As more Americans seek relief from nearly $4-a-gallon gasoline in some areas by using alternative fuels, gas stations are changing their look to show the greener attitude.
This story in BusinessWeek says they’re designs that reflect the growing trend of hybrid and flex-fuel cars running on the more-and-more available ethanol and biodiesel:
In Eugene, Oregon, SeQuential Biofuels opened the state’s first commercial biofuel facility last year. The station dispenses ethanol as well as locally sourced biodiesel. Company cofounder Ian Hill worked with his mother, Susan Hill, AIA, an architect based in Lexington, Kentucky, to incorporate green features into the station’s design. A roof embedded with a 32.6-kilowatt photovoltaic array shelters the pump islands; its central panels have clear backings to transmit more daylight. The roof above an accompanying 2,000-square-foot convenience store also received a green treatment: It is planted 5 inches deep with 4,800 native Oregonian plants. Bioswales adjacent to the parking areas filter storm water.
Alan Eliot Goldberg, FAIA, a former design consultant to ExxonMobil, has developed a prototype station that embraces sustainable materials as well as solar power, which is used to create hydrogen fuel via electrolysis. Adapted from his Advanced Refueling Retail Center concept, it dispenses six different kinds of fuel. The 5,000-square-foot station will include a convenience store and an information center for hydrogen power. “If you’re introducing a new product, you should have a new concept,” Goldberg says of its design. Developed by the ARRC/H2 Alliance, the first station is planned for Syracuse, New York.
Oil-giant BP has even gotten into the act with its Helios House demonstration project, a 10,530-square-foot site in Los Angeles that produces solar energy, captures rainwater for irrigation, and even has a drought-tolerant green roof to reduce the amount of heat it produces in the city. It’s good enough that this station has actually received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of Gold.