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Green Screen Parking Garage

When a Fortune-100 company located in downtown Columbus, Indiana, announced a major office expansion, it created the need for a unique parking structure with a large footprint. The project team (American Structurepoint and F.A. Wilhelm Construction) worked closely with the corporation to design a 5-story, 954-space, 291,300sf parking garage incorporating many sustainable design principles and maintaining the architecture and historical features of the exterior to blend into its surroundings. It addressed traffic patterns (both inside and outside the structure) to promote both efficiency and safety for both vehicles and pedestrians, as well as to promote a friendly and safe parking experience.

The open parking structure allowed for natural ventilation, and eliminated the need for mechanical ventilation. The garage also features highly efficient light fixtures that offer a softer glow, unlike many garages which use fixtures giving off a bright light, which again would compete with the lighting of the headquarters and contribute to light pollution. Vehicular charging stations also offer an additional sustainable element in the structure’s design.


The garage utilized a small palette of materials, and expressed the grace and strength of a reinforced concrete structural system, as well as the transparency of the curtain wall. Verticality, again reminiscent of the adjacent pergola and other historic tower elements, is found in corner stair towers. The elevators are placed interior to the garage, allowing these “glass cubes” to be distinctive, finely detailed beacons to promote way finding and security during evening hours. Upturned post-tensioned beams cap the structure and double as vehicle barriers at the upper floor. The beams create a continuous concrete band surrounding the building, cantilevering up to 20 feet at the corners, which visually ties the building together. The typical structural floor is comprised of a 1-way post-tensioned concrete system with moment frames providing lateral resistance. This effectively opened the structure to outside light.


Unique 2-way cast-in-place post tensioned slabs form the two stair tower roofs, with the southwest roof cantilevering more than seven feet in all directions from a central concrete core wall. The precast sections cantilever off the concrete core wall to reduce visual impairments in the exterior cladding. A 20-foot tall white precast concrete trellis on the building’s west side mirrors the iconic trellis featured across the street. The garage is topped with a continuous concrete band surrounding the building and cantilevering at the corners, which visually ties the building together, creating four corner spaces, one for a stair/elevator, one for a second stairwell, and two that utilize a brick surface again reflecting the material palette found in the downtown area.

Another innovative feature of the parking garage is the use of a “green screen” on two sides of the 5-story structure. The green walls add 7,000sf of living, growing vines. The vine walls help filter direct sunlight and shield views of the cars from the street and adjacent buildings.

Special Environmental Requirements

Extreme cold and dry to hot and humid weather is common in this part of the country and parking garages are susceptible to freezing, heat, precipitation, and de-icing salts. To address these issues, American Structurepoint implemented a multi-pronged approach to maximize building life. The process included: higher performance concrete, post-tension tendon and anchorage protection, higher prestress levels to reduce cracking, and epoxy-coated reinforcing steel (rebar) combined with admixtures and sealers to inhibit corrosion.


  • Utilize the comprehensive strength of reinforced concrete to provide a longer building life cycle.
  • Utilizing a 5-1/2” one-way slab reduced the building total weight by 720 tons.
  • Utilizing 14" x 36" beams spanning 60 feet with repeated bays and 24" x 24" columns allowed for form re-use and efficiency in fabrication of the reinforcement.
  • Define building parameters that utilize creative use of materials, aesthetic qualities, and sustainable requirements.
  • Construction completed in less time than the original timeline required.

Project Details


Columbus, IN


American Structurepoint, Inc. and
KRJDA (Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Architects)

Structural Engineer:

American Structurepoint, Inc

Construction Management:

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc.

General Contractor:

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc.

PT Supplier:


Total Project Cost:

$10 million

Total Project Size:

291,300 sq ft

Floor System:

One-way post-tensioned reinforced concrete slab

Framing System:

Reinforced concrete