Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification program used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods, which aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

The gas station was designed by Office dA (Principal architects Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani) in Boston and Johnston Marklee Architects in Los Angeles. The architects were hired by Ogilvy & Mather, led by Brian Collins. The purpose of the design was to reinvent the gas station.

Admittedly a paradox, the Helios gas station does incorporate several largely unique environmentally friendly designs. It is built entirely from recycled glass and steel and scrap metal, with 90 solar panels to provide energy. The station’s roof is drought tolerant and collects water for irrigation. The station replaced a run-down Thrifty station that previously occupied the site

In addition, it boasts a green roof that grows cacti, bamboo paneled bathroom stalls, motion-sensitive lighting and a rainwater collection system. Despite the current and possibly justifiable anger against BP, one has to appreciate the effort that went into making this the first LEED-certified gas station in the nation.

Additional sustainable measures include an expanded canopy roof deck with 90 solar panels, reducing the carbon footprint of Helios House by 5,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Energy-efficient lights illuminate the station, which in concert with the canopy design reflect colored light on the faceted stainless steel cladding, allowing the station to draw 16% less electricity than conventional stations. Sensors further optimize the use of artificial light through a 24-hour cycle.

Another key goal was to minimize material waste. The stainless steel canopy was designed using CATIA software which allowed for factory-precise design. Incorporating 1,653 stainless steel panels that were preassembled offsite into 52 transportable components, site assembly lasted only four weeks, creating an easily adaptable design that taps into the potential for mass customization.

According to en.wikipedia; architypereview.com and onegreenplanet.org. Source of photos: internet