Sustainable Retrofit at Greenhills Public Library Sustainable Retrofit at Greenhills Public Library

Unilock® and Aquascape™ combined to create a sustainable rainwater exchange system in a retrofit of Chicago area library parking area.

Completed in the fall of 2011, the Green Hills Public Library in the south Chicago suburb of Palos Hills, Illinois underwent a parking lot transformation.

Prior to the new construction, the existing parking lot was traditional bituminous asphalt. When the library decided to make improvements to the lot, it was important that new sustainable practices be incorporated. They hired the Chicago architecture firm of Studio GC to coordinate the redesign of the 20,000 square foot permeable paver parking lot and rainwater exchange system. Below (left) is a before image, below (right) is an after image.

Using a Unilock permeable paver surface allowed them to accomplish several goals. First they needed to insure the new material would be durable, functional and provide them with lower maintenance cost than the bituminous asphalt. The permeable pavers were able to provide them with this solution by capturing the stormwater runoff though the ADA accessible joint openings while still providing a durable surface for car and SUV parking. Additionally, after the water filters through the paver surface, it flows to a basin designed to capture the water for Aquascape’s RainXchange system. The water can then be harvested and used for a decorative feature or the watering of plant material.

The library chose a light colored paver to increase the reflectivity of the sunlight and reduce the pavement temperature. Here is a link for the project

Above (left) is a before image, above (right) is an after image.