Up until now, parking garages were not able to earn green building certification (LEED does not recognize them). That has changed this week, though, with the introduction of the Green Garage Certification program by the Green Parking Council.
The Green Garage Certification (GGC) program is the first of its kind, recognizing sustainable practices in designing, programming, building, and operating parking garage structures. Its purpose is to inspire real estate owners, developers, planners, architects, tenants, parking operators, and others to strive toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable future, and it offers a roadmap and assessment tool.
Green Garage Criteria
The criteria for green parking garage certification were developed by over 200 industry professionals in a consensus-driven process. The program is modeled after the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification for green buildings. It specifically addresses three categories of opportunities for sustainability:
- Management – Highlights ways garage operations can maximize assets while minimizing waste.
- Programs – Guides garages to new revenue sources, greater customer satisfaction and stronger community relations.
- Technology and structure design – Outlines the physical attributes of a garage that can be used to increase energy efficiency, lower waste, and support customer mobility choice.
There is a minimum amount of credits required in each category. Based on an overall level of performance, eligible parking structures can be recognized with a Bronze, Silver, or Gold certification, which is awarded for three years and is renewable.
Certification focuses on three areas – management, programs, and technology and design
Certification assessors are trained professionals that can be employed to assist a project in the certification process. Their services are not mandatory, however.
Benefits of Certification
“By incorporating sustainable design, technology, programs, and management, high-performance parking facilities lower their operating costs, enhance their value, and boost their revenue. They score points with tenants, patrons, and the community at large by offering improved efficiency and an integrated diversity of mobility options. When they become Green Garage Certified, these forward-thinking facilities affirm their commitment to sustainability, quality, performance, customer service, and the future of the planet.”
The Green Parking Council hopes that the program will drive future efficiencies in:
- increased energy efficiency and performance
- reduced environmental impact
- efficiency in parking space management
- integrated sustainable mobility services and technologies
- diversity of mobility options
- stronger community relationships
The Green Parking Council is a not-for-profit affiliate of the International Parking Institute (IPI) that provides leadership and oversight for the green conversion of parking facilities to sustainable, environmentally responsible assets. A guide to the program, with detailed descriptions of credits and the certification process, is available from the Green Garage Certification web site.
Source: Green Parking Council
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock