Helios House

Challenge

BP is one of the biggest investors in alternative energies. But that story wasn’t getting out. “Don’t just tell people you’re doing this,” we argued, “give it to them.”

Strategy

If BP was to claim credit for its sustainability efforts, the company needed to tell its story with honesty and humility. It is still selling gasoline, after all. But giant leaps are made in small steps. BP could not change the world overnight - no company could. BP, like all big companies, had to move in smart, important ways. With that insight into the sustainability story, we had our strategy: Do a little better a lot.

Solution

We proposed BP turn one of its gas stations into a laboratory for sustainability – a place where people could see, feel and benefit from BP’s commitment to go “beyond petroleum.” At the corner of Olympic and Robertson in Los Angeles, working with the firm Office dA, we built Helios House, the world’s first LEED-certified gas station - and it’s filled with a lot of “little betters.”

The steel cladding is recycled stainless steel. The roof holds 90 solar panels that produced 15,000 kWh of electricity. LEDs under the canopy use 50% less energy than conventional illumination. The gutter system collects rainwater to irrigate the station’s plants. Living plants cover the roof of the restroom annex, reducing the need for heating and cooling. And the sinks and toilets are made of 100% recycled aluminum shavings. A communication program explains it enjoyably to the station’s visitors.

Results

The station returned its investment twice as fast as planned and has been recognized for its contribution to American architecture by the Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design. It was also honored with a Cannes Lion and Clio Titanium.

Team

  • Ogilvy & Mather
  • Chuck Rudy
  • Christian Cervantas
  • David Harlan
  • Office dA
  • Bovis
  • Radical Media
  • Brian Collins
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