by Brianna Crandall — October 22, 2018 — Canada’s first two certifications under the Parksmart sustainable parking certification system were just announced by Green Business Certification Inc. Canada (GBCI Canada). Touted as the world’s only rating system designed to advance sustainable mobility through smarter parking structure design and operation, Parksmart helps parking structure owners and managers future proof their assets and ensure they are functioning optimally in order to maximize operational savings.
Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s existing G Parkade southwest parking garage achieved Parksmart certification at the Pioneer level for existing parking structures by achieving over 90 points, and Yorkdale’s newly constructed E Parkade east structure certified Parksmart Bronze by achieving between 110 and 134 points. A “parkade” is a multistory parking garage.
The many sustainability measures that helped earn these certifications include:
- Rainwater collection through four cisterns in Parkade G and one in Parkade E, with capacity of 60,000 liters and 749,000 liters respectively, used for irrigation of the center’s landscaping and green roofs, and to power wash the garage;
- Grey water from a 30,000-liter tank in Parkade E that is repurposed for toilets and urinals in the public washrooms of Yorkdale’s East expansion;
- Energy-saving programmable lighting with occupancy sensors and exterior photocell lighting;
- Four electric vehicle charging stations for Parkade E and 10 for Parkade G;
- A complimentary tire inflation station at each parking garage that can be used by both drivers and cyclists.
For Oxford Properties Group, the Parksmart certification process for both projects has served to highlight opportunities to maximize and modernize parking assets, ensure strong returns on investment, and provide an enhanced parking experience for mall patrons, notes GBCI.
Claire Santamaria, director and general manager at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, remarked:
We saw Parksmart certification as a way to redefine parking at Yorkdale. It also complements our overall industry-leading corporate sustainability initiatives, which aim to reduce carbon footprints by lowering energy use and improving environmental quality. The parking garages encompass significant square footage and should not be overlooked. It is our responsibility to operate our garages with the lowest environmental impact possible.
For GBCI Canada, these certifications also mark a promising addition to the green building landscape in Canada, and a new opportunity for sustainability in a less traditional setting.
Thomas Mueller, chief executive officer (CEO) of GBCI Canada, commented:
I would like to congratulate Oxford Properties Group and their team at Yorkdale on this significant achievement. With these certifications Oxford is continuing its leadership, and again proving their strong commitment to excellence in greening its real estate portfolio. Parksmart certification demonstrates that commitment to shoppers and the local community, provides additional value to retail tenants and can reduce operating costs by as much as 25 percent.
Parksmart was introduced in Canada in February 2018 as a part of a new suite of tools and programs offered by GBCI Canada, aimed at assisting the industry in leveraging new opportunities to validate enhanced building performance and increase emissions reductions, operational savings and human health benefits.
The system is designed to synergize with existing GBCI certifications like the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating program, with projects capable of achieving up to half the necessary requirements for Parksmart certification within the LEED point system. Existing LEED registered and certified projects are also eligible for a 15-percent discount on Parksmart registration. To learn more about the Parksmart certification, how it works with LEED, and how to register, visit the GBCI Canada website.