Microsoft to build a green campus

Microsoft has announced that it will transform its 200-hectare campus in Redmond, Washington into a sustainable work-play village with a focus on connecting employees and neighbours to nature.

Microsoft is famous for its technological innovations, but in recent years it has also been making a name for itself in sustainability. The tech giant has taken various steps to save energy at its data centres or through cloud computer, and it has worked aggressively to reduce its carbon footprint by purchasing renewable energy and building all new buildings in accordance with LEED standards.

Last week, Microsoft announced the latest – and perhaps most ambitious – of its sustainable efforts: next fall, it will break ground on a multi-year campus renewal project at its Redmond, Washington campus that will include 18 new buildings, over 620,000 square metres of renovated workspace, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space.

The new campus will be divided into a series of “team neighbourhoods”, creating a more open and less formal work environment that captures more natural light. The new buildings themselves will focus on inclusive design and accessible technology.

But the real innovation is in the exterior: Microsoft wants to create more opportunities to exercise, play and connect with nature for Microsoft employees and those who live nearby. Plans include a 8,000-square metre open plaza that will hold up to 12,000 people, running and walking trails, facilities for football and cricket, and retail space.

The campus will be built for pedestrians and bicycles, and all cars will be moved to an underground parking facility. The company will construct a pedestrian- and cyclist-only bridge across a highway to connect both sides of its campus and will even link the campus to a light rail system scheduled for completion in 2030.

The Redmond campus is already certified as zero waste and the redesign will focus further on waste reduction initiatives.

“We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that our neighbours can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith.

A video of the new project can be seen here.


Image credit: Microsoft

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