Parking Structure Incorporates Sustainable Features: Greenway Self Park

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

60 W. Kinzie

60 W. Kinzie

60 W. Kinzie, Chicago, IL 60610 map

Friedman Properties, Ltd.

HOK /Cubellis

Bovis Lend-Lease

By Sharon Hoyer

The notion that an environmentally-minded parking structure is a contradiction will soon be proven wrong. The Greenway Self Park garage, at the corner of Kinzie and Clark, currently under construction and slated for completion in mid-2009, is designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimal waste. The structure, being developed by Friedman Properties, Ltd., will feature several green elements. One of the most notable will be the six vertical wind turbines stacked along the southwest corner. This innovation will provide enough electricity for all of the building’s exterior lighting and contribute excess power directly to the grid.

The vertical-axis Aerotecture turbines will operate regardless of wind direction, harvesting power in winds as low as one to two mph and operating safely and silently in high wind speeds and extreme weather conditions. The southwest location of the turbines will capitalize on Chicago’s northwest winter and southwest summer winds; they are estimated to generate 10,000-15,000 kWh per year.

60 W. Kinzie

60 W. Kinzie

Natural ventilation, made possible by variable glass channel spacing on the building’s façade, will eliminate the need for energy intensive forced-air ventilation systems. Low-E glass will further reduce energy demand in the retail areas on the ground floor. The garage will also feature a green roof to combat urban heat island effects and rain cisterns to collect grey water for irrigation and maintenance. All construction materials for the building were obtained from within a 500 mile radius.

While addressing the pressing need for more parking in the congested River North area, the new garage will also accommodate energy-efficient transportation. A bike room on the first floor will provide shelter and safe storage for two dozen bicycles. Six plug-in stations for electric vehicles will be available on the first few floors, and more may be added should demand increase. The project is a testament to the possibility and importance of sustainable design in all areas of architecture, even those not immediately thought of as “green.”

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