More businesses than ever are looking to find solutions to make their parking lots more sustainable. Contractors are shifting their methods to more sustainable approaches that take into consideration the environment, people and the economy. The dynamics are seen in many urban parking structures often include heavy, inefficiently large, ever-changing and complex design structures that come with rows and rows of space, ramps and passenger elevators. These parking structures have proven to be unsustainable as our global attitude makes its way toward better solutions for the environment.
How To Make Parking More Sustainable
To effectively accommodate the growing number of people and cars, parking structures will require space efficiency. The use of automated parking systems (APS) is to help significantly reduce the volume and the land area needed for a car to fit. These structures can double the number of car parking spaces compared to conventional parking lots. The flexibility of their designs can allow them to be placed in a location where other traditional parking solutions would not be feasible.
In most cases, an automated parking system would be more sustainable because of its energy-efficient processes. An APS uses less ventilation, lighting, security systems, elevators and other options than traditional parking enclosures. Our planet does not have unlimited resources, so it is necessary to find sustainable solutions when possible. Automated parking systems can use recycled steel for their building materials. The use of recycled steel can reduce emissions from CO2 and reduce energy consumption by up to 75%.
Sustainability for The Environment
Protecting the environment is a top priority, and sustainability needs to encompass all of nature and its natural processes. Reducing the number of airborne pollutants is always necessary, and automated parking systems can help reduce pollutants in a variety of ways. One way an APS can help reduce airborne pollution is by eliminating excessive driving and waiting for a vehicle in parking garages when looking for a space to park. With an APS, drivers will leave their locked cars in the entrance and the system will automatically park and retrieve the vehicle for the owner.
Water Efficiency and Resources
The use of an automated parking system is much smaller than traditional parking solutions. Consequently, the size of a parking facility plays a vital role in controlling the amount of stormwater that runs off of it. The size can also affect the urban “heat island” effect that is often created by large surfaces using impervious materials such as concrete. It takes fewer materials to create a smaller parking system, so fewer resources are needed and wasted.
Automated parking structures use mechanical devices. This can lead to capital depreciation benefits for the local economy. Capital depreciation is a tax deduction owners of the building can receive to help recover some of the costs associated with the life cycle of the equipment used in creating the building. To ensure constant function in the automated parking solution, redundancy should be a top priority.
Redundancy should be used for a backup power supply and the use of dual performing equipment. Backup systems for automated parking complexes should include battery pack units and gas-powered generators. The system should also be adapted for the use of the passenger elevators included in the structures.
Renewable and Rechargeable Systems
Some automated parking systems use rechargeable batteries as their alternative energy sources. These batteries are sustainable and good for the environment because they are recyclable and energy-efficient. The ability to link to alternative energy sources is necessary and should include alternative sources such as wind, solar, fuel-cell, biomass and green-grid solutions for the future.
Sustainable parking solutions are not just nice ideas for sustainability and green building designs. As time goes by, they are becoming more of a regulated necessity by local and federal governments. Building owners and those who hold a stake in buildings are beginning to demand higher levels of sustainability in the designs. Automated parking solutions offer efficient resource usage, efficient parking options and protection for the environment.