Google has just released design plans for their new Charleston East campus. The building will incorporate state-of-the-art features to become the most efficient workplace ever for Google employees.
Google first released plans for the campus early last year, with updates to those plans released last month. The original design for the canopy will be unchanged except that it will now be opaque. The previous design was completely translucent. The canopy that will go over the campus is meant to regulate indoor climate, air quality, and sound. The building segments will be flexible, meaning they will be able to be moved around, both in the interior and exterior of the campus for added mobility.
As for the surface of the canopy, it will be made from photovoltaic panels in order to to produce as much electricity from renewable resources as possible. This is just a small part of the green design that is a top priority for Google’s campus. In order to decrease energy consumption, the building will use smile shaped clerestories that cover two sides of each 102 foot bay to bring direct, indirect, and diffused natural light into the building. The design for most of the building centers on using as much natural light as possible. Innovative glazing technologies are currently in the works in order to diffuse direct sunlight and minimize glare.
Nature being Google’s top priority in the complex, the landscaping strategies of the building look to restore as well as nurture native ecologies of the North Bayshore area. Google is even working with local ecological consultants and wildlife experts in a determined attempt to help wildlife species on the site thrive and co-exist with the surrounding campus.
Bird safety is an important factor of the design as well. The building will use bird-friendly design elements to help stop any birds from flying into windows or other areas. This happens much too frequently with designs that use clear glass and disturb migration patterns with light pollution. A few of these plan elements are fine-grained visual obstacles in the vertical envelope glass coatings that reduce reflection, limited light pollution at night, and carefully placed vegetation.
The main concept of Google’s campus is driven by five guiding principles to provide the highest quality work environment possible and to represent a vision for the future workplace. These principles are: beauty and simplicity, flexible and hackable spaces, ecology and access to nature, efficiency of resources and materials, and health and environmental quality.
With these five principles, Google is striving to achieve LEED Platinum certification. This innovative and modern design will blend in with the surrounding ecosystems and landscape instead of appearing in rigid contrast to them. Google is still in the early stages of planning this structure and there is plenty of work that needs to be done before any construction starts. Let us hope the future looks as green and efficient as Google intends it to be, and hopefully it will become a standard for workplaces to come.