The car-buying experience hasn't changed much in the last few decades. Typically, a buyer could spend a day driving from dealership to dealership looking for a new vehicle. This seems normal, but what about factoring in rain, or the time spent covering that much ground? These are inconveniences, certainly. But the bigger issue at hand, that many of us don't consider until we really stop to think about it, is the natural impacts these dealerships play on our environment. In a typical "auto mile," 20 dealerships may span more than 60 acres. That's thousands of displaced trees and species. What if there was a different way to shop for a vehicle that resulted in less extreme environmental impacts?

Photo courtesy of I-4 AutoMall/HHCP Design International, Inc.

The I-4 AutoMall is just that. This new approach to the car-buying experience is about to become a reality in Central Florida. The multi-level building will create space for dealerships to rent portions of the facility, including areas for storage, showroom, service, and administration. The one-stop-shop gives buyers the opportunity to see all their options in one place. The context-sensitive design for the facility includes centralized receiving and distribution hubs, which minimizes the need for semi-trucks to use main roadways and public spaces. Additionally, the energy-saving measures are advanced and vast, and include rainwater harvesting, rooftop solar panels, and micro grid services.

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