Parking Garage Air Quality

Rygning forbudt
Verboden te roken
Bawal manigarilyo
Défense de fumer
Rauchen verboten
Vietato fumare
Не курить
No fumar
No Smoking

It’s a common sign all around the world…keeping smoke from tobacco products out of buildings (or confined to specially ventilated areas) is simply a common sense measure to protect peoples’ health. Automobile exhaust is also something people should avoid. However, everyone in or around a parking garage is exposed to some elevated level of automobile exhaust: drivers, passengers, pedestrians, garage employees. Unfortunately, running an automobile engine inside a parking garage isn’t optional, like smoking, or is it?

Even non-enclosed, above grade parking garages concentrate automobile exhaust. There’s just no way to avoid it. A common English saying goes, “The solution to pollution is dilution”. The solution to automobile exhaust in parking garages is dilution with “fresh” air until reaching an acceptable pollution level. In non-enclosed, above grade parking garages this is done by natural ventilation - it being assumed that with sufficiently large openings in the parking garage, natural air circulation will keep the automobile exhaust at acceptable levels. In enclosed or below grade parking garages, mechanical ventilation (huge fans and fresh air ducts) must be used to provide enough dilution air to keep the automobile exhaust at acceptable levels. Many localities even require that parking garages utilize carbon monoxide (CO) monitors since this component of automobile exhaust is colorless, odorless and toxic in high concentrations.

If we applied the same logic to automobile exhaust that we apply to tobacco smoke, we wouldn’t permit automobile engines to be run inside parking garages of any sort. Clearly, this isn’t practical for conventional parking garages. It’s standard operation for an automated parking system (APS), however…the engine is turned off before an automobile is moved into and parked in the APS. Turning off engines before the automobile enters the parking area is the automotive version of signs that tell smokers, “Please enjoy your smoking outdoors”.

For parking facilities located under commercial buildings, there is always the concern that automobile exhaust somehow finds its way upward through elevator shafts and stairways - into the building ventilation system. Automated parking systems eliminate this as an issue besides promoting healthy living and working environments in other ways.

Contact your Skyline Parking representative to discuss parking garage air-quality, healthy car parking solutions and sustainable parking.

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