Skip Navigation
Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

3.2.10 Parking Structures

Due to the absence of specific guidance in previous editions of this manual, parking structures or decks are classified differently by institutions across the country. Because these structures may represent a large portion of campus facilities space, the specific method for classifying these areas can have significant impacts on campus-level statistics. For internal accounting of the maintenance and operational activities such structures require, campus parking surveys, and interinstitutional comparisons, it is recommended that data on parking structures be maintained and reported as are the data for any other campus building. Two different methods of classifying parking structures are suggested.

  1. Classification With Assignable and Gross Square Footage (preferred method). This method determines statistics for the structure that are commensurate with all other major inventoried campus buildings (i.e., assignable space, gross square footage, estimated replacement cost, etc.). In this approach, parking space square footage, including upper level unroofed parking areas, is assigned the Vehicle Storage (740) use code. Standard Nonassignable Areas (Building Service, Circulation, and Mechanical) are appropriately classified. Other standard assignable areas (offices, etc.) are classified with the appropriate space use codes. Ramps and other driving areas are classified as nonassignable Circulation Area.
  2. Classification With Gross Square Footage Only (default method). Many institutions maintain only the gross area and other building-level data for parking structures and do not classify parking areas as assignable space. Standard assignable areas within the parking structure, such as offices, may be appropriately classified. Only the gross area recorded within the building file becomes a significant square footage statistic. Institutions may also maintain parking structure data separately from the formal building and space inventory files.