In a large office building or mixed-use development, parking garage ventilation can represent 30 percent or more of the property’s total annual energy bill, consuming upwards of 400,000 kilowatt hours per year. In some cases, ventilating the garage consumes more energy than lighting the facility.
Enclosed parking garages in North America are subject to ventilation standards established by the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE). The IMC and ASHRAE stipulate garage ventilation systems must run continuously during hours when the building is occupied, unless the facility is using a sensor-based, demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) system.
Stricter garage ventilation performance standards have prompted technological innovations, whereby certain garage DCV systems can now routinely reduce energy consumption by 90 percent or greater—all while the garage fans run continuously. Equally relevant, these advancements ensure the health and safety of those who work in the garage and those who might live or work above it.