Facility scored high in Parksmart program for various features, including electric vehicle parking stations, LED lighting and solar panels on the roof
The St. Armands parking garage has earned a special distinction from Parksmart, “the world’s only certification program that defines, measures and recognizes high-performing, sustainable garages,” the City of Sarasota has announced.
The city-owned garage, which opened in 2019, has achieved Parksmart’s Silver certification following an extensive application and review process, a news release notes.
Developed by industry experts and administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), Parksmart “offers a roadmap for new and existing parking facilities to use innovative, solutions-oriented strategies to increase energy efficiency and performance, reduce their environmental impact and cut operational costs,” the release explains. “Points are awarded to parking structures for forward-thinking and sustainable practices in three categories: management, programs, and technology structure design,” the release adds.
“The St. Armands garage scored high marks for its highly efficient LED light harvesting system, electric vehicle charging stations, innovative stormwater management system, extensive bicycle parking and bike repair station,” the release says.
“Another key sustainability feature of the garage is its state-of-the-art rooftop solar panel array,” which generates 42% of the building’s energy, the release adds.
“Ninety-nine percent of the construction materials used for the garage were regionally sourced, and 87 percent of the waste produced during construction was recycled or diverted from landfills,” the release points out. “More than 75 percent of the labor was local.”
“The City of Sarasota is committed to addressing climate change through sustainable practices and energy efficiency in all of its infrastructure projects,” City Manager Tom Barwin said in the release. “The building’s innovative and thoughtful design features provide environmental benefits along with a safe and accessible parking option for residents and visitors,” he added in the release.
The garage also was recognized for providing extra parking capacity for the St. Armands shopping district, “thereby mitigating parking demand and overspill into neighborhood streets,” the release points out.
“The garage is something the merchants and property owners of St. Armands had desired for a long time, and it’s been key in helping the City meet the parking demands of the area as part of our coordinated strategy,” said Parking Division Manager Mark Lyons in the release.
The four-level garage, which is located at 57 N. Adams Drive, added nearly 500 public parking spaces to St. Armands, the release notes. The facility was built through a partnership between the City of Sarasota and St. Armands commercial property owners, who are helping to pay for the garage through a special assessment, the release says. The paid parking program in St. Armands also funds the debt service for construction and operations.