What is green parking?
Green parking is a standard for more sustainable and environmentally-friendly parking lot design and features. In the past few years, as businesses move to be smarter and more responsive to consumer preferences for sustainable products and services, the parking and mobility industry has seen a rise in green parking space demand.
What are the benefits of having green parking lots?
From more efficient building materials to smart technologies, green parking lot design can be good for the environment and good for budgets. More efficient materials, technologies, and strategies for managing vehicles can reduce labor, energy, and building costs.
Introducing permeable or semipermeable materials like grass, natural stone pavers, or even previous concrete can create more efficient surfaces for stormwater collection and purification. Further, technology solutions can create more sustainable practices both within the parking asset and in the larger community.
Small-scale additions like accepting mobile reservations and digital payments can reduce paper tickets and conserve resources while larger-scale implementations like electric vehicle (EV) charging stations can promote sustainable energy use and be a catalyst for the broader EV adoption movement.
What can parking operators do to bring sustainable parking to their parking lot?
There are a number of paths parking operators can take to create a green parking garage. Depending on the stage of building, smart materials and smart technology can be introduced to create a green parking operation.
For new building structures, eco-friendly building materials can be used to reduce the overall heat and emissions footprint and the structure of the parking asset can be designed for more efficient day-to-day operations. For existing structures, there are some building add-ons that can be introduced to reduce footprint as well as green and future-ready technologies
Sustainable Car Parking Ideas
Add an EV Charging Parking Solution
EV charging is a popular green parking strategy. It can positively impact your operation’s bottom line, the environment, and the community.
With range and charging anxiety still some of the most significant barriers to EV adoption, increasing the supply of charging resources is one of the most significant green contributions a parking provider can make.
By becoming a destination for EV drivers, your parking asset can also secure an additional revenue stream. As we approach a recession, diversifying your revenue streams is one of the best ways to stabilize profits through uncertain times.
Use Permeable Pavers for your Parking Lot Areas
Permeable pavers can be used to reduce runoff and improve rainwater filtering. They can be ideal for decorative barriers, entryways, ancillary parking areas, and exterior landscaping.
However, it is important to consider that permeable pavers may not be durable enough to withstand the demands of high-traffic areas. They also may not be suitable for areas that need to be handicap-accessible.
Use Pervious concrete for your Parking Spaces
In high-traffic parts of a parking asset, pervious concrete can be a great green option. This will reduce toxic runoff and improve the absorption of water back into the ground. It can also absorb more sunlight and heat, reducing the heat island effect.
Especially in making green renovations to an existing structure, adding plants can be a smart and eco-friendly addition to any parking operation. They, too can contribute to reducing the heat island effect. Plants also absorb CO2 emissions, prevent erosion and runoff, and add a welcoming, green appearance to your parking asset.
Some parking lot design examples
River South in Austin, Texas is an example of a green parking lot design. Earning the designation of the Smartest Building in Texas, River South’s future-ready, green parking garage features intelligent energy conservation features that are responsive to occupancy and an EV charging solution to serve its modern customers.
The smart building system adjusts heating and cooling based on how many people are in the building and begins adjusting climate preemptively based on when tenants pull into the parking garage. Resource conservation efforts in the smart building and its green parking garage also include onsite water treatment and non-potable water reuse systems.
To serve the diverse transit needs of its tenants and guests, River South has introduced a set of intelligent, reservable charging stations through FLASH’s future-ready EV charging program.
What are the most important Green Parking Lot Design Guidelines?
Green parking lot design should factor in sustainable building materials, the conservation of resources during normal operating, and compatibility with the emerging electric vehicle ecosystem.
- Green parking lot building materials include permeable pavers, pervious concrete, and plants.
- To conserve resources, green parking assets should be energy efficient, recycle stormwater, reduce runoff, and potentially be generating energy with solar panels.
- To become compatible with the EV ecosystem, any green parking garage or lot should have ample reservable, accessible, and functional EV charging stations.
What are the costs of having a green parking garage?
The upfront cost of installing green features to a parking asset can vary. However, the routine operating costs of a green parking asset are actually lower than traditional parking assets due to their increased energy efficiency and decreased resource demands.
Making an investment in green parking garage solutions today is a strategy that will pay off with a strong ROI, the benefit of getting ahead of green building regulations, and low day-to-day operating costs. Plus, being a green parking option can draw more customers to your parking offering and increase their willingness to pay.