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Fuelling a passion

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

Friday, January 11, 2013    

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THE intersection of Mannings Hill and Constant Spring roads in St Andrew has been given a make-over by its new owners. Formerly tagged Richie B's gas station, the spot now houses a state-of-the-art service centre branded Texaco Gas and Go. It was opened for business on Monday.

"I call it a high-performance building," Euhon Darling, lead project designer, told Auto.

Darling, a self-professed gear-head, said two things inspired him when he began to conceptualise the look for the new gas station in late 2011: his Lancer Evolution IX and ultimately, how to efficiently use the property.

"My first move was to look at the interaction between the cars, the building and the road. We had to make it easier for them to get in and out without affecting the traffic flow around the station," he said.

From there, Darling demolished the original structures and began the radical project which now stands in the spot.

The building's angular look drew on the aggressive lines present in the Evolution's functional aerodynamics.

"The location of the glass windows maximises lighting and temperature control. We have also implemented solar lighting and fans," he said.

He explained that a majority of the heat generated by most buildings is in the space between the ceiling and the roof. To counter this, solar-powered fans draw the hot air out. More revolutionary are the solar lights, which are not powered by the sun but draw the sunlight into the building itself for electricity-free illumination.

"These switches vary the dome aperture to control how much light you need," Noel Scott, project manager, demonstrated to Auto.

The end result is a gas station that gets your attention, and has a low carbon footprint.

"We'll, at some point in the future, add solar panels to the canopy outside, allowing us to take the station off the power grid," said Scott.

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