Last week Tim Cook proclaimed that Apple’s new headquarters would be “the greenest building on the planet,” referring to Apple’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
That’s quite a claim. But Apple has tried to make good on its promise as it builds a new home in Cupertino, California.
It’s not just the building itself that will be sustainability stalwart. Apple has also shaped its construction plans with an eye toward protecting the environment.
For example, Cupertino law requires that construction sites reuse at least 75% of their demolished materials. Apple says it’s using over 90% of the old headquarters in building the new one.
Like any large building, Apple’s new HQ will require a substantial amount of concrete for its foundation. But rather than shipping off its concrete rubble, Apple has set up an onsite operating dedicated to recycling all of its old cement for the new building.
Even the trees are being repurposed. Apple says it’s working with a local mill to create lumber from the trees it has had to clear rather than mulching or just destroying them.
Once built, the new HQ will put other buildings to shame with its energy efficiency. Apple says the new building will use 30% less energy than a similar R&D office.
What power the building does require will come from 100% renewable sources.
It’s unclear whether this means it will rely directly on solar and wind power or use renewable energy certificates — paperwork symbolic of a commitment to renewables — but Apple claims to be building one of the largest onsite corporate solar installations in the world.
The new HQ will also save money on heating and cooling. Apple says the building will have natural ventilation for 75% of the year.
There’s more to it than just the central circular building, however. Apple’s new campus will have tons of open space — nearly 80% of the campus, it says — for employees to enjoy the outdoors while they contemplate their next major product category breakthrough.
Or maybe they just want to save on their power bill.