How green is Apple Campus 2?
Apple was initially singled-out for criticism by Greenpeace for its non-recyclable iPods in 2007, which gave the company something of a wake-up call. So much so that it was praised in 2014 for its use of renewable energy and improvements in using highly recyclable materials. For example, Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina data centre has the USA’s largest privately owned, on-site, solar array, and is powered by 100% renewable energy. The latest renders of the new Apple Campus 2 supplied to the Cupertino City Council show that the roof space is almost entirely tiled with solar panels. That’s over 500,000 square feet, and could be used for generating energy.
In typical Apple style, the new Campus 2 has plenty of exciting technologies hidden behind the picturesque landscaped parkland, and most of them put an emphasis on helping to save the environment. Apple Campus 2 will use 30% less energy than a typical R&D office building. The building itself is designed so air flows freely between the inside and outside, providing natural ventilation for 75% of the year. The new campus is being built from the ground up to meet the highest environmental standards set by LEED, an internationally recognised green building rating system. Perhaps the most green thing about Apple Campus 2 though, are the amount of trees, which will be hard at work turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. Just under 80% of the campus site will be open parkland, populated by more than 7,000 trees. Some of the existing trees are being preserved, but Apple is planting more than 6,000 new shade and fruit trees. Drought-tolerant plants will be used throughout the landscape to minimise water use.
Finally, there’s the impact of the work force on the environment. Getting to and from the new campus will be greener, too. Over a third of Apple’s nearly 15,000 employees in Cupertino can commute to the new campus using its biofuel buses, public transit, bicycles, carpools, and their own two feet. Over 1,000 shared bicycles will also be available for getting around Apple Campus 2. And for green drivers, there will be 300 electric vehicle charging stations.
With 12,000 people working in one building, parking requirements will be substantial. Apple’s solution is to move the majority of parking underground. This enables the majority of the site to become beautiful landscaped parkland, much more attractive than acres of black asphalt. There will also be some above ground parking, but the vast majority will be underground.
Apple Campus 2 will use 30% less energy than a typical office building. Air flows freely between the inside and outside, providing natural ventilation 75% of the year.