An Apple construction worker told us the new spaceship HQ may change building standards in the US

Construction is well underway on Apple Campus 2, Apple’s planned new Cupertino headquarters. Costing an estimated $US5 billion, no expense is being spared on the futuristic building, nicknamed the “spaceship.” Due to be completed at the end of 2016, it will accommodate 12,000 employees, and features a $US161 million auditorium, as well as a vast leafy green space at the centre of the site.

Business Insider recently talked to someone who has worked on the project, who gave us an insight into just how far Apple’s famously exacting standards go, and why Apple Campus 2 has “raised the bar for construction standards” in America.

Want to understand Apple Campus 2? Look at your iPhone.

IPhone 6 Gold cameraGeorge Frey/Stringer/Getty ImagesApparently, the same level of precision is in Apple Campus 2 as in the iPhone 6.

According to our source, Apple employees would regularly use the iPhone in meetings with construction contractors as the perfect example of what they were trying to build.

“There were many meeting when the Apple representative would pick up your [iPhone] and say: ‘That’s what we’re building.’ What that means is — if you look at the phone, there’s the sheen on the phone, there’s the bevel on the phone, there’s how much shine they have… every piece of that phone is engineered, and the building is the same way.”

They go on: “Every piece of this building is engineered. In other words, everything has been looked at and vetted and measured and mocked up, from concrete to joints to rebar placements. Stuff you wouldn’t even see when the building’s done, so it’s pretty amazing.”

Apple is very hands-on.

Is Apple content to let the contractors get on with the work at hand? Not at all. “Apple was heavily involved. Day-to-day interaction was pretty constant.”

The site, shaped like an O, is split into nine “wedges,” and there are Apple employees assigned to each “specific geographic location.” Employees from Foster + Partners, the architectural firm behind Apple Campus 2, are also on-site to supervise.

“Apple now has raised the bar for construction standards”

Apple campus offices underground june 2015E3VFX/VimeoA close-up of the underground section of Apple Campus 2, which will be used for parking.

The project is so extensive — and Apple is
so demanding — that Apple Campus 2 has effectively “raised the bar for construction standards,” our source tells us.

Other tech companies’ buildings apparently don’t even come close. Having worked on other construction projects with tech companies, they say “this far exceeds that level.. with all the local subcontractors and contractors being brought together from around the country it really is gonna elevate the construction standard. You know, if Apple now has raised the bar for construction standards, what’s the next project? Is it gonna be higher than that? Is it gonna be an Apple standard?

“There was a lot of talk about that among the subcontractors and tradesmen.”

Here’s recent footage, taken via helicopter, of how Apple Campus 2 currently looks:

And here’s an artist’s rendering of how the site will look when it’s done:

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