Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It focuses on sustainability by encouraging companies to design highly efficient buildings.
What exactly does that mean? Building (or remodeling) a highly efficient building can include everything from the types of materials used in construction to energy efficient lighting to landscaping designs that require less water.
While LEED certification typically applies to new construction and not building restoration, it’s still an interesting topic in our industry as people seek to create spaces that are environmentally friendly and comfortable for the people who work there. There are even LEED certification options for existing buildings that are undergoing improvements to be more energy and water efficient.
So, can a parking garage be LEED certified? In short, the answer is no, parking structures are not eligible for LEED certification. They can, however, be Parksmart certified.
Parksmart is a similar certification program designed to recognize high-performing, sustainable garages. Some of the factors involved include reducing energy usage through lighting and ventilation, and other measures. Many Parksmart certified garages reduce their operating expenses up to 25% compared to the national average.
Other elements that have been used in sustainably built garages include systems to capture water runoff for use in landscape irrigation. Efficient use of construction materials can factor into certification as well, as can proximity of stand-alone parking structures to public transportation options.
Just as with LEED certification, there is a Parksmart certification option, called Parksmart Pioneer, available for existing structures.
While not every existing parking garage will qualify for Parksmart certification, it’s certainly interesting to learn more about how parking garages can be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
While JK Industries, Inc., doesn’t build parking garages, we can help owners maintain them over time through cleaning, drainage, joint repair and replacement, epoxy injection, carbon fiber reinforcement, and so much more.