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Chicago Parking Garage Makes Sustainability Statement With Groundbreaking Design

Incorporating elements unheard of for parking garages, developer Friedman Properties recently opened an 11-story structure in the (downtown-bordering) River North area of Chicago designed for maximum energy efficiency, minimal waste, and roughly 725 parking spaces

Sources: CP staff; Friedman Properties Ltd., Chicago

Incorporating elements unheard of for parking garages, developer Friedman Properties recently opened an 11-story structure in the (downtown-bordering) River North area of Chicago designed for maximum energy efficiency, minimal waste, and roughly 725 parking spaces. With a framework of precast elements supplied by J.W. Peters & Sons (double tees) and Lombard Precast (architectural precast spandrel and wall panels), plus green glass and limited structural steel, the Greenway Self Park garage comes courtesy of Friedman, parking magnate Myron Warshauer, and architectural firm Cubellis. The design and development team embedded into the building's prominent southwest corner a series of six vertically stacked wind turbines from Aerotecture that will produce electricity year-round, directly offset the facility's energy requirements, and power exterior lighting.

The Greenway Self Park is unique to the point that Friedman Properties has a patent pending, making it possible to license the design in other locations. The turbinesÌ southwest location is meant to capitalize on Chicago's northwest winter and southwest summer winds, and they are estimated to generate 10,000Ò15,000 kWh per year, regardless of the wind direction or speed.

Designed not to look like a parking garage at all, the building is meant to blend into its relatively upscale surroundings. On the ground level, it has about 15,000 sq. ft. of retail space; a second-level skybridge will connect the garage to two nearby hotels. In addition, openings between the glass planks allow air to flow naturally through the garage, eliminating the need for forced-air ventilation systems. Inside the Greenway will be plug-in stations for electric cars, spaces for car-sharing services, parking for bikes and showers for cyclists. A green roof with landscaped gardens will combat urban heat island effects and control stormwater runoff. As is required to obtain LEED certification, all construction materials for the building were produced within a 500-mile radius.