Carports and comparison of their types

Carports and comparison of their types



In the past, we have repeatedly commented on the issue of carport construction on various communication platforms. The project of building carports is a rather complex matter, especially if we take into account the legislative and regulatory differences concerning both the permitting procedure and the actual implementation in different European countries.

However, in this article, we would like to discuss the different types of solutions for the shape of the substructure, i.e., the upper part of the whole system. We will not focus on the different materials (aluminium, steel, wood, etc.), but rather on the different design options for the superstructure, which have a major influence on the utility value of the whole system, the choice of the strut profile and horizontal support elements, the dimensioning and technology of the foundations, and the way the superstructure is fixed to the ground. All these factors are logically also reflected in the cost of the entire carport.

The basic breakdown can be described as follows:

1. Carports with multi-point attachment to foundations: this is a structure that is typically mounted to ground screws or concrete/combined foundations at multiple points on the front and back of the carport.

  • The advantage of this type is the much simpler statics of the system, as the weight of the superstructure is distributed on both sides of the structure, and this also greatly simplifies the requirements for the design of the foundations; these can thus be made typically in the form of commonly available earth screws that are screwed into punched or, in a more extreme scenario, pre-drilled holes in the ground. 
  • The key disadvantage of this solution is the limited manoeuvring space under the carport roof, where, especially when the car park is fully occupied, drivers have a much more difficult situation when opening the car doors for getting in and out of the car in places close to the vertical struts. In carport public car parks (hotels, spas, airports, shopping malls, etc.), minor accidents can also be expected as a result of poorly managed parking manoeuvres.

Visualisation of Carports with Multi-Point Attachment:

Greenbuddies porovnání typů carportů - vícebodový systém

2. Cantilevered carports (with a single roof strut located at the rear of the structure in the single-row version ("L" variant) and typically in the middle of the structure in the double-row version ("T" variant)

  • The main advantage of this type of carport is the unrestricted manoeuvrability for drivers taking advantage of the 'covered' external parking area, as they do not have to be careful of mechanical obstacles in the form of the struts at the front of the carport when entering the covered parking area; the only thing they have to be careful of is the opening of the doors and possible damage to the paintwork.
  • The disadvantages of this solution are mainly due to the structural and physical variables: the distribution of pressure forces and the weight of the roof with photovoltaic panels (which in our latitudes in winter are often additionally loaded with snow), which are supported on only one side of the structure, logically require a specific structural design corresponding to the much more demanding statics of such a system, and at the same time a much more robust design of the foundations in concrete blocks or steel piles embedded in the ground; the cost of the earth part of such a solution can easily reach 40–60% of the cost of the superstructure.

Visualisation of a Cantilevered Carport:

Greenbuddies porovnání typů carportů - konzolový systém

Deciding on a specific variant and form of carport design for a car park is, therefore, often not an easy task. We would be delighted if you would contact us for a consultation at this stage of considering your future carport system. Together with our suppliers, we will not only offer you a suitable and tailor-made solution, but also arrange all pre-implementation engineering tasks. This includes the eventual addition of photovoltaics, EV chargers, or battery storage with a control system optimising the operation of the entire facility.

We always strive to provide our clients with the optimal solution to meet their current and future needs. This is doubly true for carports, and we believe that our experience is a valuable asset for our clients in this segment.



Every month in the Newsletter we bring you tips and interesting facts about photovoltaics and charging infrastructure in general. You will find out news about our projects, collaborations, as well as the internal life of Greenbuddies.

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