Green Building | July 21, 2008 |
BP Builds First LEED Certified Gas Station
One of BP’s LA locations includes a green gas station called Helios House. The only gas station in the country to meet LEED USGB standards, it features an array of standard green building techniques.
Helios House looks very much like a space ship, with its structure made from heat-reflecting, geodesically-cut steel. It is topped by solar panels that also reflect light, a green roof that grows cacti, and bamboo paneled bathroom stalls (nice!). The metalwork is made of recycled aluminum, motion-sensitive lighting, a rainwater collection system, and a team of enthusiastic youths that BP has trained to brief customers on green living techniques.
The only downer is that BP is in the business of selling oil, which is currently environmental public enemy #1. However BP's humble attitude and slogan, “a little better,” makes it hard to dislike, which is probably exactly the point. BP’s efforts are also significant because they indicate an acceptance of climate change, and take some responsibility for the fact that its primary product is a contributing factor. BP’s corporate model is much healthier, and will probably make it easier for them eventually to transition out of the oil business.