garage access ramp project with BIM software

How to design a garage access ramp. The complete technical and professional guidelines

How to design a garage access ramp: the professional guide with essential technical specifications for engineers and architects and a practical example with dwg files and 3D model to download

In this guide, I illustrate the main issues to be taken into consideration in the design of a garage ramp and I provide you with a complete project of graphic drawings in dwg and the 3D BIM model, all downloadable and editable using professional software for engineers and architects.

Open the 3D models in the EDF format created with Edificius. Download the 30-day free Trial of the software here.


Download the 3D BIM model (.edf file)


I some of our previous articles, we had a look at how parking lots are designed and sized and how to design a garage too. With this new guide, concerning the aspects involved in garage ramp design, we can now combine them both to form a very interesting technical insight.

There are many elements that need to be considered for a correct garage access ramp design. Let’s see them in detail:

Ramp types

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.


Linear ramp design: created with Edificius

Linear ramp design: modelled with Edificius


Helix ramp design: created with Edificius

Helix ramp design: created with Edificius

Ramp 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

The vertical curvature radius is also important when transitioning from the ramp to the flat manoeuvre areas to prevent vehicles from ‘impacting’ underneath causing damages; in practice, the ramp must be connected with a gradually flowing path from one plane to the other.

For a one-way ramp, the minimum width is 3m, 4.5m if two-way.

If the ramp has a curve, the radius (measured flush with the outside) shouldn’t be less than 7m (for two-way ramps the minimum radius is 8.25 m.).

Between the beginning of the sloping section (upper part) and the public transit space, an adequate flat section should be left (at least 3m.). This allows the outgoing driver to get a good view before reaching the public area.

Furthermore, it’s also very important to consider rain water drainage systems at least at the base of the sloping section (preferably also at the top), with a driveway grate.


In summary:

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.

As mentioned above, the maximum slope for both types of ramps is 20% (recommended 16%).

For connecting levels, the slope must be a max of 6%.

Staggered linear ramps - modelled using Edificius

Staggered linear ramps – modelled using Edificius


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.

Garage access ramp project: download the EDF project models, plans and DWG sections

Here are the plans and sections of the different types of ramps in the DWG format and available for download.


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

Click here to download Edificius, the architectural BIM design software