Santa Monica’s New “Green” parking structure

My choice for Flickr photo of the day is this awesome night photo by John McStravick  I feel as though there is still a long way to go with green building designs and retrofits, but this new parking structure in Santa Monica is a wonderful step in that direction towards sustainability along with being aesthetically pleasing.

This is the first parking structure in the country expected to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification, the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability in both design and construction.

In keeping with Santa Monica’s commitment to sustainability, the garage accommodates electric vehicles with recharging stations and bicycles with safe-storage units. Its top floor features photovoltaic (solar) panels that will generate renewable energy—181,000 watts of electricity, more than 30% of the building’s operating needs—and serve as shade canopies for vehicles. Additional sustainability features include storm water treatment, use of reclaimed water for flushing and landscape irrigation, recycled construction waste and environmentally friendly paint.

Beautifully and colorfully lit in the evening, the architectural details include precast panels constructed from recycled materials and neon lighting interspersed between colored glass panels. Each level of the structure features artwork, constructed from salvaged materials, by the artist Mark Lere. In addition to Lere, other project partners included ARB Construction, International Parking Parking Structure at night photoDesign and Moore Ruble Yudell Architects.

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