Parking Structure 5

Sacramento, CA
Certification Level: 
Project Owner: 
Trustees of California State University
Project Operator: 
University Transportation & Parking Services
Project Size: 
549,000 sq. ft.
Property Manager: 
California State University, Sacramento
Project Overview: 

Located by the main entrance to the Sacramento State campus, Parking Structure 5 was designed to blend and complement the dense tree canopy of the nearby arboretum. Replacing an existing surface lot, the 1,750 stall, six level, 549,000 square foot parking structure serves a campus in dire need of parking and provides a structure exceeding the quality and efficiency of any of the previous parking facilities. Also the design of the parking structure was centered on people. Students, staff, and the public needed to easily and clearly navigate their way on and off the campus while using this facility to park and retrieve their vehicles. It also was connected to the campus Welcome Center, reinforcing the need for a positive parking experience for someone new to the university. Parking is often the first and last impression when visiting the campus. The design and construction focused on six factors that created the optimum environment and user experience for people: flow, pedestrian activity, safety and wayfinding, sustainability, and lighting.

Key Sustainability Features
1. The parking structure has a built-in occupancy sensor system which alerts drivers to the number of available parking spaces via a signboard outside the parking structure as vehicles enter. Once inside the structure, the drivers watch for the overhead LED lights that indicate open and filled parking spots ahead reducing the time it takes the drivers to find a stall and turn off their engine to reduce emissions.
2. There is a tire inflation station, a bike compound for 100 two-wheelers, 54 electric-vehicle charging stations, carpool/clean-air vehicle spaces on multiple floors, and a photovoltaic solar array at the top level.
3. There are bio-swales on the grounds to reduce the amount of potentially dirty stormwater runoff into the American River.

Key Savings and Reductions
1. At least 75% of total energy used on-site is created by on-site renewable energy generation.
2. Water-efficient landscaping was designed and installed
3. Dynamic wayfinding was installed in the parking structure to allow drivers to quickly find empty stalls and reduce idling.
4. The structure also features a state-of-the-art seismic resistance system known as the Precast Hybrid Moment Frame. It achieved the Gold Certification from the United States Resiliency Council which rates structures for safety, damage, and recovery time in a seismic event.
5. Structure was produced in an off-site manufacturing plant, removing 5,700 worker days from the campus jobsite. That reduced commuter impacts by over 10,000 car trips and reducing campus congestion, site accidents, and carbon footprint.

Financial Benefits
In energy costs alone, the parking structure’s 1,800 solar panels offsets the energy costs by approximately $120,000/year. Additionally, the solar panels produce more energy than the structure uses on an annual basis and will help the campus take another step toward their carbon neutrality goal of 2040. The financial impact of this is potentially $30,000 saved annually in other energy projects that won’t need to occur because of the positive contribution the solar production and reduced operating costs from other built-in energy efficiency features of PS 5 is having on total campus emissions reductions.

Community Benefits
Because the structure is equipped with 57 electric vehicle charging stations and 120 reserved spaces for clean air and carpool vehicles, the campus community and the surrounding community benefits from that being one of the densest quantity of clean vehicle infrastructure in charging availability and parking priority in the area. Another aspect in supporting clean and emission-free transportation is the bike share program PS 5 supports in conjunction with a public-safety officer secured bike parking compound. The local community benefits from less traffic congestion and accidents from less cars on the road. Additionally, regular campus sustainability tours are available to the general public providing education about the many sustainability features of the parking structure, the sustainability benefits of how it was made, and the benefits the structure provides to the surrounding community.

"Sustainability, innovation, determination, and teamwork were key factors contributing to Parking Structure 5's designation as a Parksmart Gold certified project. Those factors are a part of the Sac State DNA and guide our stewardship of precious resources. The certification is testimony to Sac State's commitment to a sustainable environment." - Sacramento State Newsroom article written by Dixie Reed on December 3, 2020