In December, the Green Parking Council recognized 25 forward-looking parking facilities across North America whose operators have committed to environmentally responsible technologies and practices. Among the many facilities recognized for sustainable strategies, the Brooks + Scarpa redesign of Frank Ghery’s Santa Monica Place parking garages, in Santa Monica, California, stood out for innovative sustainable lighting.
“At last, a smart parking garage,” is how the Los Angeles Times described the Santa Monica Place Garages 7 & 8 1800-space parking facility, which opened in January 2011. Boasting the nation’s first camera-based “Find Your Car” technology to help shoppers who can’t remember where they parked, the garage is lit by a high-efficiency fluorescent lighting system governed by both photocells and a lighting schedule.
Macerich, the retail developer, owner and operator who developed the facility, installed automated payment and single space monitoring systems to promote efficient traffic flow throughout the garage. Drivers now see new, highly visible green and red lights that indicate exactly which parking spaces are available, as well as reader boards and end-of-aisle arrows that show the number of open spaces in each direction.
The new M3 from Park Assist is a state-of-the-art system – the first of its kind in the United States – that uses imaging technology versus the more common ultrasonic systems currently in use in other parking garages. The breakthrough new “Find Your Car” feature uses kiosks, located in the parking structures, to conveniently help drivers locate their vehicles using their license plate numbers.
In addition to sustainable lighting, electric vehicle charging is offered in a preferred parking location and bike lockers are available as well.
“The Green Parking Council’s certification program for parking facilities was given increased importance this year with the decision by the US Green Building Council to cease granting LEED certification to parking garages,” explained, Gary Cudney, president & CEO at Carl Walker, Inc., a GPC Launch Partner. “The GPC Green Garage program is now the only recognized sustainability standard for new and existing parking facilities. We are honored and enthused by the broad participation in the Demonstrator Site program and the buzz it has created throughout the parking and planning communities.”
“All of these sites demonstrate how parking is part of the solution to creating a more sustainable environment,” added Constance Keedle, Administrative Director of the GPC. “Each site has its own unique story and shows the opportunity ahead for all of us.” Find more info on all the sites at www.greenparkingcouncil.org.