Building a sustainable campus in Silicon Valley

Photo shows aerial view of sleek buildings and a soccer field surrounded by greenery next to a freeway

As we continue to grow and plan for the future, Microsoft is modernizing our workplaces in all regions where we do business. In Silicon Valley, we are creating our smartest, greenest office yet.

Our new Silicon Valley Campus, a 643,000-square-foot modernization of our 32-acre Mountain View location, recently broke ground. This project represents a significant investment in our more than 2,000 employees in the San Francisco Bay Area and our commitment to creating the best employee experience in the industry. We estimate it will take two years to complete and be ready for occupancy in December 2019.

Our goal is to design a campus that benefits and restores the natural area. California continues to face increased demand for limited water and energy resources. We took these challenges into account when we began our design plans. We started with the biggest challenge for the region — water.

Our campus is designed to achieve net zero non-potable water certification under the Living Building Challenge. Microsoft will be the first tech company to achieve this certification. Our campus will have an integrated water management system that operates under the guiding principle of putting non-potable water into service more than once. This includes harvesting rainwater and installing an onsite wastewater plant for treatment. This innovative approach helps us reduce potable water consumption by more than 5 percent, which is good for our business and the local community, and couldn’t have been considered without the support and input of the City of Mountain View.

But water is just the beginning. The buildings are designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. We will continue our leadership role in using solar panels to derive energy. The 4-acre living roof will reintroduce native ecology to the campus to promote species diversification in the area adjacent to the Stevens Creek habitat. We understand what a privilege it is to have our campus next to Stevens Creek, and we are committed to building a campus that can be net positive on the health of this local area.

We’ve also considered not just how we build, but also the impact of the materials we choose in the design. We will use sustainably sourced Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and exposed finishes throughout the campus, thereby reducing the materials needed to complete construction.

The modern workspaces throughout the campus will promote collaboration and productivity, providing areas that help generate creativity and allow for focused concentration. The neighborhood and courtyard concept makes it easy for our employees to move from outdoor to indoor spaces. Employees will have access to natural light through a glass exterior from anywhere on campus. The renovated dining facilities will provide healthy meal options as part of our commitment to the WELL Building standard. The campus will also feature athletic fields and a new onsite fitness facility for our employees. Finally, the new conference center, theater and Microsoft Technology Center will create space for us to demonstrate how our technology and services are empowering everyone on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft has been a core part of the Silicon Valley tech economy for more than 36 years, contributing to the incredible innovation and partnering with the local community to have a positive impact. The new Silicon Valley Campus will build on our legacy in the area and demonstrate our commitment to empower employees, the community and our natural resources.

 

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