Gallery: Chicago Parking Garage Harvests Energy From Windy City Gusts

The turbines harvest energy from the winds moving along Clark and Kinzie Streets to power the exterior lighting for the facility.

Located at the corner of Kinzie and Clark Streets, the wind energy system consists of 12 paired vertical axis wind turbines, which twist like candy poles at a barber shop while harnessing moving air from the streets. This installation is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before and it takes a really innovative approach to building-integrated wind turbines. The renewable energy generated from the system goes to power the exterior lights of the garage, and if any excess power is generated it gets fed into the grid.

The 11-story energy-efficient parking garage is seeking LEED certification after the developers of the project asked HOK to envision what a “green” parking garage would look like. Also included in the project is a rainwater collection system, plug-in stations for electric vehicles, and a glazed screen external wall that promotes natural ventilation. The elevator lobby of each floor also features a way-finding system to educate Chicagoans on how to live more sustainably and better protect the environment.

+ Greenway Self-Park


Via World Architecture News


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  1. jayjay72 August 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I can see this garage out my window and I rarely ever see the turbines spin and when they do it’s usually on incredibly windy days. This seems to be more show than anything. In fact every turbine has these really bright lights pointing up at them. I would safely bet that those lights use more electricity than those turbines produce by a HUGE margin especially they don’t do anything most of the time.
    The fact that they light up the turbines shows that they care more about the appearance of those turbines than actually being green. It’s sad and hypocritcal.

  2. angelop.mendez August 31, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    oldtymer your link was a waste of energy. It sent me right to this page. They might not have the turbines actually working because it’s off but I hope it does work. My question is if these turbines are or are more efficient as regular turbines; assuming they work of coarse.

  3. oldtymer August 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm
  4. Billy Jones August 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I live around the corner, and so far I have never seen those things spinning. In fact, I hardly see ever of these turbines on rooftops in action. Most are just standing idle.

    And seriously, trying to get a LEED certificate for something that facilitates the use of cars in city centers? I mean come on…

  5. bantoniewicz August 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I ride past this garage everyday (to and fro work) and have never seen the wind turbines actually moving. Before any Leed accreditation is awarded, a build should have to show proven results that its sustainable features are working as marketed. I’m hopeful that features like this will become more ubiquitous in future development but I’m also skeptical of actual delivery matching up to the marketing hype.


    p.s. The sidewalk tree coverage is also pretty week. Developers could do a lot more with sidewalk/parkway landscaping.

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