While the Denver airport is known for its dedication to green and solar technology, DIA management never approached Greenscape, the builder responsible for the 4,200-car parking area known as Airport Canopy Parking, Greenscape CEO Bryan Slusarchuk said in an e-mail.
Propark, a major parking lot management company, approached Greenscape with the idea.
“They had a vision for the DIA parking facility that really captivated us due to the robust economics and the environmental ramifications,” Slusarchuk said.
The facility will get more than 10 percent of its power from renewable sources, including vertical wind turbines and six photovoltaic solar panel arrays.
The arrays were built by Evergreen Solar to be even more environmentally friendly than the average solar panels, Slusarchuk said. They use wafer technology to produce String Ribbon solar panels and produce every component of their panels under one roof in order to keep their footprint low and maintain quality control, according to Slusarchuk.
The panels, which will be pole mounted in the parking lot, have the solar industry’s lowest voltage per watt rating, giving it the smallest carbon footprint of any solar manufacturer in the industry, according to Slusarchuk.
In addition to generating solar and wind power, the parking structure will use geothermal power to heat and cool inside structures and will provide electric car charging stations, which they’ve cleverly named “juice bars.”
DIA’s signature natural-gas-burning and electric shuttles will transport passengers from the parking garage on Tower Road to the terminal and back again.
The parking facility had a job fair Oct. 12 and aimed to hire 100 new employees to man the new facility, Slusarchuk said.
The building has attained the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standard, second only to their platinum certification.
“All in all, we are 50-60 percent more energy efficient than a normal parking facility,” Slusarchuk said of the Airport Canopy Parking project. “This means that being green isn't just a feel-good gesture, but rather, it means a dramatic impact on bottom line profitability.”
Pictured: Two solar arrays outside Denver International Airport.