TRANSPORT minister Mike Penning officially opened what has been dubbed the country’s greenest motorway service area last week.
Moto’s Cherwell Valley Services on the M40 near Bicester have been completely revamped since fire gutted the building in April 2010.
The space-age building uses heat from the ground and the sun, and automatic louvres provide a low-cost, zero-emission alternative to air conditioning.
Large windows have strategically-placed louvres that open when inside temperatures go higher than 18˚C.
Rain water is collected for toilet flushing and irrigation, and a dual-outlet charging point gives drivers of electric vehicles a power source.
Mr Penning said: “This government aims to be the greenest ever and I’m pleased to see that the improved facility is making an important contribution towards a more sustainable future.”
Tim Moss, Moto’s CEO, said: “We believe that Cherwell Valley will set the benchmark for buildings of this type.”
Work is due to begin shortly on an electricity-generating wind turbine, thought to be the first at a UK service station. Among Cherwell Valley’s other green credentials are daylight-linked lights, low energy light fittings, low water content toilets, timed spray release taps, and zoned temperature controls.
The £10million building took more than a year to build.