Big Springs 2-Sustainable Parking for our Future


The Big Springs 2 Parking Structure officially opened in August 2021 and was built to address the needs of the ever-growing university.  As development projects continued to expand around campus that were taking over the older surface lots, the ongoing demand for parking grew significantly.  The facility provides an additional 1,079 parking spaces for students, staff, faculty, and visitors.  The structure’s location also provided an opportunity for a new gateway on the less traveled side of the university that would enhance the overall campus environment.  Upon completion of the project, the parking structure received Parksmart Gold certification and was the first project in the UC-system with that honor.

In June 2023, Big Springs 2 was honored with two awards from the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI).  The parking structure received a 2023 Award of Excellence in the Sustainable Design category, as well as a 2023 Award of Merit in the Stand-Alone Structured Parking Facility Design category.  The Award of Excellence recognizes projects or programs with significant industry impact and which set an exemplary standard for their creativity, effectiveness, and achievements.  Each winning project demonstrated unique approaches to design, operational, environmental, economic, or societal factors, and in some cases, all the above.

Read more about these achievements in the June 2023 issue of the Parking & Mobility Magazine.

When the UC Riverside campus began the process of creating a project to provide additional parking for the expanding campus in 2018, goals were developed to guide the design and construction process that resulted in the Big Springs 2 Parking Structure.  The facility needed to:

  • Preserve campus land for possible future academic development,
  • Be a model for future campus transportation facilities,
  • Push industry standards for efficient facility design, delivery and operation, and
  • Meet and exceed the university’s sustainability goals and California’s green building programs.

To meet these goals, the Parksmart Certification Program was used as a guide for the project development team in the designing and constructing the facility.

  • Regional, Reused, Repurposed and Recycled Materials - The parking structure is composed of regional materials and constructed with regional labor. All materials and labor for completion of parking structure come from within 300 miles of the project site.
  • Greenscreen Façade - The east side of parking structure will be shaded by climbing vines attached to green screen structure. As the vegetation starts to cover the screen, this will provide additional shading of cars parked on the eastside of building.
  • Non/Low VOC Coatings, Paints and Sealants - Non or low VOC coatings, paints and sealants used, assist in reduction of air contamination throughout the parking structure.
  • Energy Efficient Lighting System – In order to provide efficient lighting, the parking structure is equipped with efficient lighting technology and undergoes proper lighting maintenance to reduce the energy use of the parking structure. All lights are designed to maintain the required illumination with proficient use of energy on the site, without sacrificing high energy usage. 
  • Water Efficient Landscaping – In order to provide water efficient landscaping, the site landscaping achieves the LEED-Outdoor Water Use Reduction requirements. Native vegetation is used throughout the site that requires limited use of the irrigation system.
  • Storm Water Management- By the use of bio retention basins at the perimeter of the building and site parking lot islands, the rainwater runoff is managed at 85% precipitation event. In addition to the run off management, an erosion and sedimentation control plan satisfies the requirements of the U.S EPA Construction General Permit.

Parksmart was further used to review and validate the operating processes that Transportation and Parking Services uses daily to maintain the facility and provide service to their customers.

  • Parking Structure Cleaning Procedures - Environmentally safe cleaning products and waste disposal will be consistently used for the parking structure. These practices will be maintained and followed according to the parking garage maintenance manual. Such practices include:
    • Electric/liquid propane sweeping equipment.
    • Scheduled safe and water efficient surface washing that avoids misuse of wastewater disposal.
    • Proper spot cleaning/oil degreasing with product of green rating system.
  • Sustainable Purchasing Program - The parking structure is committed to the University’s guidelines for sustainable practices that includes clean energy, waste reduction, transportation and sustainable operations. Through participation in programs such as Green Spend and Economically and Socially Responsible spend, the parking structure will be dedicated to consistent level sustainable purchasing.  
  • Recycling Program - The participation in recycling for the parking structure and surface lot allows for minimal waste produced by parking facility users. Some of the contributions to recycling include the following:
    • Recycling bins are located on each level throughout the parking structure.
  • Bicycle Parking - Bicycle parking is provided inside the parking structure and along the pedestrian path, allowing for safe storage of bicycles and promotion of alternate transportation throughout the campus.
  • Bicycle Maintenance - A bicycle maintenance station and air pump are available to cyclists to maintain their bicycles.
  • Tire Inflation Stations - An automated tire inflation pump is available at no charge to the campus community in the surface parking lot.  Vehicles with tires that are underinflated by 10% lose 10% in fuel economy.