What is a sustainable parking space ? – Definition
A sustainable parking space is a parking facility designed and developed to minimize its environmental impact while promoting sustainable practices.
These car parks incorporate various technologies, materials, and concepts to reduce their energy consumption, limit greenhouse gas emissions while conserving natural resources, and improve the quality of the local environment.
Ultimately, these car parks are designed to comply with local and national environmental standards, thereby avoiding the costs associated with possible fines and penalties.
As an employer, and of course, if your building has a car park for your staff and visitors, it’s worth taking stock of it and looking at any improvements that can be made to make it more environmentally friendly.
Not only can it be an essential component of your CSR policy, but beyond that, by making various improvements around your company’s car park management, you are also strengthening your brand image by demonstrating your commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
What are the characteristics of a sustainable parking space ?
When we think of a car park, we think of a stretch of asphalt or concrete. However, eco-friendly car parks are distinguished from the latter by several features listed below.
- Permeable parking spaces that encourage sustainable rainwater management : using permeable materials, such as honeycombed slabs that can be sold empty or pre-grassed, is to be enabled. They are specially designed to improve water infiltration into the ground and, thus, the sustainable management of rainwater.
- Incorporating green spaces : by increasing the number of green spaces with shrubs and various plants, you can reduce the urban heat island effect and encourage local biodiversity. Green roofs can also be installed to improve thermal insulation.
- Energy-efficient lighting : LED luminaires & intelligent lighting systems, such as motion sensors, offer reduced energy consumption while ensuring adequate illumination when needed. Installing photovoltaic shading systems can also be a good idea. With them, you can benefit from the electricity supplied to meet some of the car park’s needs (lighting, surveillance system, electric recharging point, etc.).
- Installation of shared charging points : most car parks are now subject to various obligations regarding charging points, encouraging the adoption of cleaner means of transport. In the UK, all new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces must have a minimum of one chargepoint and cable routes for one in five (20%) of the total number of spaces.
- A car park that facilitates public transport & car-sharing : a sustainable parking space can also be designed to encourage rotational use of parking spaces and, ultimately, the use of public transport, as well as car-sharing, by offering specific facilities, such as dedicated bus zones and parking spaces reserved for car-sharers.
- Intelligent technologies : using a Parking Management solution significantly improves the management of your company’s car park and its occupancy rate. This can help reduce the emissions associated with finding parking spaces.
What does the future hold for sustainable parking space ?
There’s no doubt that the future of eco-friendly car parks is bright! Mainly because cities want to be more sustainable & companies are more committed to CSR. As a result, various trends are emerging.
On the one hand, green car parks could incorporate more renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic shading, wind turbines, and other innovative solutions. This could enable car parks to produce their energy or contribute to the supply of local networks.
On the other hand, with the expected growth in electric vehicles, green car parks are likely to play a crucial role in providing an efficient and environmentally friendly shared charging infrastructure.
Similarly, green car parks could be integrated into shared mobility solutions, facilitating access to various modes of transport, including public transport, shared bikes, etc.
Whatever the case, the future of eco-friendly car parks will largely depend on technological advances, government policies, growing environmental concerns, and user demand for (more) sustainable solutions!