Microsoft’s Redmond campus modernization update: Demolition begins

Stack of white hardhats bearing the Microsoft logo

Today marks the next milestone in Microsoft’s campus modernization effort. Deconstruction is beginning, and buildings will start coming down.

When the project is complete, the new campus will provide a modern workplace and create greater collaboration and community. To commemorate the original buildings, the company offered an exclusive opportunity for a group of employees to say goodbye to the original campus with a demolition party to kick off the destruction. On Tuesday, one employee and nine of his teammates (who collectively donated money to charity to win the experience via the Employee Giving Campaign auction) took to the company’s first buildings equipped with hard hats, sledgehammers and “the claw.” Check out some highlights from the fun below:

“It is great to see the interest and excitement from employees for the campus modernization,” said Michael Ford, Microsoft general manager of global real estate and security. “Our employees are crucial to building an exceptional place to work, and this event was a great way to kick off this journey together.”

Moving forward

Over the next few months, Microsoft will continue the decommissioning and demolition of 13 buildings, embracing sustainable practices throughout the process.

In 2016, Microsoft became the first technology company in the U.S. to be certified Zero Waste for diverting at least 90 percent of its waste from the landfill. The company’s goal with this project is to remain in line with this certification for construction materials and divert a majority of building materials from the landfill. This means focusing on reusing, donating and recycling. From concrete and steel framing to carpets, ceiling tiles, electronic and networking gear, interior debris and loose assets like furniture, chairs and whiteboards, to even the artificial turf outside — most of the materials in the old spaces will find a new life.

“We strive to make a positive impact on the community,” Ford said. “We’re putting a lot of effort behind finding innovative ways to reduce our impact and optimize our resource usage.”

Beyond what is being recycled, the company is also considering where materials will be processed. To maximize sustainability, Microsoft’s construction team is engaging with local waste processing and recycling companies to study and prioritize the hauling distances to further shrink the project’s construction carbon footprint.

“Corporate and environmental responsibility are equally as important as budget and schedule — and we are aligning our design and construction practices with Microsoft’s global corporate responsibility and sustainability missions,” Ford said. “It feels good to know that here in our hometown we’re supporting this vision.”

Follow updates and developments as this project progresses on Microsoft’s Modern Campus site.


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