By Trevyr Meade
At GBCI, we recently celebrated Atlanta’s Grant Park Gateway, the first project in the world to achieve LEED, SITES, and Parksmart certifications. This inspirational project transformed an 8-acre parking lot into a beautiful community space that now includes a restaurant, shaded terrace plaza, acres of green space and parking for 1,000 cars. The project is a testament to what can be accomplished when a project team is able to pursue a wholistic vision that balances providing mobility and access with creating a sense of place. In addition to promoting sustainable mobility through bicycle parking, access to a nearby bicycle sharing hub and electric vehicle charging, the garage’s biophilic design strategies and green roof make it a natural extension of the surrounding park.
The project also demonstrates how multiple sustainability certification systems complement one another. The project team combined LEED, which focuses on buildings, Parksmart, a garage certification and SITES, designed for landscapes, to develop the project in an integrated way. While balancing multiple sustainability goals on a project is challenging, rating systems with clear performance thresholds provide a tool to help simplify this process and evaluate tradeoffs. It’s amazing to see how this came to life at the Grant Park Gateway.
Kudos to the Grant Park Gateway team on their thoughtful approach!
Trevyr Meade is a program manager with the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and is a member of IPMI’s Sustainability Committee and the Mobility Task Force.