Green Parking

NREL Parking Structure


Features: Possibly the world’s first LEED Certified Platinum parking garage.

Description: DESMAN provided Structural Engineering and Parking Consulting services on a parking structure, security building and bus shelter for the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO. The 1,800-space, four and five level parking structure is connected to a shuttle bus waiting area on the north side. The parking structure is divided into two nearly symmetrical halves, made different by an additional level on the east half as it steps down with the existing grade. The two halves of the structure are separated by a dedicated pedestrian circulation area with a monumental stair connecting all levels.

The parking structure was designed using cast-in-place concrete columns, long-span post-tensioned concrete beams and girders, and post-tensioned concrete slabs. The structural system has a very high level of durability and a service life span of approximately 60 years. The floor-to-floor height on all levels of the garage is 11’-4”. The superstructure of the parking garage supports a PV panel canopy consisting of steel trusses on steel columns set on concrete columns. The PV panels will be affixed directly to a metal decking system.

The parking structure surpasses aggressive energy goals set by NREL due to very efficient LED lighting, day lighting design, occupancy controls, and a traffic management system. The ultimate goal is to achieve net zero energy use for the parking structure and to produce excess solar power for a nearby office building. There are preferred parking spaces in the garage for carpools and vanpools, fuel efficient vehicles, and for electric vehicles with charging stations. The project was delivered using the Design-Build method. This project received the International Parking Institute’s Award for New Sustainable Parking & Transportation Facilities Excellence, 2013.

Project Type

Green Parking

Project Name

NREL Parking Structure


Golden, CO



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