The Santa Monica Civic Center has erected one hell of a new, very green parking facility. The building, which looks like a technicolor nightmare, is on task to become the first LEED certified parking garage in the country. LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, basically certifying the building as green. It does have some pretty interesting features, including something current or future electric-owners will love.
The top of the parking garage has solar panels that not only power the building, but provide shade for cars packed on the top deck. The entire building was built with green paints and finishes and a low-e glazing system helps maintain the garages temperature a little more efficiently that other parking garages, therefore leaving you with a potentially cooler (or warmer) car after it has sat for eight hours or more. It includes a water treatment run-off system, as well.
One of the bigger points of the building is that it has 14 spaces primarily devoted to electric vehicles. Not only that, but each parking spot includes electrical outlets to juice up the ride while it sits parked. The building has 900 spaces total, so the 14 is less than 2 percent of the overall capacity, but still, a building catering to electric vehicles is a sign of the future, man. [Inhabitat]