Parking garages are a necessary evil, but you can make the best of them by topping them with solar panels to generate electricity to feed back into the grid. The Green Square Parking Deck in Raleigh, North Carolina is part of a larger sustainable urban renewal project that includes the construction of the Nature Research Center and new offices for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Designed by local firm Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee, the parking garage provides parking for visitors and employees in the area. The parking garage features a number of eco-friendly features to compliment the LEED-designed Green Square Complex in downtown Raleigh.
The Green Square Parking Deck is a nine-story parking garage that provides 900 parking spaces for visitors and employees of the State of North Carolina. Raleigh-based Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee designed the structure to fit within the context of the sustainably-designed Green Square Complex as well as to omply with the City of Raleigh’s “Livable Streets” initiative. The concrete frame is wrapped in an enclosure screen of vertical fins that protect the interior from weather, while allowing daylight and ventilation to enter. The dynamic fins act as a curtain to hide the vehicles, but still allow the structure to be open air.
Rather than leave the top floor open like most parking garages, the Green Square Parking Deck is topped with an extensive 250kW solar photovoltaic system that doubles as a sun shade. The system was designed by FLS Energy and features 960 modules that produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes per year. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and stored in a cistern to be used for irrigation around the capital. In addition, the parking garage provides space for electric car charging and bike parking. Now if only the parking garage was just for bikes.
Images ©Jonathan Hillyer and pbc+l