An area for motorists

Visitors encounter wooden buildings, tarred and in natural colours, with green roofs of sedum plants instead of the sheet metal and expanses of asphalt that are so common at similar facilities. Inside there are tropical plants and natural light, and if there is time after filling up the car then everyone is welcome to take a stroll through the site’s green area, encircled by streams, with a park and artificial lake.

Visitors realise quickly that this is no ordinary service centre for motorists. A walk around the facility, with its innovative solutions built to achieve an environmentally-adapted system, gives rise to a host of questions. Around the area and indoors there is information available on the building technology to still the curiosity of visitors.

Initially the project had some difficulty in generating enthusiasm since GreenZone is primarily developed based on cutting edge technology that had already been tested separately elsewhere. During the building process its attraction increased and study visits were a frequent occurrence even before the facility opened. Among the more celebrated guests were the EU Environment Commissioner and the Swedish Minister of the Environment. Interest for GreenZone is growing as synergy effects of the area’s solutions become clearer in an overall perspective, particularly with respect to its resource efficiency and reuse.

In full operation the GreenZone in Umeå is estimated to welcome around a million visitors annually.