Sharing a Green Story in the Sunshine State

Did you know that Florida is a leader in championing green design and construction? The state requires publicly funded buildings and the accompanying parking garages to design and build to LEED standards. This means universities and public airports are seeking Parksmart Certification, the USGBC’s LEED-like standard for parking. We’ve guided the University of Florida, St. Armands and Hollywood International Airport on their Parksmart certification journey, and next month we’ll be in Florida sharing their green stories with Tampa Bay and Clearwater audiences.

On December 3rd the USGBC’s Tampa Bay branch will host TWC’s Dan Ciarcia to present on how Florida is leading the pack in sustainable parking: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sunshine-state-goes-green-how-florida-is-leading-sustainable-parking-parksmart-tickets-81337192733. In Clearwater on December 4th, we’ll be sharing more green parking success stories at At the Florida Parking and Transportation Association’s Annual Conference: https://flapta.org/november-conference/agenda/.

We hope to see you at one or both of these events!

Paying for Green

Efficiency improvements are the easiest strategy for yielding environmental and financial returns. Using less energy in your buildings is the lowest hanging fruit to improve environmental impact, and simple technologies can yield big results. Programmable thermostats, high-efficiency lighting and motion sensors are just a few ways to reduce any building’s energy. For higher impact, installing solar panels or other renewable energy production promises significant payoffs by replacing carbon intensive energy and earning utility payments. All of these initiatives cost money, and PACE financing is on hand to help. With programs to fund renewable energy, efficiency and resiliency, PACE is a first-stop resource to pay for your green initiatives. Find out what’s available in your state: https://pacenation.org/pace-programs/

Green Financing at the NYSPA

We’re excited to be presenting at next month’s NYSPA conference in Saratoga Springs, New York. We’ll be sharing timely information about lucrative financing opportunities for green design and development elements, including parking infrastructure.

You know how important resource efficiency and renewable energy production are, but you may be surprised by the array of incentives and tax credits that yield big environmental and financial payoffs. From state financing programs like New York’s PACE funding to a wealth of federal, state and municipal incentives for low-impact development, sustainability is “green” all around. Stay tuned for more details!

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.

https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter/financing-resilient-and-sustainable-water-infrastructure

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

https://doee.dc.gov/src

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!

https://www.nessbe.net/

 

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.

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