Latest Silicon Valley tech trend: green and modular headquarters buildings

Apple, Facebook and Google are among the northern California tech giants planning new or expanded headquarters that incorporate both green building practices and modular construction, according to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine (click here read the article). Apple, for instance, is planning to install enough solar panels and fuel cells to make its new Cupertino headquarters completely energy independent, and expects to plant 6,000 trees on its 176-acre property. The green roof on Facebook’s building in Menlo Park will include full-grown trees – requiring laying as much as four feet of soil on the roof deck – and hiking trails. At its Mountain View campus, Google is considering installing an expensive system to recycle its own sewage.

All three projects will use some prefabricated construction, with parts of buildings—possibly entire bathrooms or banks of fully furnished offices complete with carpets and curtains—assembled at factories and trucked to the site, according to the magazine. Bill Flemming, USA Building president, is quoted saying that prefabrication of building systems can shorten construction schedules by 20 percent.

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