How your parking garage can benefit from both LEED and Parksmart

Sarah Buente
Published on: 

Did you know that the LEED and Parksmart rating systems work hand in hand? Recently, GBCI released the Parksmart and LEED Synergies guidance document, which provides a detailed list of credits within LEED that can also apply toward earning Parksmart certification. 

LEED-certified projects often include high-performance garages employing sustainable parking and transportation tools and practices. The synergies between the rating systems allow parking structures within LEED Operations and Maintenance (O+M) or Building Design and Construction (BD+C) projects to achieve Parksmart points for specific LEED credits. Now, credits need only be earned in one rating system—not both.

Demonstrate that your garage is a top performer.

Parksmart and LEED provide their customers with rigorous, third-party certification. Why is this so important for garages? Third-party certification programs affirm the integrity of a garage’s sustainability commitments by ensuring project teams are delivering on design plans and goals, not cutting corners. It signals to occupants and to the local community that a garage meets certain standards.

The Parksmart program benefits everyone, from building owners and property managers to tenants and drivers. Parking structures can achieve reduced environmental impact, increased energy efficiency and lowered energy usage through lighting, ventilation, controls and commissioning measures. In addition, such structures succeed at integrating sustainable mobility services and technologies, diversifying mobility options, promoting alternative modes of transportation and reducing operational costs up to 25 percent compared to the national average.

Likewise, LEED-certified buildings save money and energy, reduce water consumption, improve indoor air quality, facilitate better product and material choices and drive innovation. LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. From 2015–2018, it is estimated that LEED-certified buildings in the United States alone will have more than $2.1 billion in combined energy, water, maintenance and waste savings.

A LEED or Parksmart plaque on a building or garage signals leadership, letting everyone know that the building has an integrated design that will be energy- and water-efficient, while reducing overall environmental impact and increasing occupant health and comfort. 

Get started in achieving LEED and Parksmart synergies.

Review the guidance to see how close your LEED project is to earning Parksmart certification. To learn more about adding Parksmart certification to your LEED project, email us or speak to a USGBC representative at 800.795.1747.

Download the Parksmart and LEED synergies guidance