We’re GPRO Certified

TWC’s Dan Ciarcia has been GPRO Operations & Maintenance Certified by New York City’s Urban Green Council, adding to our deep expertise in green construction, operations and management.

The GPRO certificate program focuses on sustainability principles for building, renovating and maintaining buildings across North America. If you’re a building owner or operator, this means we’re even better positioned to assess and improve your environmental performance. GPRO Certification is one of the many ways TWC keeps abreast of the latest strategies for creating a more climate resilient and livable built environment. Learn more about GPRO at https://www.gpro.org/

A greener summer at Two Willows

June was a busy month here at Two Willows, where we’ve been working hard to make the built environment – and the world – a greener place. A few highlights:

  • If you attended the International Parking and Mobility Institute’s (IPMI) annual conference in Anaheim, you would have seen Dan at the USGBC’s Parksmart booth and at the “St. Armands Circular Parking Garage Case Study.”
  • Before the conference, Dan joined parking and mobility thought leaders at Mobility Lab’s Transportation Camp, engaging on topics ranging from sustainability to automated vehicles to urban planning and design.
  • St. Armands, Florida’s embrace of floor-to-ceiling sustainability has been an exciting project as we helped the city on its path to Parksmart. Stay tuned for details about the garage’s innovative design features.
  • At the University of Florida, we’ve partnered with Davis Architects and Brasfield and Gorrie to design a new 2000-space garage to Parksmart specifications. We anticipate UF will soon join the cadre of Parksmart-adopting university campuses.

We’ll be sharing photos and details about these and other projects. In the meantime, enjoy the summer!

Benchmarking Performance with Portfolio Manager

Businesses focused on improving environmental impact and operating expenses understand why measurement is critical. But while tracking spending and costs is relatively straightforward, measuring resource use can be more complicated.

Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed Portfolio Manager, an online tool for measuring and tracking energy and water consumption, along with greenhouse gas emissions. Portfolio Manager enables you to benchmark one or a portfolio of buildings and track efficiency improvements over time.

Portfolio Manager’s Energy Star metrics are modeled on data collected from a country-wide pool of municipal and commercial buildings. This rich data set enables you to compare your building’s environmental performance to similar structures, including schools, warehouses, hotels and houses of worship.  If you’re constructing a new building, you can use Portfolio Manager to set an energy use target and track the building’s performance post-construction.

Check out Portfolio Manager at https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager/update-energy-star-scores-cbecs

Need guidance measuring your building’s performance? Two Willows is happy to help!

NEPC and Green Infrastructure Financing

At the New England Parking Council’s annual conference earlier this month, we presented on “Parking and Climate Resiliency,” including financing tools for green infrastructure (including parking, of course!).

The biggest opportunity, especially for parking garages and lots, lies in incentives and tax credits for reducing stormwater runoff and water pollution. Similar to Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) and Social Impact Bonds, mechanisms like Stormwater Retention Credits (SRCs) and Environmental Impact Bonds (EIBs) provide powerful revenue opportunities.

To learn more, the EPA is an excellent source of information on green infrastructure strategies and financing structures.


And for a detailed example of how SRCs are being used in large municipalities, check out Washington D.C.’s SRC Trading Program.


As always, we’re happy to share more information and resources to help you create a greener built environment.

Measuring Impact at the NEC/AAAE Conference

Last week we presented on parking’s environmental impact at the Northeast Chapter of the AAE Airports conference in Hershey, PA. We highlighted our environmental impact study for ParkAssist, detailing the environmental savings from automated parking guidance at an Australian international airport.

Getting cars efficiently into and out of a parking garage creates significant greenhouse gas savings, in addition to making patrons happier. Primary findings from our study:

Total annual driving distance avoided: 583,533 km (362,590 miles)
Total annual greenhouse gases avoided: 147,213 kg (324,549 pounds)

Parking is a critical part of any airport’s sustainability fabric, including wayfinding and a portfolio of environmental strategies. Drop us a line and we’ll gladly share the detailed report.

Two Willows at NESSBE March 8th

At the Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment (NESSBE), TWC’s Lisa Chase will be presenting on financing instruments for social/environmental equity. The March 8th program includes a rich array of panels addressing every facet of the built environment, including “The Role of Business and Investors.” Hope to see you there!



Ft. Lauderdale Airport’s Path to Parksmart

Two Willows helped Ft. Lauderdale International Airport become the world’s first airport to achieve Parksmart Certification. Find out why the airport’s leadership made the Parksmart commitment and how management and staff navigated the process. Our feature article in Airport Business magazine provides valuable lessons about how Two Willows can guide you on the path to Parksmart Certification.


TWC’s Dan Ciarcia featured in “Certifiably Parked”

In the recent issue of Electrical Contractor magazine, TWC Founder Daniel Ciarcia offers his insights on sustainable parking – including Parksmart Certification – in the built environment. Ciarcia’s perspective on extending the sustainability boundary to parking is invaluable for developers and operators. Find out why it’s a critical component for transportation efficiency and “smart cities” strategies at https://www.ecmag.com/section/green-building/certifiably-parked-sustainable-parking-structures-join-built-community

Two Willows at the International Conference on Sustainable Cities

Last week we were at the Fordham-NYU-Columbia International Conference on Sustainable Cities, where Lisa presented on green parking in the sustainable urban landscape. Our very well-attended panel on “Market Innovations” included presentations on passive affordable housing at New York City’s Knickerbocker Commons and the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s revitalization of urban manufacturing.

Lisa’s focused her talk on strategies for incorporating green roofs, walls and living landscapes into parking structures today, while planning future uses for the real estate when fewer cars demand less parking. The highlight was Portland International Airport, where we’ve been assessing the site’s Parksmart-readiness. Check out this photo of green space surrounding a lovely patio on the garage rooftop.

With a thematic focus on social and environmental sustainability in the built environment, the conference underscored the power of collaborative efforts to craft the future livable – for everyone – city.

How Green Parking is Helping Combat Climate Change

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is a leading voice in energy-efficient and low-impact development.  On March 9th, we shared our vision for enlisting green parking to create a climate-resilient built environment, presenting “Green Parking as a Climate Tool” at NESEA’s Building Energy conference in Boston.

Green parking concepts, including the US Green Building Council’s Parksmart Certification standard, can play an integral role in combatting climate change. We described a holistic view of parking at the intersection of “green” buildings and the transportation systems that feed those buildings, supported by adetailed explanation of green parking strategies. For NESEA’s vision of low-carbon cities and climate neutral buildings, parking infrastructure is a powerful component to promote those goals.

NESEA conferences attract a sophisticated array of architects and designers, policy-makers and building engineers, and the Boston gathering was no exception. Our audience, primarily architects, asked pointed questions about applying strategies for stormwater reclamation, resource efficiency and renewable energy generation to parking infrastructure. These are familiar tools for designing and constructing low-impact buildings, and attendees were eager to hear how they can be extended to parking garages and lots.

We outlined an ecosystem strategy for applying Parksmart’s green parking principles, beginning with assessing the inputs and outputs across an entire parking system. Evaluating the entirety of the parking operations and management, water and energy use, waste handling and pollution, can guide owners and operators to target changes with the biggest payoffs. We also emphasized the indirect benefits, including secondary “unintended impacts’ from relatively low-cost initiatives. Some attendees were surprised to learn that planting trees, while relatively inexpensive, has multiple environmental and social payoffs. These include mitigating urban heat island effects and storm water runoff, creating place and community connection.

Adopting a systemic approach to parking’s environmental and social impacts by integrating energy-efficiency practices can yield significant financial and environmental paybacks. This underscores parking’s unique role at the intersection of energy efficient buildings and low-carbon transportation, including alternative fuel and electric vehicles (EV). For example, the energy produced by photovoltaic (PV) panels installed over a single parking space can power an electric vehicle (EV) for 9,000 miles per year. In addition to powering low-carbon transportation and producing renewable energy, PV arrays produce numerous secondary benefits, including sheltering cars and patrons from the weather and shading buildings to reduce HVAC use. EV charging systems attract patrons and potentially increase revenues, while the entire integrated energy system produces a wealth of environmental paybacks to help combat climate change.

This holistic strategy for greening the parking landscape, supported by data-driven energy and resource efficiency, operations and community engagement initiatives, is at the core of Parksmart’s mission. We’re excited by the increasing number of “best in class” green parking structures, including the recently Parksmart Certified campus at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Learn more about Parksmart at http://parksmart.gbci.org/.