Chicago Green Parking Garage Chicago Green Parking Garage VLP Development

An artist's rendition of the green parking garage. Photo courtesy VLP Development.

Finding parking in the Chicago neighborhood of Bucktown -- a bustling, vibrant and popular district in the city's north end -- can be unnerving, time consuming and even detrimental to its economy.

"It's a very popular area and has tremendous entertainment, shopping and restaurants," said Vicki Fuller, president of VLF Development, a Chicago-based real estate and urban planning company. It's a desirable destination, but especially in the afternoon and evening it's hard to find parking. "And ultimately that kind of ends up turning on itself," she said. "If it becomes too congested, then people find other places to go because it becomes too much of a hassle to get there."

That reputation may soon get a boost in the green energy area, as Bucktown is set to become home to what the builder says is the nation's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified automated parking garage.

LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, according to the U.S. Green Building Council's website. The Gold LEED certification represents one of the highest levels of achievement, Fuller said.

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Karen Wilkinson  | 

Karen is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.