Trees & Apollo Sunguard Perfect Pair for Parking Lots

The best way to fight climate change? Plant more trees, according to a Swiss study published last month in the journal Science. Trees catch heat-trapping carbon dioxide. They also provide much needed shade in a world that, according to NASA, is getting warmer.

In fact, many cities have taken formal steps to promote the planting and protection of trees. For example, Tampa has adopted an Urban Forest Management Plan that’s led to more than 32% canopy coverage across the city. According to research from the University of Florida, the resulting shade saves Tampa $7 million per year in energy costs.

Other towns from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Sacramento, California, have implemented shade ordinances related to parking lots.

These statutes help reduce the impact of urban heat island effect, or the phenomenon through which building materials like asphalt and concrete absorb and radiate heat from the sun, making urban areas significantly hotter than rural ones during the sunny summer months.

Shade Trees Take Time

Parking lots are particularly notorious for heating up their surroundings. According to the American Planning Association’s parking lot guidelines, trees “should be planted wherever needed and wherever room can be spared.” They’re easier to maintain and collect less trash than shrubs. The APA also says their initial costs are easily offset by the value they ultimately add to the property.

Shade ordinances, like the one in Sacramento, typically state that parking lots must be at least 50% shaded within 15 years of their construction. This long leniency period is in place because it takes time for trees to mature.

Shade Structures Can Help

Fortunately, there’s another solution for property owners who want to see the many benefits of shade more quickly or whose lots are already landscaped with non-shade producing palm trees.

Through biomimicry, Apollo Sunguard shade structures are designed to promote air circulation, just like natural tree canopies, while reducing temperatures underneath by up to 20 degrees and blocking up to 96% of the sun’s UV rays. And the value of shade extends well beyond comfort.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, shade can slow down the rate at which gasoline evaporates on a hot day, which is good for the environment and the wallet. It also reduces the rate at which pavement deteriorates, which means fewer repair costs for the property owner.

And shade is an absolute must for any parking lot that features electric vehicle charging stations. Charging an electric car in direct sunlight can take longer and require more electricity than juicing up in the shade.

Offer Both Shade Trees & Structures

Planting trees and opting for an Apollo Sunguard shade structure in tandem can truly help property owners go green while potentially saving them money in the long run … not to mention the added benefit of enhanced comfort for employees or clients.

Species of oaks and maples commonly recommended for parking shade can take three decades to reach maturity – about as long as the functional life of an Apollo Sunguard shade structure. (All of our shade structures come with a 20-year warranty on the steel framework and a 15-year warranty on the fabric.) That’s why trees and Apollo Sunguard make the perfect pair.

Want more information? Contact us at 941-925-3001 or at [email protected].

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