5 Ways Your Parking Facility Can Save the World (and Money)

If you could reduce your parking facility’s carbon footprint, increase its operational efficiency, and save money, would you do it?

If your answer is yes — and how could it not be — consider retrofitting your parking facility.

Here are five low-risk, high-return green garage retrofits that can help save the planet and your profit margins.

1. LED Lighting

Ideal for: all parking facilities

In order to operate safely, parking facilities that are open 24/7 must be lit 24/7. This can significantly bloat your electricity usage and energy bills — particularly if you’re still using fluorescent, CFL, and/or incandescent lights.

And here, at the convergence of cost savings and green initiatives, is the holy grail of parking projects — an LED lighting retrofit.

We’ve found that for some parking facilities, just swapping from less efficient bulbs to LEDs can:

  • Reduce energy bills by over 50 percent
  • Provide much better visibility, which in turn:
    • Improves lot safety
    • Attracts more parkers
  • Reduce product and labor costs incurred by less efficient lamp replacements.
  • Provide comparative durability — even in low temperatures.

Further, partnering with professionals to tackle more complex light retrofits can yield stellar results. Impark has the know-how and network to guide parking facility owners to maximum rebates, incentives, and returns. In many instances, we can even drive ROI or payback within 12 months.

An Impark LED Lighting Success Story

Property Type:
Commercial Parking Garage
Before:
234 fluorescent T12 4ft and 8ft tubes; 55 fluorescent T8 tubes; 4 CFL and incandescent lamps.
After:
505 LED T8 tubes; 4 LED lamps.
Annual Energy Savings:
45% or 64,485 kWh
5-Year Cash Savings:
$45,150
Payback Period:
24 months
Government Rebates:
$3,375

(Originally published by Lumenix on Lumenix.com)

 

2. Motion Sensor Controls

Ideal for: parking facilities with fluctuating traffic volume

If LEDs weren’t a bright enough idea, you can enjoy additional savings of up to 70 percent by pairing them with motion sensors.

Motion sensors keep your facility’s lights low when it’s unoccupied. Then, when they detect a person and/or vehicle entering, they brighten, which creates a reassuring environment in fully automated or patrol-only facilities.

The savings accrued from sensors are two-fold: dimmed lights use less energy, keeping your bills low, and dimmed lights last longer, reducing maintenance costs.

3. Secure Bike Racks

Ideal for: office buildings, residential buildings

Bicycle parking is an easy-to-implement convenience that can attract new customers to your facility. It also gives existing tenants an eco-friendly commute option when the weather cooperates, which can in turn increase your parking availability for transient parkers.

However, choose your bike racks wisely. Bike theft is commonplace in most, if not all, downtown cores — chances are we all know someone who’s experienced it. For that reason, we recommend bike racks that lock both wheels and the frame in place, making theft much more difficult.

The placement of your bike racks is also key. Setting aside a bicycle storage area near the entrance or exit of your parking facility will ensure it’s easily accessible and minimize interactions between bicycles and cars for the safety of all.

4. Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

Ideal for: mid–high income areas, Class A towers, 4–5 star hotels, hospitals

Plug’n Drive, a non-profit promoting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles for their environmental and economic benefits, found that the average Canadian driver can reduce their car’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 percent when they switch to an electric vehicle — if they can find somewhere to charge it, that is.

Consumer demand for EVs is growing, and parking facility owners will eventually have to answer demand for EV chargers in order to stay competitive and keep their customer base from shrinking.

Many owners are already privy to this growing need. However, the complexity of installing and managing the stations properly can be an intimidating venture to undertake without professional support. It’s therefore worth familiarizing yourself with the operational challenges of EV charging stations before embarking on your own EV project.

EV chargers, when installed and managed correctly, bring equal benefit to parking owners and consumers thanks to the myriad municipal and private financial incentives available across North America. They can also help buildings take a significant step toward achieving LEED and ParkSmart status, and if desired can provide an additional source of revenue for the facility.

5. Parking Apps

Ideal for: all parking facilities

Businesses and municipalities of all shapes and sizes can greatly benefit from the sustainability of parking apps. Donald Shoup’s classic parking study found that up to 30 percent of vehicles in urban traffic flows are cruising for a parking spot. The result? Needless gas consumption and harmful airborne emissions.

Parking apps such as hangTag eliminate the need to cruise by providing drivers with the convenience of determining where to park before even leaving their house. The digital platform also provides the ability to reduce onsite maintenance costs and create a more labor-efficient environment.

So far, consumers have responded well to parking app availability across the continent. Since its launch in late 2017, hangTag has already been adopted by consumers coast-to-coast in Canada, with many adopting it as their parking payment method of choice. The app will launch in the U.S. in mid-2018, but is already available to download via Google Play and the App Store.

The Complete Package

Impark has successfully helped clients across North America achieve peak operational efficiency through well-executed retrofits.

We’ve re-engineered numerous parking structures over the years, turning each into sustainable, environmentally sound structures of which property owners and managers can be proud. Contact us today to see how we can drive sustainable success at your site.

Ian Hodgins is a director of strategic accounts at Impark. You can contact him at ihodgins@impark.com.

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