Sustainable Car Parking Ideas and Solutions

Skyline Automated Parking System

In the largest sense, sustainability is management of the social, economic and environmental impact of human population growth to preserve and sustain the Earth's resources. This paper looks at some of the benefits automated parking systems (APS) contribute to sustainability programs.

Two of the greatest challenges with sustainability today are urbanization and motorization. Urbanization is the trend of more-and-more people to live in relatively small land areas (urban or high population density). The United Nations reports 30% of the world's population lived in urban areas in 1950. This has increased to 54% as of 2014 and is projected to be 66% by 2050.

Likewise, motorization is a measure of the number of cars in use. Ward's automotive trade journal estimates there were 1 billion cars in use worldwide in 2010 and projections are for 2 billion by 2035.

Following are ways that automated parking systems (APS) aid the sustainability challenge.

Space Efficiency and Sustainability

Accommodating increasing numbers of people and cars in a sustainable manner requires efficiency, especially space efficiency.

The fundamental purpose of an automated parking system (APS) is significantly reducing the land area and volume required for car. APS can more than double the number of parking spaces of conventional parking. The design flexibility of APS allows them to fit in locations or areas where other parking solutions are too large or unfeasible.

The ultimate in sustainable efficiency is putting parking in otherwise unused or unusable areas. The smaller size and design flexibility of APS enable parking spaces to be put in locations too small for conventional parking facilities. Similarly, the APS size and volume also make underground parking less expensive than conventional underground parking. This
optimizes the use of land and makes available more green, open and living space as well as sunlight and unobstructed views.

Sustainability & Efficient Resource Use

Our planet has finite resources. Sustainability demands using, re-using and preserving resources as efficiently as possible.

Steel is the most widely recycled material worldwide. Using recycled steel reduces CO2 emissions and energy consumption by 75% compared to steel made from virgin materials. Recycled steel can represent up to 85% of the building materials used in an APS. Moreover, the smaller building size reduces the need for all building materials and the amount of construction waste compared to traditional parking facilities. Smaller excavations also require moving and disposing of less earth, less shoring and less building and disruption time.

In many situations, APS aid sustainability through efficient energy usage. APS require substantially less or no lighting, ventilation, security systems, people elevators and other accommodations, which minimizes electricity consumption, particularly in underground and enclosed parking applications.

Quality of Life and Sustainability

When the quality of life deteriorates in a community, people suffer and various inefficiencies make life in the community unsustainable. Safety and security are vitally important to sustainability. Neighborhoods can't survive without them. APS are inherently safe and secure. Vandals and thieves have no place to hide in an APS and can't access or steal cars in the parking area. Drivers using APS do not walk through parking areas but only access open and high visibility areas at street level.

Parking should be convenient and close to homes, shopping and workplaces. It must also be available and accessible for everyone. Parking in an APS is easy with space and accessibility for everyone. No special parking spaces or accommodations are needed for mothers with children, vans with wheelchair lifts or those with limited mobility. This eliminates the space often wasted by special parking spaces while meeting the needs of everyone and eliminates parking damages.

Sustainability and the Environment

Protection of the environment is a key element of sustainability that encompasses all of nature and natural processes. Reducing airborne pollutants such as CO2, NOx and particulate matter generated by cars is always good and APS help to reduce such pollutants in a number of ways.

APS reduce airborne pollutants by eliminating all driving, circling and waiting typically needed to locate a parking space in a multi-storey car park. Users simply leave their locked cars with the engine off at the APS entrance and the automated system parks and retrieves them. Moreover, increased parking availability reduces the 30% of cars circling (looking for parking) in urban traffic congestion estimated by the International Parking Institute.

There is a host of other environmental challenges eliminated or made better by automated parking systems. Among these challenges are reducing urban heat buildup, minimizing rainwater runoff into streams and rivers, better capturing leaked oil and fluid pollutants from cars and controlling light and noise pollution.

Sustainability Benchmarks

Sustainability and "green" building are more than nice ideas but have become a regulated necessity. Local governments, building owners and other stakeholders increasingly demand buildings meet certain levels of sustainable design. Two of the major organisations that set sustainability benchmarks and targets are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology).

Automated parking systems, like those from Skyline Parking, provide the highest levels of sustainability, environmental protection and efficient resource usage of any car parking solutions to help meet your LEED or BREEAM goals. But, this doesn't mean having to sacrifice profitability. The flexibility and performance of Skyline APS often result in the best ROI and profitability.

This article is also available from Skyline Parking in Spanish, French, and German.

About Skyline Parking AG

Skyline Parking

Skyline Parking AG designs and supplies the most space-efficient and fastest fully automated parking systems. Skyline’s systems provide high returns while being an environmentally and user-friendly answer to the growing scarcity and cost of urban space, worldwide. The broad range of products, means that Skyline Parking has a solution for virtually any location, problem or requirement.

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