First LEED Certified Parking Structure Generates Most Its Own Power

Santa Clara Civic Center Parking Lot

I realize that by blogging about this, I’m risking some criticism as to whether a parking structure can be green.  I think it can, but I’ve heard mention from others that the term "green parking lot" is an oxymoron of sorts.  After giving it some thought, I just can’t imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot.  They’re going to exist, so they might as well be super green and zero energy, to the extent possible.  This building, which is the Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure, has a solar array that provides all the building’s energy needs.

But it’s not just energy efficient, it’s green, too.

Other sustainable features include a storm drain water treatment system, recycled construction materials and waste, low-VOC paints and coatings, low-e glazing for heating and cooling efficiency, and energy efficient mechanical systems.

Designed by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, the structure is on track to be the first LEED Certified parking structure in the USA.  In total, it provides 900 spaces spread through six levels of above grade parking and one and a half levels of below grade parking.  Perhaps the most interesting feature of the building, however, is the fact that it doesn’t look like a parking lot — a feature fit for the civic center. 

Also, the distinctive use of laminated glass panels won the firm a design award from The Glass Association of North America, which is a pretty cool accolade to add certification. 

Santa Clara Civic Center Parking Lot

Santa Clara Civic Center Parking Lot Santa Clara Civic Center Parking Lot

Via Greener Buildings.


  • http://www.thegoodhuman.com David@The Good Human

    It is right down the street from me, and honestly, it is kind of ugly – and nowhere near anything that you need to park for. Everyone here thought it was rather strange to put a parking garage over there, but maybe the city has big plans one day for that area, who knows…

  • http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/03/contradiction_i.php Lloyd

    as I said a year ago, a parking garage cannot be green, “even if it was made from site-grown bamboo and ventilated by flapping butterfly wings.”

  • http://www.altenergystocks.com Tom Konrad

    “I just can’t imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot.”

    All it requires is imaginign a world or city without cars… I admit I can’t imaging that world, either, but the city is a constant fantasy of mine.

    Could have been improved by outlets for EVs/PHEVs.

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    I reflect back to my experiences in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the like. These cities are super dense, rely heavily on mass transportation, and they have parking structures. They should have those EV/PHEV outlets, if they don’t (although I haven’t found enough details to know if they don’t have those).

  • JoshS

    Until recently in human history, we did live in a world without cars. So I agree, it’s not so much as imagining, as merely remembering. And then restoring.

    The super-dense cities across the globe all evolved within an industrial model of efficiency, that assumes cars as reality. But for a much longer time through recent human history, the car was imaginary.

    Paradigm reversed. And David, that’s great about the butterfly thing, but with Biomimicry, who knows…that could happen! :)

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