Parking garages are no longer just nondescript concrete slabs. Earlier this month, the Green Parking Council (GPC) announced the first seven parking facilities in the country to achieve Green Garage Certification.
The title is determined by a rating system that factors in 48 elements of garage operation, structure, and technology, and recognizes sustainable practices in parking structure management.
The seven garages are located throughout the U.S. and have various uses. Four of them are office buildings: Brookfield’s Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles; BG Holdco LLC’s BG Group Place in Houston; and Brookfield’s Silver Spring Metro Plaza and JLL’s Westpark Corporate Center, both in the Metro Washington D.C. area.
Cornell University’s Forest Home Garage in Ithaca, N.Y., is the lone school represented on the list, while Charles Square Hotel’s garage in Cambridge, Mass., and Och Ziff Capital Management Group Parking Acquisition Ventures’ Canopy Airport Parking in Denver are the only lodging and transportation venues on the list.
A variety of factors can make a parking garage green, from enhanced ventilation and energy-efficient lighting to greywater reuse and rainwater harvesting. Some have guidance systems to help drivers find their cars, others have tire inflation and electric car fueling stations, as well as car sharing and bicycle parking options.
The advantages of green garages not only help drivers but they also serve to benefit building owners. Reduced energy from lighting, ventilation, controls, and commissioning measures can keep operational costs around 25% lower than the national average.