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garage access ramp project with BIM software

Garage ramp: slope, width and design guidelines

How to determine the correct slope and width for a garage ramp? Here is the guide with the fundamental technical information together with a practical example

In this guide, we’ll be illustrating the main aspects to be taken into consideration when designing a garage ramp.  We suggest you to start off by downloading the project files to be able to follow our tips.

In our previous insights we have dealt with garage plans and parking lot design. This week’s architecture focus relating to garage access ramp will address both topics.

It is necessary to point out the various constructive specifications are involved, which of course may vary due based on the standards of different governing bodies. Let’s see them in detail.



Garage ramp: linear and helix ramp design

A ramp is an architectural element that connects two floors at different heights; therefore the ramp is an inclined plane used to overcome height differences. It can be either pedestrian or vehicular.

Depending on how they develop, ramps are divided into linear and curved or helical. Linear ones are in turn divided into rectilinear and staggered. These can in turn be one-way or two-way.

When designing a garage ramp, it is important to consider the width and slope requirements.

The maximum slope for a garage ramp should be within 20%, as indicated by most national regulations worldwide. However, a 20% slope that is not well connected will avoid damaging the bottom part of the car. Therefore, a slope of 16% with a maximum gradient of 6% is recommended.

Linear ramp design: created with Edificius

Linear ramp design: modelled with Edificius


Helix ramp design: created with Edificius

Helix ramp design: created with Edificius

Parking garage ramp dimensions: width and slope

Talking about ramp size means talking about width and slope.

The required slope angle to be respected to build a garage ramp must be within the maximum that in most of the world national regulations specifies it at 20%. All measurements below this maximum slope fall within the safety and accessibility parameters.

Helix ramp section: created with Edificius

Helix ramp section: modelled with Edificius

In addition to the slope, there are also other measures to be observed, such as the minimum width.

If the ramp is linear, the minimum width is 3 m for one-way traffic, 4.5 m for two-way traffic.

If the ramp has a curve, the radius (measured at the outer edge) should not be less than 7 m for one-way, 8.25 m for two-way.

Other features to be considered when designing a garage ramp are:

A gutter for white water drainage at least at the base of the sloping section (preferably also at the top), with a driveway grating;
a space of at least 3 m. between the beginning of the slope (upper part) and the public space, so that the exiting driver has the necessary view and does not break into the public area.

Linear ramps

Minimum widthRecommended width
One-way3,00 mt.4,00 mt.
Two-way4,50 mt.6,00 mt.

Circular ramps

Minimum widthRecommended width
One-way3,00 mt.4,00 mt.
Two-way4,50 mt.6,50 mt.
Minimum Radius of curvatureRadius of curvature – recommended dimensions
One-way7,00 mt.7,50 mt.
Tw0-way8,25 mt.11,85 mt.


Staggered linear ramps - modelled using Edificius

Staggered linear ramps – modelled using Edificius

Garage ramp floor

Another aspect to consider in the garage ramp project is the flooring.

Material choices should respect functional purposes (for example: ramp grip, not be affected by the effects of salt used to melt ice or snow along roadways), and of course be comfortable and pleasant to drive or walk across.

In addition to the asphalt and concrete floors, let’s consider the concrete, porphyry or synthetic materials.

Concrete ramps represent an excellent solution, with may particular surface finishes. The most well-known is the herringbone finish. This type of surface finish is particularly suitable for tires that can perform with improved adherence in all climatic conditions.

Porphyry can be used in areas with frequent exposure to cold and frost.

In addition to being the best aesthetic appearance, it has the great ability to increase tire grip especially in those areas that often become slippery in cold seasons. The other ability is that it protects pedestrians too.

Porphyry, in fact, is normally installed on garage ramps with the cut side facing up and therefore on the surface providing a rough and adherent mantle.

How to design a garage ramp: models, floor plans and cross-sections to download and use for your project

We have modelled various types of garage ramps using the Edificius that you can try to reproduce yourself by making the most of the of this architectural design software functions.

Download the models, open them with the free trial version of Edificius and get started with your project immediately.

Download the DWGs in the .zip format with diagrams of the different ramp type projects

Download the 3D BIM model (.edf file) of the project