Microsoft has decided to invest in its 500-acre campus in Redmond, Washington with the intention of creating the best workplace in the tech sector. With the fascinating surrounding that includes the vibrant urban core, lakes, suburban towns, mountains and miles of forest, it has every possibility of becoming that. It’s been the home of Microsoft for more than 30 years.
The multi-year campus refresh project will start in next fall. 18 new buildings, 6.7 million square feet of renovated workspace, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space are some of the intriguing parts of the project.
The Redmond campus, which as of now contains 125 buildings, on completion of the project, will contain 131 buildings and new and renovated space will be equivalent to 180 football fields. This modern workspace is being planned to accommodate the 47,000 employees who will work there every day. There will be extra room for 8000 people in case of emergency expansion of operations. This project will create approximately 2,500 construction and development jobs. The project is expected to be finished within 5-7 years.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and the chief legal officer was quoted, “We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent but also building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact.”
Microsoft targets to make the campus more open and less formal. Instead of one big office, they plan to divide the campus into a series of “team neighborhoods”. This will help to capture more natural light and foster the type of creativity that will lead to ongoing innovation to advance the industry and benefit the customers. Microsoft will be utilizing their recent experiences from the renovation programs of their other recent campus redevelopment projects in Redmond, Vancouver B.C. and the Paddington office in London.
Apart from transforming the indoor workspace, Microsoft will also renovate the exterior in a way that will enable the employees as well as the common people living in the neighborhood to exercise, play and connect with nature. There will be a 2-acre open plaza. 12,000 people can run or walk there. There will be facilities to play football, cricket and retail space as well.
The campus will be open to pedestrians and bikes. For cars, there will be an underground parking facility. A bridge will be constructed exclusively for the pedestrians & the cyclists across WA-520 connecting both sides of our campus and tie into the future Redmond Technology Transit Station. In 2023, the Link Light Rail will be made available at that station.
There will be a lot of facilities for the employees like the fully funded transit options including ORCA transit cards, carpool, vanpool and Microsoft-run employee Connector buses. The campus will be entirely Energy Smart. Energy usage will be optimized and the carbon footprint will be reduced by using Azure in the building system monitoring.
Redmond is a Zero Waste Certified campus. Microsoft intends to focus further on waste-reduction initiatives.