The first of its kind: Interparking installs a "lung in the city" in Namur
• Interparking inaugurated a new generation of car parks at Parking Beffroi in Namur.
• Equipped with a new reduction system for particles as well as fine and ultrafine particles, it purifies the ambient air.
• The Beffroi car park becomes a real lung in the city.
Interparking has equipped its Beffroi car park in Namur with an innovative system for the reduction of fine and ultrafine particles. This purifies the air and makes it, in some cases, of better quality than outside. This is a first in Belgium. Interparking, which has already been certified CO2 neutral since 2015, takes another step in its commitment to a healthier environment for all.
Fine particles have harmful consequences on the health of people exposed to them. Invisible to the eye, they can be inhaled and cause short-term respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. In the longer term, they can also accentuate allergies, or even cause lung diseases or cancers. However, car parks, like other confined spaces such as tunnels, are sometimes exposed to high concentrations of particles due to emissions generated by traffic (exhaust gas, brake dust, tire dust).
To remedy this and to "purify the air" of its facilities, Interparking has inaugurated a new innovative system at the Beffroi car park in Namur that neutralizes up to 70% of particles, 40% of fine particles and 20% of ultrafine particles. These rates vary daily according to different internal factors (traffic and humidity) and external factors (weather, concentration of fine particles outside).
Developed by the company ENS Clean Air, in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the recently installed device at the Beffroi car park in Namur uses the process of positive ionization to capture the fine particles present in the ambient air.
The principle is very simple. The air is first drawn into the system, which endows the fine particles with a positive electrical charge. These then bind to form larger particles. They are then attracted by a collector plate which immobilizes them and converts them into raw dust. Cleared of polluting particles, the purified air is finally expelled from the system. The users of the parking then breathe an air of much better quality.
Once transformed into raw dust, the particles can no longer be transported into the air or inhaled. They are then collected and taken away for destruction in a specialized centre.
Roland Cracco, Interparking CEO and Maxime Prévot, Mayor of Namur in front of the ENS system
A lung in the city
According to Airscan.org, an air quality measurement company, the fine particle reduction system installed at the Beffroi makes it possible to reach, within the car park, a particle concentration rate that is lower than outside. In other words, it is now possible to breathe in a car park a better air than outside.
In a confined space, the fine particles generated by the traffic do not dissipate easily and remain suspended in the air. It is therefore interesting to treat them if they are confined to the same place, rather than expel them to the surroundings via ventilation.
This is the first installation of this type for the Interparking Group and the first to be deployed in Belgium.
"Interparking raises many of the challenges it faces in terms of its social and environmental responsibility," says Roland Cracco, CEO of Interparking. We consider that a positive impact on society and the environment is an integral part of our mission. "
Environmental responsibility of the company
The installation of this particle reduction system at the Beffroi car park in Namur is part of Interparking's proactive approach to environmental responsibility. The device will soon be deployed in other car parks in Brussels (Parking 2 Portes, Grand Place and Brabant-Gare du Nord), Antwerp (Roosevelt parking), Bruges and Ghent.
Interparking has already been promoting greener mobility for many years. The group has already installed 704 charging stations for electric or hybrid vehicles in its car parks in Europe, including 200 in Belgium. A car park also helps to reduce car pressure - and therefore pollution - in urban centres. On average, one in three drivers in a city centre are looking for a parking space. A 500-seat car park absorbs the equivalent of a 2.5-kilometer long line of cars placed one after the other. The Interparking site offering in Europe makes it possible to park the equivalent of a 2,000 kilometres line of vehicles.
In addition, in 2018, Interparking signed with BNP Paribas Fortis the first "Green Loan" in Belgium. If by 2020, Interparking manages to reduce its carbon footprint per full-time equivalent and its energy consumption respectively by 30% and 20%, the company will benefit from a rebate that will approach 10% of the total cost of the loan.
Press conference in Namur (April 2, 2019)
Interparking (www.interparking.be) is one of the leading car park operators in Europe. With 60 years of presence in major European cities, Interparking's strategy applies to both urban planning and the management of its car park network and is based on three pillars:> permanent improvement of the quality of our services; > an innovative offer of mobility solutions to meet the challenges of cities; > a responsible policy that preserves the environment. Interparking is now present in 9 countries and 397 cities in Europe (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Poland, Austria, Italy and Romania), with more than 2,400 employees and some 930 sites in the portfolio.
Interparking has been certified CO2 neutral in all the countries where it has been present since 2015. In addition, in 2018, Interparking signed with BNP Paribas Fortis the first "Green Loan" in Belgium, a loan whose interest rate is linked to the performance and the achievement of sustainability objectives such as reducing the carbon footprint per full-time equivalent (-30% by 2020) and reducing the energy consumption of car parks (-20%).
Airscan.org is an independent company of measurement, control and alert on air quality. Its expertise and technology (developed by the CNRS) allows companies and public entities to measure indoor and outdoor pollutants for better decisions on air quality. The pollutants usually measured are PM10, PM2.5, VOCs, NO2, CO2, formaldehyde, trichloramine, radon, O3 ... Airscan.org is a sister entity of CO2logic.