicular loads, and severe environmental exposure.

Let's look at how to design and build concrete parking lots and also why concrete parking lots are preferable to asphalt. Contractors need to understand the advantages of concrete parking lots in order to clearly justify them to their customers.