Green Transformation: Can a Garage Be Green?

The general consenus is that today’s cars are bad for the environment. U.S. autos emit about 20% of the nation’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

While Rush University Medical Center encourages alternate transportation, it recognizes that our society loves our cars, so Rush built a “green” garage to conform to LEED standards.  Its “green” features include the following:

  • Otis Gen2 elevators capture the energy created during braking and feed it back into the garage’s electrical grid. The elevators also use polyurethane-coated steel belts and a gearless motor, which don’t need oil or other lubricants. The elevators save up to 50-percent more energy than conventional hydraulic and geared systems.
  • The two bathrooms in the garage have low-flow plumbing fixtures.
  • Rainwater that falls on the upper deck of the garage is filtered and diverted into tanks to be used for mechanical processes.
  • Landscaping is with indigenous perennial plants, which are not discarded and re-planted every year and use less water than conventional lawn grass.
  • Filtration planters, mini-wetlands that absorb and filter rainwater runoff, line the sidewalk.
  • “Green screens,” or trellises with vines, along the north and west walls of the garage not only hide cars from view but also create natural shade and light control.
  • 25 parking stalls near the entranceway to the garage are reserved for hybrid and energy-efficient cars.
  • Reusable materials were used to build the garage, including steel from northern Indiana, concrete made from recycled content, and low volatile organic compound adhesives, paintings, sealants and coatings. The materials were produced locally, to save energy transporting them.
  • More than 90 percent of the garage’s construction waste was recycled.

“It would have been a lot easier if we did not include preferred parking and the other environmentally sustainable features, but Rush is taking the idea of turning our campus ‘green’ very seriously,” said Joseph DeVoss, assistant vice president, Office of Transformation. “The new garage shows how we can find more environmentally sustainable solutions for everything we do here.”

Automated parking systems can also help parking facilities and entire projects be more “green”. 

A component of LEED covers maximizing open space in site development. Automated parking garages offer better space utilization to any project that includes parking. Robotic Parking Systems reduce the space needed for parking by up to 50%. This creates space that can be used for more green areas to help meet LEED requirements or for other design features that can benefit the project and the community.

Robotic Parking Systems garage offers:

  • better space utilization – space savings of up to 50%
  • opportunities for more green space
  • less carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases and other pollutants since cars do not drive around inside the garage
  • space can easily be allocated for hybrids and energy-efficient cars
  • the highest possible level of security for individuals
  • the convenience of valet parking without the valet
  • complete flexibility in the design of the facade can increase aesthetics and allows the garage to blend with any neighborhood or project.

via: Rush University Medical Center News

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