Tag Archives: LEED

Parksmart Advisor Training


Parksmart Advisors lead clients through the certification process for sustainable parking structures. The Parksmart program is now offered under by the USGBC/GBCI alongside the suite of LEED and other sustainability rating systems. IPMI is the USGBC Education Partner providing the education required to earn this valuable certificate.

This is a four-day course.  You must attend all four sessions and pass the end of course assessment to become a Parksmart Advisor. All Parksmart Advisors are listed on USGBC’s website. Due to the online interactive nature of this course, this course is limited to 14 attendees.


  • Member rate: $275
  • Non-member rate: $495
  • Bulk rate discount of 20% available for organizations that enroll seven or more individuals.  Please contact professionaldevelopment@parking-mobility.org to enroll your organization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Illustrate and detail the specific management, programmatic, technological, and structural elements of certification
  • Evaluate a parking facility, including the tools, process, and procedures for submitting facilities for certification
  • Evaluate case examples against the Standard and determine acceptability or changes.
  • Illustrate acceptable versus non-acceptable evidence for certification application.
  • Review the Parksmart scorecard.

Course Credits: 9 CAPP Points/.90 CEUs

Courses –

For more information, contact professionaldevelopment@parking-mobility.org.

Opening Up a Whole New Frontier: Storytelling for Sustainability

By Paul Wessel

The air quality in Delhi is among the poorest in the world; it’s so bad that many people are quite literally allergic to the air. Doctors told Kamal Meattle, CEO of the Paharpur Business Center, that his lung capacity had diminished by 30 percent, that he should leave his city and seek safer air elsewhere.

But Kamal didn’t want to leave his home. Instead, he discovered that certain indoor plants could actually generate clean air. He began growing them inside his building. Since then, respiratory illness has dropped 34 percent among the building’s workers and air pollution-associated medical symptoms have decreased.

Kamal’s LEED-certified Platinum building is now the healthiest office building in Delhi. And his story is a model for how telling stories both changes lives and saves them.

We know stories are powerful. They convey the underlying values and impact of what we do. They help us reach larger audiences. This is true in IPMI’s outreach campaign, it’s true in the sustainable buildings movement, and we’re making it true throughout the U.S. Green Building Council. As our CEO Mahesh Ramanujam wrote on SustainableBrands.com recently:

In the coming days, as part of an overarching campaign called Living Standard, we will release the first in a series of reports that examine how storytelling can help us make strides in sustainability. Rooted in personal conversation and interaction, this new type of data will help us better understand how people from all walks of life feel about the issues at the core of the green building community’s mission–sustainability, green buildings and the environment.

The Living Standard campaign builds upon USGBC’s existing, world-class certification programs and works to ensure that every person on the planet, regardless of background or circumstance, has access to a better, more sustainable quality of life and a higher standard of living.

Parksmart’s leaders have great stories to tell. For example, check out Pam Messenger on Garage at Post Office Square, Mark Cho on WePark’s work in China, and Salem State’s Transportation Center’s Ed Adelman on YouTube.

Keep doing the great work you do. And make sure to tell your stories about the good you do in the world. Because, as they say, Parking Matters.

Paul Wessel is director, market development at the U.S. Green Building Council. This is the first of a week-long series of posts celebrating Earth Day.

The Parking Professional: Greening the Environment

How certification programs LEED and Parksmart are extending sustainability.

By Trevyr Meade, LEED GA

Sustainability requires designers, property managers, and consultants to find opportunities that go beyond a single building and can deliver triple-bottom-line benefits across people, profit, and planet. Owners are taking a focused look at each asset on their properties to identify new ways to not only reduce their envi­ronmental effects, but also increase financial savings and efficiencies.

For nearly 20 years, Leadership in Energy and Envi­ronmental Design (LEED), the green building program created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has been an international symbol of excellence when it comes to the sustainable design, operation, and man­agement of buildings. With more than 94,000 registered and certified projects in 167 countries and territories, it has become the world’s most widely used green build­ing program. LEED’s comprehensive and holistic ap­proach has helped define green building, and its success has inspired other certifications, such as Parksmart, that support the greening of the built environment.

Green Parking

Parksmart is the solution for property owners looking to align their parking structures with sustainability goals. Through certification, parking structures are recognized for smarter, more sustainable siting, de­sign, and operations. As new technologies and modes of transportation continue to change the way people travel, Parksmart is an opportunity for property own­ers and parking managers to update the services park­ing garages offer.
Today, there are more than 100 registered or certi­fied Parksmart garages. As owners continue to reimag­ine the services these structures offer communities, examples of innovative approaches can be found in the U.S., China, Europe, and Canada.

Parksmart benefits building owners and proper­ty managers as well as tenants and drivers. Parking structures can achieve reduced environmental impact, increased energy efficiency, and lowered energy use through lighting, ventilation, controls, and commis­sioning measures. In addition, such structures suc­ceed at integrating sustainable mobility services and technologies, diversifying mobility options, promoting alternative modes of transportation, and reducing operational costs up to 25 percent compared to the national average.

Synergies between LEED and Parksmart

Green building remains a priority for owners and managers and continues to deliver financial and envi­ronmental benefits for buildings. Its continued growth has created an opportunity to align green business cer­tification programs, including LEED and Parksmart. Synergies between the two programs are now helping design teams incorporate parking strategies into green building projects from the beginning.

Projects pursuing LEED certification for new con­struction or existing buildings under LEED v2009 and LEED v4 can automatically earn credit toward Parksmart certification. Not only is a property’s LEED certification also recognized by Parksmart, but specific LEED credits that focus on commissioning, construc­tion, building life cycle, and renewable energy are as well. The parking experience is often the first and last experience a visitor has with a LEED building, and these Parksmart synergies now put LEED projects on the path to another certification that demonstrates how their green building work extends beyond the building.

Third-party certification programs affirm the integrity of a garage’s sustainability commitments by ensuring project teams are delivering on design plans and goals, not cutting corners. It signals to occupants and  the local community that a garage meets certain standards.

Parksmart’s “Parksmart and LEED Syner­gies” guidance outlines the credit synergies and is available online at no charge at parksmart.gbci.org.

Earning Both Certifications
An office tower atop a parking structure or a retail mall containing structured parking can earn both LEED and Parksmart certifications, showing how sustainable principles can be applied beyond the building itself. Some of the strategies Parksmart encourages include:

  • Parksmart traffic flow strategies and wayfinding sys­tems deliver a parking experience that eliminates the needless emissions and frustration created when visitors have difficulty finding a parking space or navigating to the garage exit.
  • Parksmart bicycle amenities, such as lockers, drink­ing water, and mechanic stations, go beyond provid­ing bicycle parking to welcoming cyclists who visit your property.

Parksmart and LEED provide their customers with rigorous, third-party certification. Why is this so important for garages? Third-party certification pro­grams affirm the integrity of a garage’s sustainability commitments by ensuring project teams are deliver­ing on design plans and goals, not cutting corners. It signals to occupants and the local community that a garage meets certain standards.

Likewise, LEED-certified buildings save money and energy, reduce water consumption, improve in­door air quality, facilitate better product and material choices, and drive innovation. LEED-certified build­ings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. From 2015 to 2018, it is estimated that LEED-­certified buildings in the U.S. alone will have more than $2.1 billion in combined energy, water, maintenance, and waste savings.

“LEED and Parksmart are two sides of the same coin, and doing both together generates even greater return on our investment,” explains John Schmid, CEO of Propark America. “Focusing on, for example, a com­mercial building as a building as well as a multi-modal transportation hub with impact beyond the building is like compound interest. Our impact ripples out through the building community and the transporta­tion community. What’s better than that?”A LEED or Parksmart plaque on a building or ga­rage signals leadership, letting everyone know that the building has an integrated design that will be energy- and water-efficient, while reducing overall environ­mental impact and increasing occupant health and comfort.

Value of Multiple Certifications

As companies continue to work to validate sustain­ability performance and communicate progress, more and more projects are finding value in multiple certifications.
A Hines LEED Platinum property certified under Core and Shell, 811 Main (formerly BG Group Place) is recertifying under LEED O+M. The Houston, Texas, property is wrapped in a glass facade, hosts a vegetative roof, employs efficient lighting and ventilation technol­ogies, has a condensate recovery system to reduce the property’s resource consumption, and provides commut­ers with local and sustainable transportation options.
“811 Main was developed adjacent to a new public transportation feature—the Metro Light Rail—with sustainability in mind,” says Winpark’s Nichole Kenley. “The parking garage’s green roof, condensate recovery system, and its lighting controls are key to both the LEED and Parksmart certifications, so it’s wonderful to hear that the overlap is now recognized.” Both LEED and Parksmart certifications contributed to the BOMA International Outstanding Building of the Year TOBY Award.

Brookfield’s Bank of America Plaza drew from its LEED certification to achieve Parksmart recognition early on. The 2,128-space garage serves a 55-story office tower in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., and is a hub for the surrounding community. Sustainability measures implemented at the garage that helped achieve both cer­tifications include energy-efficient lighting and ventila­tion systems, green cleaning practices, low-­emitting ve­hicle spaces, bicycle parking amenities, electric-­vehicle charging stations, and access to sustainable transporta­tion options.

“The Parksmart certification validated all the work and policies we implemented in the garage when the building first achieved LEED status in 2009–2010,” ex­plains Mario Izaguirre, ABM parking facility manager at Bank of America Plaza. “Knowing that the garage holds its own certification makes us all even more proud to be here, and the dual certification helps our marketing efforts and leasing discussions with prospective clients, too.”

Parksmart benefits everyone from building owners and property managers to tenants, visitors, and neigh­bors. Certified parking structures reduce environmental impact, improve energy efficiency, and reduce energy consumption. Parksmart structures integrate sustain­able mobility services and technologies, diversify mobili­ty options, promote alternative modes of transportation, and reduce operational costs up to 25 percent compared to the national average.

Read the article here.

TREVYR MEADE, LEED GA, is certification program lead with the U.S. Green Building Council and a member of IPMI’s Research Committee. He can be reached at tmeade@gbci.org.


The Parking Professional: Building Well

Strategies, linkages, and lessons for the parking, transportation and mobility industry.

2018-12 Building Well 18-12 Building Well


The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI) administer multiple certification standards in addition to LEED standards. One of these standards will be familiar to our readers: Parksmart. The Parksmart program promotes sustainable and high-performing garages and parking garages through certification at multiple levels.

GBCI also administers certification and credentialing for a relatively new certification standard dedicated to promoting buildings that maximize the opportunities for both human health and environmental sustainability: the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™).

Those familiar with the triple-bottom line of people, planet, and profit, will recognize the importance of human health and wellness in this concept. Our health and wellness intersect with the environments where we spend most of our time. LEED criteria address these concepts in many cases, examining air quality, lighting, comfort, and general environment through multiple strategies to improve our experience in residential, office, and other property types.

Over the course of a 30-year building lifecycle, personnel costs account for more than 90 percent of costs, dwarfing design and construction costs of 2 percent and operations and maintenance costs of 6 percent. No matter what industry, those numbers are telling—and addressing human health and wellness to the benefit of both individuals and organizations makes financial sense, as well as good stewardship of our most important asset—our people.

Fundamentals of the WELL Building Standard
WELL addresses buildings and the features that have impacts to human health and wellness. Given that we spend nearly 90 percent of our time indoors, the impact of the quality of our natural environment as well as the quality of our built environment cannot be understated.

The standard is an “independently verified, per­formance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of buildings that impact human health and well-being.” More than 100 features ad­dress areas including nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, productivity and performance. These fea­tures may deal with operations and design, of the im­pact to human behavior. Certification may be achieved at silver, gold, or platinum levels.
More than 100 million square feet have been reg­istered or WELL-certified, including projects in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UAE, Europe, and Australia. WELL is flexible across multiple building types and offers pilot programs for multifamily residential, edu­cation, retail, restaurant, and more.

The standard addresses seven concepts: air, wa­ter, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. These concepts provide the top-level structure for the certification program. (For comparison pur­poses, Parksmart contains four primary categories: Management, Programs, Design and Technology, Innovation). In WELL, these seven concepts include more than features, which may be considered compa­rable to Parksmart measures. Each feature includes multiple parts that may be reviewed in the certification standard.

LEED or Parksmart
Both programs are initiated with registration through an online platform and applicants provide documenta­tion to substantiate features (or measures).
One key difference is that WELL requires perfor­mance verification, which is a series of onsite, post-­occupancy performance tests to monitor building per­formance after occupants have moved in. Certification is earned once the project has documented compliance with selected features and passed performance verifica­tion. A second key difference at this time is that recer­tification is required after three years to make sure that the building maintains the desired level of design, main­tenance, and operations. This is a critical step to ensure that buildings are functioning as they were designed to and that the desired behaviors of occupants match the planned outcomes, allowing operations to be recalibrat­ed if those results don’t match what is planned.

WELL breaks up certification standards into three primary groupings:

  • Core and Shell
  • New and Existing Interiors.
  • New and Existing Buildings.

The first two apply to different owner/tenant splits depending on how much of the building remains in the control of the building owner. New and Existing Buildings will be most familiar in the parking, trans­portation, and mobility industry, addressing the entire scope of design and construction, and some elements of operations.

Point Structure
Preconditions, which are known as prerequisites in LEED, must be achieved and may be considered non-negotiable. Similarities exist to IPMI’s Accredited Parking Organization (APO) program; the accredita­tion mandates that 25 required criteria are achieved as a baseline. Optimizations, known as measures in Parksmart, are selected and documented from a total of 59 available choices.

New and Existing Buildings must achieve 41 pre­conditions in the certification system for Silver Certifi­cation. The system includes 59 possible optimizations. Buildings that meet 40 percent of the applicable op­timizations earn Gold, and 80 percent earn Platinum. Pilot programs (including communities and multifam­ily residential and educational building types) offer similar point structures.

Preconditions in the New and Existing Building category include aspects such as air quality standards, construction pollution management, fundamental wa­ter quality, visual lighting design, interior fitness circu­lation, activity incentive programs, accessible design, post-occupancy surveys, and beauty and design.

Optimizations include air quality monitoring and feedback, water treatment, responsible food produc­tion, daylight modeling, exterior active design, physical activity spaces, and adaptable spaces, as well as inno­vation points.

Of the seven concepts in the system, the parking, trans­portation, and mobility industry may find the features provided in the fitness section most relevant. This concept supports the “integration of physical activity into everyday life by providing opportunities and sup­port for an active lifestyle and discouraging sedentary behaviors.” There are multiple linkages where as an industry we can apply WELL strategies, including:

  • Interior fitness circulation.
  • Activity incentive programs.
  • Exterior active design.
  • Physical activity spaces.
  • Active transportation support.

The next section addresses each of these five ele­ments and their potential adaption to our industry and its facilities.

Interior fitness circulation
This precondition addresses stair accessibility and pro­motion as well as design. One staircase in buildings with two to four floors should be accessible to building occu­pants and provide wayfinding and visual prompts and should be both clearly visible and within 25 feet of the primary entrance, lobby, or welcome area. Stair width must be 56 inches between handrails and or allowable by code. In addition, this addresses aesthetics; two of the following must be included: artwork, music, daylighting, view windows, designated lighting levels, or biophilic elements. (Biophilia, as defined by Wikipedia, is the in­herent human inclination to affiliate with nature.)

The design of staircases and related wayfinding is a natural fit for our parking and transportation facilities and may be simply applied to new designs. This con­cept can and should be extended to potential walking and biking trails to and from parking facilities to the desired destinations.

Stairwell exemplifies interior fitness circulation element through its daylighting and biophilic views.

Activity incentive programs
For this precondition, the project must implement two programs for all full-time employees (FTEs). Although not a comprehensive list, most relevant to our industry are tax-exempt payroll deductions relating to active transportation or mass transit or subsidies towards annual bicycle share membership.

The widespread adoption and promotion of transportation demand management (TDM) policies and programs in the parking and mobility industry relates directly to this feature. Please see page 34 for a detailed summary of TDM in this issue, or download the resource in the IPMI resource center at parking-mobility.org/resource-center.

Exterior active design
This optimization (to reiterate, these optimizations are potential, and not required), addresses pedestrian ame­nities, pedestrian promotion, and neighborhood connec­tivity. Pedestrian amenities include benches, clusters of movable furniture for outdoor seating, drinking fountains, or water stations. To promote active pedestrian circula­tion, elements include water features, plazas or open-air courtyards, gardens and landscaped elements, and public art. Neighborhood connectivity incorporates high Walk Scores® and additional diverse uses as identified by LEED BD+C within a half-mile.

Some of our members’ facility designs take these concepts to the next level; Park(ing) Day culminates in these expressions on an annual basis. The image on the next page showcases both exterior active design as well as other criteria addressed in this article.

Physical activity spaces
This optimization aims to promote physical activity through designated free indoor exercise space as well as external opportunities for exercise. External spaces must be complimentary and within a half-mile walking distance:

  • Green spaces/parks with playground features.
  • Workout station or fitness zone.
  • Trail network.
  • Accessible body of water or public swimming pool.
  • Gym or fitness center.
  • Recreational fields.

The more recent application of rooftop fields and similar spaces on parking facilities provides a terrific opportunity to place these facilities in close proximity to the building seeking WELL certification.

Active transportation support
The Centers for Disease Control defines active trans­portation as “any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking or bicycling.” This optimization covers bicycle storage and support, addressing distances to the main entrance as well as bicycle maintenance tools and bicycle storage. Storage must be provided for at least five percent of regular building occupants, in addition to shorter-term storage for 2.5 percent of peak visitors. Post commute/fitness facilities are also addressed in this part, requiring both showers and lockers.  TDM programming, LEED, APO, and Parksmart di­rectly address active transportation support, especially in the form of bicycling facilities and bike-share.

Additional Considerations
One of the core concepts in the standard is Mind. This concept addresses the complex connection between mental health and building design. A building may be designed to support and reinforce a health mental state.

Beauty and design
This required precondition’s intent is “to thought­fully create unique and culturally-rich spaces.” More qualitative than quantitative in its approach, the proj­ect must contain features that promote human delight; celebration of culture, spirit, and place; and integration of public art.

Design in our buildings can use or mimic natural elements. This optimization addresses how to incor­porate nature through the development of a biophilia plan (environmental elements, lighting, and space layout), the incorporation of natural patterns, and op­portunities for interactions between people and nature both indoors and outdoors. An addition optimization addresses this concept further in the areas of outdoor biophilia (landscaped areas or accessible rooftop gar­dens) indoor biophilia (wall and potted plantings in interior spaces), and multiple water features.

This optimization covers charitable activities through the provision of paid time on or off the clock for vol­unteer opportunities, as well as financial contribu­tions. Our community is well-versed in the benefits of connection to charitable causes for both employees and patrons; The Parking Professional has featured the generous Donations for Citations and related program­ming showcased by our IPMI members; see p. 27 in the November 2017 issue for more.

The innovation concept allows for greater creativity and expansion of the WELL standard into the future. Both LEED and Parksmart offer innovation points to address aspects not covered in the current version of the standards. Innovation proposals may extend beyond the current requirements or thresholds, or con­tain a new concept.

Takeways and Next Steps
This overview of the WELL standard merely touches the concepts of human health and wellness, our built environment, and relevance to the parking, transpor­tation, and mobility industry. However, there are two key takeaways that we as an industry can utilize as a starting point.

1.Our human health is inextricably linked to our physical environment. As parking, transportation, and mobility professionals, we have the ability—and the opportunity—to make a massive impact on the health and wellness of our communities through our planning, design, operations, and programming.

2.The IPMI Accredited Parking Organization program, TDM, LEED, Parksmart, and WELL all pursue similar, related, and intertwined out­comes. High-performing buildings are sustainable. High-performing operations are profitable. Healthy, productive, and high-performing people are both. We should as an industry continue to explore these concepts and magnify these programs’ collective impacts together—to maximize our positive and profound impact on our individual communities.

Read the article here.

To find out more about WELL, visit wellcertified.com.

To jump in the fray and explore what these concepts mean for us in the future, contact me. I can’t wait to hear your feedback.

RACHEL YOKA, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, is IPMI’s vice president for program development. She can be reached at  yoka@parking-mobility.org.