Parksmart is all in: Certification now a fit for all parking structures

Paul Wessel
Published on: 

For the green building community, every challenge is an opportunity: How do we leverage our assets to create triple-bottom-line value for our investors, our users and our future?

Today’s parking and transportation assets—be they structures, surface lots, bike share stations, EV charging infrastructure or the people who keep them all working—are the building blocks for a future of more mobility for more people, using less resources, while creating healthier communities.

Parksmart is a global tool for leveraging these parking and transportation assets. As part of broadening its impact, Parksmart is evolving to be even more accessible to, and useful for, parking asset owners. Parksmart is now a fit for all parking structures. We are "all in."

Making transportation greener

Parksmart is the world’s only rating system advancing sustainable mobility through smarter parking structure design and operation. Administered by GBCI, the global certification body for LEED, Parksmart joins GBCI’s suite of rating systems and programs that recognize excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally. Collectively, these programs work to turn the tide of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve water and natural resources, promote health and build resiliency.

To be successful in turning the tide, we need to tackle transportation. Globally, transportation produces nearly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—and it’s the fastest-growing source of those emissions. Equally troubling, the number of motorized vehicles on the world’s roads is projected to double by 2030.

To create inclusive, prosperous and resilient cities, sustainable mobility leaders envision transportation that facilitates the pollution-free flow of people and goods, providing affordable, healthy and integrated mobility for all people.

Transforming the market through thoughtful innovation

Parksmart mobilizes existing parking assets and shifts new parking assets toward achieving its goals. Through evolving technology, growing consumer demand for mobility choices and entrepreneurial energy, yesterday’s single-purpose parking assets are being transformed into tomorrow’s multimodal access hubs.

By encouraging thoughtful siting and design, best-in-class facility management practices and innovative technologies, Parksmart accelerates this market transformation. Parksmart certification helps owners of parking structures cut operational costs, reduce environmental impact, increase energy efficiency, diversify mobility options, promote mass transit and encourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles.

With 80 certified and registered projects in 19 U.S. states, and five countries participating with structures from airports to office buildings, Parksmart is a proven holistic standard toward which to build. Now, the program is evolving to be even more useful to parking asset owners.

Encompassing the idea that all buildings, communities and cities can do better, and recognizing there is a tremendous opportunity to effect change on a global scale across the entire built environment, this evolution includes the following updates.

What's new at Parksmart

  • GBCI has streamlined Parksmart certification for LEED-certified projects that include high-performance garages employing sustainable parking and transportation tools and practices, by allowing LEED O+M or LEED BD+C projects to achieve Parksmart points for specific LEED credits.
  • Parksmart is now fully housed on Arc, the new technology and data platform that helps projects track and continuously improve their performance. (See the Guide to Parksmart Certification 2.0 for details.) Arc recognizes that performance is the future of green buildings, and that the interconnections between sustainability, mobility, technology and data drive performance. Although the current requirements of the Parksmart Certification Standard remain unchanged, Parksmart’s migration to Arc will enable us to collect data and grow out performance-based approaches.
  • Parksmart is more accessible to parking structures working toward certification and a more useful tool for assessing portfolios. Like joining a gym, getting a workout plan and getting access to coaches, Parksmart recognizes that implementing high-performance strategies may take time and require feedback as projects are making progress. Targeting existing parking structures in particular, Parksmart now allows projects up to five years to take steps toward certification. Email us for more information and portfolio pricing.
  • To better support architects and engineers working on new parking structure construction, look for details on a precertification process for Parksmart before the end of the year. This will allow projects to review work already completed and confirm that projects are on the correct path.
  • Finally, we have adjusted Parksmart’s fees to allow for discounts for USGBC members (Silver and above), a rebalancing of fees between registration and certification and reduced pricing for existing parking structures of USGBC members. See the details at Parksmart introductory fees.

We have an exciting opportunity to leverage the built environment to accelerate our transition to a more sustainable, equitable and efficient transportation system. Reach out today and talk with us about getting “all in” with Parksmart.

Reach out to Parksmart for more