The Tower parking garage on the campus of new Parkland hospital has been awarded the LEED® Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which sets voluntary standards for buildings.
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction — Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum — that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five sustainable design categories. The U.S. Green Building Council says LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was built to “achieve high performance” in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The Tower garage is a controlled-access parking facility for 1,700 vehicles measuring 740,000 square feet on eight levels. The architectural skin includes exposed concrete, a custom aluminum grating system, glazed curtain wall system, aluminum composite panels and architectural precast concrete panels.
But the energy-saving features rival its state-of-the-art design. The garage uses LED lighting and a 32kW photovoltaic solar panel system.
“The goal of the project team was to deliver a LEED Silver parking garage,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President of New Parkland Construction. “But through sensitive design by the architects and efficient and environmentally sound building practices we exceeded our goal and achieved Gold Certification for less than the approved budget. It was a terrific team effort.”
In addition, the project came in under budget. Parkland’s Board of Managers approved a budget of $26.7 million to build the parking garage, but through careful construction and planning, it was actually built for slightly more than $25 million, a savings of $1.7 million.
Other features of the garage include 10,000 square feet for future retail purposes. Security systems include video surveillance, access control, mass notification and emergency phones. The garage also includes a fully automatic parking count system so drivers know how many spaces are available, and it includes several pay-on-foot stations and two cashier booths.
Construction on the parking garage started in November 2010. It opened in January 2012. The new Parkland hospital is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2014 and open in 2015. With a campus covering 2.1 million square feet, it is the largest new hospital construction project in the country.
For regular construction updates, visit the new Parkland website at http://www.parklandhospital.com/newparkland.