Many Corporations in the US are embracing a sustainable office as part of doing business in the modern world. Shareholders, customers, and employees all tend to reward a company that invests in sustainability, and one clear way to do that is to build, move to or retrofit a building so it is LEED certified. There are numerous components to making a building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, but one element is making sure the building has a reduced parking footprint.

 There are a lot of different components to reducing your parking footprint to qualify for LEED certification. Among them are reducing the total size of off-street parking lots, breaking up large surface parking lots into smaller pieces less than 2 acres, encouraging multistory parking facilities, and requiring at least 10% of parking spaces be reserved for carpool or shared-use vehicles. These requirements can help reduce land consumption and rainwater runoff, but they do make it more of a challenge for an individual to find a space.

 Consider an old parking lot, a giant square of rows with plenty of excess spaces, right in front of the building. It can be fairly easy for motorists to spot an empty parking space. LEED certified parking, which reduces the excess capacity of spaces, breaks parking into multi-story underground lots or several smaller surface garages, means employees may need to spend several minutes every day cruising up and down levels and lots to find an open space. As we covered last week, those extra minutes can really affect a company’s bottom line.

 The answer to balancing environmental sustainability and fast parking? Smart parking! Occupancy sensors feeding into an app that lets employees know exactly which space in which facility on which level is free. Guiding signage routing motorists up ramps and to the right lane where a space is open. Analytics and monitoring for the facilities managers, to make sure some people aren’t parking overnight or otherwise disobeying the rules they set down to manage parking. These solutions let companies remove the headache from parking while still burnishing their eco-friendly credentials.