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.