UCLA Automated Parking Garage Retrofit by U-tron

At the end of 2020, a new automated parking system by U-tron is expected to ramp-up at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA.
The building is part of UCLA Health Santa Monica campus. It houses surgery rooms, an oncology radiation area, laboratories, and clinical offices for outpatient treatments. The building also contains green features and achieved the LEED Gold designation for sustainability. The building accommodates medical and administrative staff as well as daily patients and accompanies.
The developer contracted U-tron to provide a fully automated parking system with 242 spaces.

U-tron’s Challenge

Installing an automated parking system into an existing building required U-tron’s design to consider major structural adaptations. For example, shuttle aisles needed adjustments to carry the calculated weights. The use of entry and exit bays equipped with lifts required concrete cutting through the parking levels to reinforce the specialized structure.

Specially designed rails were added to the parking levels to overcome existing concrete deficiencies and achieve the accuracy level that enabled the system operation.

Retrofitting an existing garage is always complicated work. The challenge is bigger if the building is occupied and fully operational, more forcefully if the users are medical patients that might need extra care conditions. U-tron performed its work with minimal disturbance to the building’s operation during the installation work.

Technology Upgrade

In this project, U-tron introduced improvements to its field-proven PACE system, which are the result of continuous R&D efforts.  Among those improvements are the use of lift-bays, allowing parking and retrieving vehicles directly from different levels.

The new rails located at the parking positions increased the speed of operation and system reliability as well as decreased complexity. New shuttles design allows the handling of low-ground-clearance vehicles. U-tron also implemented an advanced guidance system to improve driver parking experience at the bay rooms.

End of installation and start of integration is expected to take place at the end of 2020.

Before – After

To the left – the old system. To the right – the new U-tron System.

Construction pictures: courtesy of DPR Construction Company – General Contractors for Garage Retrofit
Building photo: Michael W. Folonis Architects 16th St MOB Photography by Tom Bon

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