6 Sustainable Initiatives at Apple’s New Headquarters

Apple's Planned New Headquarters Photo: City of Cupertino

Apple’s Planned New Headquarters
Photo: City of Cupertino

Apple’s planned 260,000 square meter (2.8 million square feet) new corporate campus  will feature a lot of sustainable practices.

The new head quarters is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

Apple has been far more forthcoming about its sustainability initiatives since hiring Jackson, the former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief, earlier this year. Here are six examples of its plans for sustainability.

The campus will run entirely on renewable energy. The plan calls for about 8 megawatts of solar panels to be installed on the roof of the main, spaceship-shaped building as well as the parking structures.

An unspecified number of fuel cells also will be installed, with the rest of the electricity needed for operations sourced through grid-purchased renewable energy.

Net-zero Building Design
Apple’s unusual four-story circular design meant to accommodate 14,200 employees has raised eyebrows, but if you look beyond the shape, the structure itself is being designed to create as much energy as it uses.

There is a strong emphasis on energy-efficiency: the passive heating and cooling systems will use 30 percent less than a comparable campus.  Apple expect that 75 percent of the year, they will not need air conditioning or heating, but instead rely on natural ventilation.

A central site will contain fuel cells, back-up generators, chillers, condenser water storage, hot water storage, an electrical substation and water and fire pumps.

Water Conservation
Attention has been paid to reducing the number of impermeable surfaces on the site. Up to 9,240 of the parking spots, for example, will be underground so that Apple can invest in landscaping that absorbs water.

A recycled water main is under consideration, and other steps have been taken to minimize water consumption by about 30 percent below a typical Silicon Valley development.

Those measures include low-flow fixtures, the use of native plans and roof rainwater capture.

Waste Management Program
Apple already diverts about 78 percent of the waste associated with its existing headquarters from landfills.

The proposal calls for the company to recycle or reuse any construction waste; from an operations perspective, it will step up recycling from solid waste sources as well as the use of composting.

Garden Landscaping
The new plan will transform an existing site almost entirely covered with buildings and asphalt into a landscape featuring almost 7,000 trees – including the apple, apricot, cherry and plum fruit trees that made San Jose’s orchards thrive long before silicon was invented.

80% of the site or about 100 acres will be green space. 

Transportation Program
As part of its transportation program, the plan calls for buffered bike lanes on streets adjacent to the campus that are segregated from vehicular lanes and that also allow for bikes to pass each other.

Apple will emphasize on the use of bicycles, shuttles and buses that will link employees with regional public transit networks. Roughly one-third of the employees or about 5,000 people are likely to use this option.

Focus will also be on encouraging all employees that live within 15 minutes of the campus to use sustainable or public transportation alternatives. The site will start with 300 electric vehicle charging stations, with the built-in capacity to expand.

Related articles:
Apple Patents New Wind Technology
Microsoft’s City of the Future
Adidas Profitable Energy Fund
Google Invests $75M into Wind Farm
IKEA to Sell Solar PV

3 responses to “6 Sustainable Initiatives at Apple’s New Headquarters

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