The Bay View campus in Mountain View—scheduled to open this week—consists of two office buildings (one, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. . The search giant said the total buildings in Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that’s less than half the size of Apple’s spaceship.
The roofs of the two main buildings, which resemble sail-roofed pavilions, are designed this way with a purpose: It’s a grid of 90,000 scale-like solar panels dubbed “Dragon Skills” because of its design and luster. By extending the tiles, Google said the design reduces damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloping wing-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof.
The roof may be the most notable environmental feature, but Google said the site has several green features, including:
- A ventilation system that uses 100% outside air
- Building materials selected for their safety
- All-electric campus design
- Above-ground basins used for cooling and non-potable water uses
- Largest geothermal stack system in North America (according to Google)
Google has claimed that its design will reduce water needs for cooling by 90 percent, and thanks to its solar rooftops and a nearby wind farm, the energy used on campus will be carbon-neutral 90 percent of the time.
real estate costs
Google isn’t the only company that invested in a purpose-built campus in the run-up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple has done so, too, and has made clear during the pandemic that it will not let that investment go to waste. The staff will be back.
Now, just under a year later, Apple is facing a rebellion from employees unhappy with the company’s back-to-office plan, which called for employees to spend at least three days in the office each week starting in late April. Apple has reportedly lost a top AI expert to politics as well. She reportedly told employees that by May 23, she wants them on at least three days a week: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Interior design of the main building at Bay View. Are you feeling productive yet?
Google has been trying to persuade employees to return to their positions for nearly all of Apple’s tenure, but its efforts, like those in Cupertino, have been repeatedly delayed. In March, Google said it wanted employees to be back in the office three days a week by April 4, and with the newly completed campus opening, it almost certainly wants them back.
It remains to be seen whether working under a coffered ceiling in a building while readjusting to life in the office will lead to an Apple-like rebellion. ®