Up until now, parking garages were not able to earn green building certification, as LEED does not recognize them. That has changed though, with the introduction of the Green Garage Certification program by the Green Parking Council. Its purpose is to inspire real estate owners, developers, planners, architects, tenants, parking operators, and others to strive toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable future.
Green Garage Criteria
The criteria for green parking garage certification were developed by over 200 industry professionals in a consensus-driven process. The program is modeled after the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification for green buildings. It specifically addresses three categories of opportunities for sustainability:
Management – Highlights ways garage operations can maximize assets while minimizing waste.
Programs – Guides garages to new revenue sources, greater customer satisfaction and stronger community relations.
Technology and structure design – Outlines the physical attributes of a garage that can be used to increase energy efficiency, lower waste, and support customer mobility choice.
There is a minimum amount of credits required in each category. Based on an overall level of performance, eligible parking structures can be recognized with a Bronze, Silver, or Gold certification, which is awarded for three years and is renewable.
The Green Parking Council is a not-for-profit affiliate of the International Parking Institute (IPI) that provides leadership and oversight for the green conversion of parking facilities to sustainable, environmentally responsible assets. A guide to the program, with detailed descriptions of credits and the certification process, is available from the Green Garage Certification web site.