The Electric Vehicle Revolution is Imminent

Doing the Right Thing

Preparing your existing real estate now to accommodate the future of EVs is prudent. Not only will it help attract future tenants who are looking for amenities, such as EV charging stations, but also it offers an opportunity to realize greater efficiencies in your building’s performance to help offset the inevitable increase in energy demand.

More importantly, however, planning for a more sustainable future isn’t just smart—it’s the right thing to do in the long run.

“As an owner who’s committed to running a responsible building, increasingly thinking about that owner’s role in developing a more sustainable society and being resilient and figuring out how you fit into the picture … it’s valuable to be doing ‘the right thing,’” Wessel says. “It’s frankly not that expensive, and it’s a good thing to do.”

USGBC’s Parksmart Program

PARKING is one of the largest land uses in cities, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C. As the number of motor vehicles on the road continues to grow, with projections topping 2 billion by 2030, parking structures are taking on greater significance in terms of ensuring a sustainable future for the transportation sector.

Enter Parksmart. Formerly known as Green Garage Certification, Parksmart is currently the only rating system designed with sustainable mobility in mind through responsible siting, design and operations. Administered by Green Business Certification Inc., the program is a complement to LEED and other green rating systems.

“What our program Parksmart does is lay out a whole menu of options to think about in your parking structure and say, ‘This is an asset that provides a service that I’ve decided is necessary to meet the needs of people wanting to access my building, whether it be a sports arena or an office building or university or a hospital,’” says Paul Wessel, director, market development, for USGBC.

“‘How do I best take advantage of this asset and look at the ways in which it can help create cleaner air, cleaner water and build a stronger community? And what are the opportunities for me as an owner and what makes sense for me to invest in today as part of building that tomorrow?’”

To that end, the Parksmart program guides new and existing structures toward efficient solutions that benefit building owners, property managers, tenants and society overall. Based on rigorous best practices, the certification program defines, measures and recognizes high-performing, sustainable garages that reduce their environmental impact, increase energy efficiency and performance, integrate sustainable mobility services and technologies, and more.

Much like LEED, Parksmart awards points (248 maximum) for sustainable practices across four categories, including management, programs, technology and structure design, and innovation. Projects that receive 160 points or more are awarded the program’s highest designation: Parksmart Gold.

For more information, visit the website.

About the Author

Robert Nieminen
Robert Nieminen is a freelance writer; the former editor of Interiors & Sources magazine; and retrofit’s editor at large, specializing in interiors. Under his direction, Interiors & Sources was the recipient of several publishing awards, as well as a pioneer of sustainability reporting.

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