Denver is getting greener. No, they aren’t improving their landscaping and planting more trees and shrubs. Instead, more and more solar panels are popping up on buildings and homes around the town. Greenbox Self Storage is one of the newest businesses sporting solar panels. The facility recently opened in downtown Denver and is the first sustainable self storage facility in the downtown area. It is the first LEED-certified self storage building in Denver and the first newly constructed storage building built downtown in over a decade.
There is a big demand for storage in downtown Denver. Over the past decade, the downtown residential population grew 85 percent. There are now over 17,000 residents. Additionally, there are over 44,000 college students at the Auraria campus which has increased the need for self storage.
The facility installed 234 solar panels which will support the 747 units in the facility. Greenbox Self Storage also used energy efficient insulation in their building and even used recycled materials during the building process.
The solar panels will generate over 76,000 kilowatt hours annually. Greenbox estimates that the storage panels will eliminate over 180,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. This breaks down to a savings of 20 pounds of emissions per month per self storage unit.
The facility has 45,000 square feet of rentable space. It has drive-up self storage units, a computerized keypad access (so that renters have access to their belongings 24/7 and even on holidays), individual door alarms on select units, closed-circuit video surveillance, and climate-controlled units. There are three street-level office or retail spaces that local businesses can use. Greenbox also provides documents and records storage for businesses.
Greenbox has an online storage calculator that is easy to use and helps people determine what size of storage space they need. It even shows the best way to arrange the stored items. Renters can print up labels and lists to make their moving process easier. Greenbox also uses a web-based payment system.
Denver is very proactive on its green initiatives. Last year, they started a housing project that will eventually install $10 million worth of a solar power system on houses within the city. The public school system is adding solar panels to 28 of their schools. They have reduced the permit fees from the state average of around $500 down to $50. They reduced the time it takes to get a permit to 15 minutes. (In other areas around the state, it takes up to 20 days.)
“Green storage opens in downtown Denver.” Inside Real Estate News; 28 January 2013.
“Denver launches major solar-power installation project on low-cost housing.” Denver Business Journal; 19 July 2012.
“Denver first solar powered friendly community.” Denver Examiner; 29 November 2012.