Groups Partner to Promote Green Garage Certification

WASHINGTON — The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the International Parking Institute (IPI) and the Green Parking Council (GPC) announced they will be working together to promote sustainable parking design and the GPC’s recently launched Green Garage Certification program.

The three organizations signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec. 18 to work in a strategic partnership for the delivery and promotion of the GPC’s Green Garage Certification, which applies to both new and existing parking structures. Based in New Haven, Conn., GPC is offering the certification as the parking industry equivalent of LEED certification, and the certification is an incentive to build parking garages that meet high standards in sustainable design, technology, operations and management.

Washington-based GBCI is the certification body for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system. The IPI, based in Alexandria, Va., is the largest association of parking professionals and is an affiliate of GPC.

The organizations hope the partnership will allow all parties to expand their network and mission.

“Sustainability in parking is integral to building a greener future, not only structurally, but also by shaping transportation networks that support more livable, walkable communities,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, GBCI president, in a statement. “This agreement will also expand the GBCI’s portfolio and mission to recognize excellence in green performance and practice.”

Developed over several years, the Green Garage Certification harnesses expertise from a range of related fields, including parking, architecture, engineering, technology, property management and academia. The certification program assesses 50 elements of parking facility sustainability, including management practices that maximize performance while minimizing waste; programs encouraging alternate modes of transportation and community engagement; and efficient and sustainable technology and structure design.

GPC has identified 44 building blocks that will help existing and new construction parking garages become sustainable. These include energy efficient lighting, greywater reuse, rainwater harvesting, indoor air monitoring and no- or low-VOC coatings. The council also factors in management and programs, including shared parking, cleaning procedures, a rideshare program and bicycle parking, among others.

“This is a game-changer,” explained John Schmid, chairman of GPC, in a statement. “Collaborating with the GBCI will result in a multiplier effect, dramatically increasing awareness of sustainable parking design, operations, and management. This is an epic moment for parking and a giant leap forward toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable garage of the future.”

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