Microsoft Redmond campus modernization – Construction update

We’ve made great strides across our East campus modernization project in Puget Sound – the first building is almost complete (the Thermal Energy Center), and progress is really shaping up. Check a glimpse of how construction has progressed since our last update:

Fun facts about our progress:

  • We have completed all 902 geothermal wells for the Thermal Energy Center, which contributes to 9,000 tons of refrigeration – enough to cool almost 3,000 single family homes.
  • The new, state-of-the-art underground logistics tunnel system will provide a quick and streamlined routing for services across East campus, including 1.25 million catering transactions and over 4 million more transactions to food halls, espresso cafes, markets, and pubs across this portion of campus. Stretching just under one mile, a member of the Olympic track team can cover the distance in a quick 3 minutes and 23 seconds.
  • The new campus offers 2.5 miles of walking and bike trails as well as multi-purpose fields and a cricket pitch. The standard ring around the cricket pitch is equivalent to the length of a typical high school track.
  • Home to a school of 25-year-old koi fish, the original Lake Bill is undergoing a major modernization effort to resemble the natural setting and water edge habitat for the animals. Coined by employees as Lake Bill in honor of co-founder Bill Gates in 1986, the lake provides much needed outdoor space for visitors and employees alike.
  • Over 50 percent of The Microsoft Art Collection is displayed in the Puget Sound region. In the last four years, new art acquisitions have included an upwards of 76% of pieces made by artists who identify as racially or ethnically diverse, and 10% of pieces made by artists who identify as neuro-diverse, veterans, or members of the LGBTQ community. We recently acquired 65 new pieces of artwork for East campus, including two sculptures and one interior wall-mounted installation.
    • The sculpture by John Grade titled Understory will be made with 20,000 linear board feet of reclaimed trees harvested from campus. The sculpture will take the form of two intertwined trees and sits at the highest point on East campus called “The Overlook.”
    • The sculptural installation by Preston Singletary titled Raven’s Escape will take flight across East campus as a series of raven sculptures made from aluminum, stainless steel, and glass. The elevated pieces will maintain a variety of vantage points and be illuminated at night, serving as a wayfinding beacon for individuals traversing East campus.
    • The wall-mounted cast glass installation by Jeffrey Stenbom titled The Path Less Traveled will be installed within Building 2 of our East campus. Stenbom is a veteran reflecting on the indelible mark that his service has had on his life, and the lives of others.
  • Our East campus project supports current and future employees, while still aligning to our roots and past. Many Microsoft artifacts can be found integrated into the new campus, for example the 1983 Microsoft mouse is concealed within one of our buildings as a nod to the founding of our Microsoft Hardware Group.
  • Almost 1,000 trees from the surrounding environment have been protected (561 total) or salvaged for building design elements and furniture (302 total) as well as landscaping (105 total), including nine different species of wood – Fir, Madrone, Ash, Red Maple, Silver Maple, Norway Maple, Bigleaf Maple, Sycamore, and Cedar. This is enough wood (if cut at one-inch thick) to cover 12 basketball courts. An additional 2,319 trees will be replanted in and surrounding the East campus facilities.
  • We’re setting a new standard for Microsoft’s dining operations with 77,000 square feet of all-electric kitchens across East campus. These innovative culinary experiences feature the unique benefits of induction cooking that can save time and effort in the cooking process, and through the switch from gas, Microsoft significantly reduces energy usage, retains energy savings, and helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint. As commercial kitchens can use up to five times the amount of energy than other building programs, these kitchens will build on this energy reduction and play a part in Microsoft’s goal of being Carbon Negative by 2030.
  • As part of Microsoft’s hybrid, digital workplace, a variety of conference spaces on our East campus will be Teams-enabled. Both digital in-room solutions, like enhanced audio and visual to new arc-shaped tables in our Empowered Meeting Rooms, will enable all voices to be heard.

“At Microsoft, our physical footprint is rooted in strengthening customer partnerships, establishing an inclusive culture, and ensuring our presence creates a positive impact on the local community. This is exactly our focus right here at home, on our East campus, in Redmond,” said Rob Towne, regional director, Real Estate Operations Puget Sound. “I’m personally thrilled to see our vision come to life as construction advances.”

“With physical space at the heart of our collaboration networks, we are evaluating and testing new solutions today for our workplace of the future. This includes desks and furniture that can be moved and re-configured, computer-driven room systems like Microsoft Teams Rooms with enhanced audio-visual capabilities, and Microsoft Surface Hubs for smarter collaboration,” said Towne.

Follow updates and developments as this project progresses on Microsoft’s Redmond campus site.

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