During last week’s City Council meeting in Cupertino, California, Apple Inc. C.E.O. Steve Jobs unveiled the company’s designs for a newer, larger and more environmentally-friendly headquarters on 150 acres just down the road from its current location. Although the plans include certain undeniably sustainable features, others may not be as green as they are presented to be.
The design features a large, ring-shaped building capable of housing up to 12,000 employees in one location, many more than its current headquarters which has a capacity of approximately 2,800. Enormous, curved glass panels wrap the façade, allowing natural light to pour into the office spaces, reducing the building’s need for electricity.
Rather than being integrated into the new campus, all existing buildings would be demolished to make way for the massive new structure, sending consistent amounts of debris to the landfill. On the bright side, the about of green space would increase by 350%, with 90% more trees and a total of 80% of the campus would be landscaped with carefully-selected indigenous flora.
The building will stand four stories high, with an additional four stories of underground parking below, allowing 90% of the areas previously dedicated to parking to be landscaped. The company has also announced the construction of the headquarters’ own power plant, powered by supposedly “cleaner” energy sources, using the grid only as a back-up. At the moment natural gas is the only source that has been mentioned, but one would hope Apple would invest in renewable energy sources as well. The new facility is scheduled to be completed by 2015.