First Wind-Powered Parking Garage Opens In Chicago

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The “Windy City” lives up to its name as Chicago’s newest parking garage becomes the first to generate it’s own energy with spinning vertical wind turbines.

You might generally associate parking garages with the stark cement-c0lored monotony that most people despise about urban life. Thanks to a new design by the architects of HOK however, parking garages are being viewed in a whole new green light.

Dubbed the Greenway Self Park, this eco-friendly parking garage offers far more than just a column of dizzying vertical turbines up it’s outer wall. The structures array of sustainable practices also includes:

* local and sustainable building materials

* a green roof and rainwater cisterns for irrigation

* high-efficiency glass

* recycling programs

* energy-efficient lighting

* programs to encourage the use of energy efficient vehicles

* electric car charging stations

* air quality initiatives

* tips for Greener Living in the lobbies

* Zipcar and I-Go car sharing vehicles

For the sake of public education, a “way-finding system” has also been incorporated at each elevator lobby to educate users on how to live more sustainably and protect the environment. A reversible meter has also been included to measure the amount of energy generated by the turbines and and piped back into the grid of the city each year. HOK is currently pursing LEED certification for the building

Article by Beth Buczynski, appearing courtesy Crisp Green.

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