The Chicago office of HOK recently completed Greenway Self-Park, an 11-story energy-efficient parking garage located in the popular River North neighborhood.

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The structure, which is the first of its kind in Chicago, is currently pursuing LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Sustainable design initiatives for Greenway Self-Park include a cistern rain water collection system, electric car plug-in stations and a way-finding system at each elevator lobby that educates Chicagoans on how to live more sustainably and better protect the environment.

Perhaps most significant is a 12-paired array of vertical turbines, located on the southwest corner of the garage, which were designed to harvest the wind to power the exterior wall lighting of the facility.

A reversible meter was also installed to measure and return power to the city’s grid throughout the year.

HOK’s team worked closely with client Friedman Properties to create a practical, yet architecturally distinctive garage.

In a departure from the typical, closed-exterior-wall design (one that requires 24-hour mechanical ventilation) used on other parking garages, the team conceived a naturally ventilated exterior wall design, utilizing a glazed screen that eliminates the need for a mechanical system entirely.

This unique glazed screen is comprised of a visually layered fabric of breathable glass channels that progressively reveal the inner concrete super-structure of the building.