Delaware Welcome Center
In the United States Welcome Centers are a tradition since 1935, but Delaware House, as it is known here, it’s not just this: it is much more. A tool of economic policy, a paradigm of modernity, an ecological island, a shopping center, a tourist information point: operative since 1964, Delaware House has always proved to be a point of reference for travelers along the 1-95.
In 2008 HMSHost the American division of Autogrill, set to work, together with the Department of Transports, the Economic Development Office, and the Wilmington Convention and Visitor Bureau, to provide the State of Delaware with a structure able to provide travelers with essential services such as catering and retail travel, to increase road safety and offer a first, impressive window on the beauties the State of Delaware has to offer, also by supporting tourists at the Visitor Center, a real info point on the attractions, events and activities Delaware has to offer.
Our “Delaware Welcome Center” with its 4,000 squared meter surface and its strategic position on the Interstate 95, just a few minutes from Birmington Delaware, is still HMSHost (the Autogrill US subsidiary) Flagship, especially after 2008, when it was rebuilt to make it one of the world’s most innovative architectural structure. The 2008 restoration also represents a great example of how the public and the private sector can work together.
The building was designed in accordance with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and environmental design) principles, recycling and re-using 75% of the material deriving from the pre existing building. The whole area has been designed to be environmentally-sustainable, from the geothermal system to the possibility to power low co2,emission vehicles, even the toilets that do not use water and the decorative plants that require very little.
The store optimizes the use of natural sunlight, significantly cutting energy consumption. Moreover, in order to better insulate the building the roof was constructed with high reflective materials and the wall with insulating materials to avoid heat dispersion in winter. With regard to air ventilation, a geothermal plant was installed with 60 geothermal wells feeding 37 pumps distributed throughout the building. As to water, the toilets do not use it and the decorative plants require very little. Moreover, there is also the possibility to power low emission C02 vehicles. At the Delaware Welcome Center, HMSHost has developed a project dedicated to truck drivers, designed in collaboration with CabAire (a company supplying electronic components
for trucks): in the parking area of the infrastructure, there are now 50 stations supplying electricity for trucks to power air conditioning and heating without keeping the motor running.
The Delaware Welcome Center also features stations for recharging electric vehicles.