Complete Guide to ParkSmart Certification: The Future of Parking

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The environmental consequences of all aspects of urban life, including parking lots, are being thoroughly examined within the context of sustainable development. Parksmart, a program established by GBCI, offers a complete technique for assessing and enhancing the sustainability of parking facilities.

This article will provide an in-depth analysis of Parksmart certification, definition, operational mechanisms, evaluation criteria, notable initiatives, and its importance in Ottawa and other urban areas. We will also analyze its associations with other certifications like LEED and the WELL standard.

What is ParkSmart Certification?

The Parksmart certification is for environmentally friendly parking spaces, an internationally recognized standard, much as LEED certification for buildings. Aiming to lower environmental impact, boost efficiency, and improve user experience, the evaluation addresses design, technology, management, and operation of parking facilities.

Parksmart certification

How Does ParkSmart Certification Work?

Parking facilities are assessed using a strict evaluation process used by the ParkSmart certification. The criteria is divided into four groups: management, programs, technology, and structural design. In order to get the ParkSmart certification, a facility must submit to a thorough audit of all aspects of its operations, alternate modes of transportation, and general sustainability projects. The procedure includes assessing documentation, performing site inspections, and keeping an eye on performance to guarantee adherence to ParkSmart regulations.

Benefits of ParkSmart Certification?

The Parksmart certification provides parking facility owners and managers with many advantages. Promoting energy efficiency, water conservation, and ecologically friendly mobility choices may reduce the negative environmental effects of parking facilities. The integration of contemporary technologies with streamlined management processes enhances operational efficiency as well. In addition, parking facilities that have obtained the Parksmart certification enhance their reputation by showcasing their dedication to sustainability and offering a favorable customer experience.

What is the ParkSmart Criteria?

  • Management Practices: These include a set of policies and protocols that provide effective performance evaluation, community involvement, and long-term management.
  • Programs: These include the implementation of initiatives aimed at promoting environmentally friendly modes of transportation, such as bike parking areas, electric car charging stations, and ridesharing programs.
  • Technology: This evaluates the potential for efficiency and sustainability gains from cutting edge technology, such as automated payment systems and energy-efficient lighting.
  • Structure Design: Reducing the environmental effect and improving user experience are the main goals of this assessment of the parking facility’s design and construction. It involves the assessment of factors such as the choice of building site, stormwater management, and the use of ecologically friendly building materials.

How Long Does it Take to Get Parksmart Certified?

The scope, complexity, and effectiveness of the process all have an impact on how long the Parksmart certification process takes. The procedure might take many months to complete and includes on-site inspections, certification exams, and documentation checks.

How Much Does Parksmart Certification Cost?

ParkSmart starts with a $1,500 registration fee and then a $6,500 Certification fee. Prices are different for existing, precertification and members of the organization.The cost of obtaining a Parksmart certification is influenced by many variables, including the size, kind, and desired level of certification for the parking facility. The fees cover the many components of the assessment process, including site visits, certification assessments, and documentation reviews. Despite the initially high expenditures, the advantages of sustainability and improved operating efficiency ultimately outweigh them.

What are the Different Certification Levels in Parksmart?

Parksmart has 3 levels for new construction, Bronze, Silver, Gold. There is also the Pioneer level which is highest for existing structures only. Every level denotes a better degree of sustainability performance; Pioneer is the best possible level of performance. The requirements for reaching each level are set by the total of points obtained in each of the four evaluation areas.

Parksmart parking

Is Parksmart Certification Applicable to All Parking Facilities?

Parksmart has the ability to accredit many types of parking facilities, such as surface lots, garages, and mixed-use buildings. The certification standards are designed to be adaptable to various kinds and sizes of parking facilities.

All forms of structured parking facilities, both newly constructed and operating ones, are eligible for certification, including commercial, academic, municipal, medical, retail, and hotel facilities. Projects might be standalone or integrated into a multipurpose structure. Everyone is welcome. Projects may apply for accreditation every five years.

Construction projects that are either newly built or finished and placed into service are eligible for Bronze, Silver, or Gold certification within two years after registration. In each of the three primary certification categories, they must get at least 20 points. Projects that have been finished and released at least two years before registration are categorized as extant.

What is the Relationship Between Parksmart and Other Sustainability Certifications like LEED and WELL?

The ParkSmart certification is used in combination with other sustainability certifications like the WELL Building Standard and LEED certification. Since LEED focuses on reducing building development impact and emphasizes the sustainability of the complete building. The WELL certification revolves around human health and well-being of the occupants. ParkSmart is devoted to the sustainability of parking facilities only. These certificates taken together help to create more wholesome and sustainable built environments, they do not compete but complement one another.

Examples of ParkSmart Certified Projects

Parksmart wells fargo

Well Fargo Center

Wells Fargo Center occupies a significant portion of a city block in downtown Los Angeles, consisting of two connected office buildings, a three-story glass atrium, and a beautiful outdoor plaza adorned with various flora and sculptures.

Parksmart westpark

Westpark Corporate Center

There are 1,486 parking spaces in all over the five floors of the underground Westpark Corporate Center garage in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Two nine-story buildings make comprise a 500,000 square foot office park project, of which this garage provides support.


The ParkSmart accreditation offers a helpful framework for assessing and improving the sustainability of parking spaces, so contributing to larger initiatives to build more livable and sustainable communities.

ParkSmart concepts may help parking facility managers and owners reduce their environmental impact, improve operational efficiency, and increase customer happiness. Cities that get ParkSmart accreditation show their commitment to sustainability and help to shape a more resilient and ecologically friendly future.


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