Ask the Experts - How do you see the “green” movement or new sustainable practices impacting the parking industry?

How do you see the "green" movement or new sustainable practices impacting the parking industry?

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Linda Kauffman
Vice President of Industry Solutions
T2 Sysytems

The "Green Movement" in parking has recently seen a dramatic increase in visibility. To most, anything to do with parking a motor vehicle draws a stare when part of environmentally friendly conversations. Parking is only needed when a car powered by gasoline and lubricated with oil needs to be at rest. Impact? Huge. Let's examine some of the issues: Lights in a parking garage; blacktop on a surface lot; required turnover of spaces for increase in revenues which equates to MORE cars; walkways and roadways of concrete; and limited on-street curb space requiring the great space hunt. The list goes on and on. Solutions? Many are appearing. Environmentally friendly lighting; solar power for lights, meters and other items; windmills for power in a garage; new and improved pervious material for hardscaping and landscaping; charging stations for electric vehicles; vehicle guidance systems in a facility and on the roadways; and underground steam systems for melting ice and snow. The list goes on and on.

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John W. Nolan, MS, CAPP
Director of Transportation Services
Harvard University

Very positively. I believe that the parking facility is a key infrastructure piece of the larger transportation system and as such plays a critical role in providing access to the commuter and business populations. Integrating cost effective and efficient parking structures as part of a "Mobility Hub" as Susan Zielinski the Managing Director of SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation) at the Center for Advancing Research and Solutions for Society at the University of Michigan described to me, makes a lot of sense. It's where multi-modalities can peacefully coexist within a reasonably close, defined area. Although all modalities don't have to reside or intersect within a single infrastructure component, if it makes since from an urban planning perspective, there is no reason why parking structures can't incorporate and accommodate more than just one modality of gas powered automobiles.

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Len Bier, CAPP
Principal
Bier Associates

The "Green Movement" has had a positive impact on the parking industry by focusing parking facility owners on lowering energy consumption. Owners are refixturing with new generation energy efficient fluorescent lights and/or installing solar power collection/generation devices at parking facilities. Adopting this green best practice is good for the planet and for a parking operator's bottom line, by lowering utility costs, which after labor costs is one of structured parking's largest fixed expenses.

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John W. Hammerschlag
President
Hammerschlag & Co., Inc.

Largely, positively - car sharing, new and more energy efficient and effective lighting systems, and renewable energy capital infrastructure will have the greatest impact on the parking industry. Generally speaking, there is a greater consciousness on being less wasteful which is beneficial to parking operations on a localized level and to the environment globally.

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Dan Kupferman, CAPP
Business Development Manager
Parkeon

Smart and successful innovators are providing energy efficient lighting solutions, solar powered parking meters and parking lots, electric vehicle charging stations, even sustainability standards and certification programs. The use of recycled materials and natural vegetation are being used to reduce storm water runoff and decrease air temperatures in parking lots. Kermit was right. It isn't easy being green, but it's well worth it.!

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Derek Kiley
President
WPS North America

Positive: Environmental awareness for mass transit and bicycle benefits to individual health and the earth, along with many more attractive urban settings for garages.
Negative: True recognition by LEED in the acceptance of cars, carbon and CO2. Green features also add cost to traditional garage design build.

 

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