One of the awesome things about watching growth in sustainability, is seeing mainstream, traditional industries such as gas stations make inroads to sustainable outcomes. In Australia BP recently incorporated solar panels to several of their stations in Sydney, with a graphic display of energy savings and even carbon offsets they were acheiving. This story from Oregan takes the concept one step further and shows that big companies see value in investment in these technologies, whether from an attempt to improve public perception, or perhaps from a cost benefit, environmental analysis perspective. Either way, this article over at treehugger outlines some of the “innovative”, (I use that term loosely, as this really is inovative for a traditional industry!).
The biofuels are only part of the story behind this unique business, however. From first glance at the SeQuential retail site one can see that this is no ordinary pit stop.
The site considers the role of the automobile while integrating the belief that commerce and the natural environment can co-exist. Renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable design elements are themes throughout the site.
Approaching the site, the dominant features are the 244 solar panels that cover the fueling islands and the 4800 plants installed in five inches of soil on the roof of the convenience store. The 33kW solar array will provide 30% to 50% of the electrical power that the station will require annually.
The “living roof” will help to control rainwater runoff on the site and will help cool the convenience store during the summer. Other eco-friendly design elements include stormwater detention “bioswales” where plants will filter pollutants from rainwater that rinses the roadways and parking areas and will clean the water before it leaves the site. SeQuential also has made a significant effort to source building materials that are made in the Pacific Northwest region.
The combination of biofuels with other sustainable construction, energy supply and landscaping is impressive. I’ve got a real interest in green roofs, and it’s nice to see what I’d consider to be an obvious implementation of the technology.
This should be a model for many more to come. Check out Sequential biofuels here.