Back in 2019, Microsoft announced it was revamping its Redmond headquarters in Washington. As the center of Microsoft's world, the campus was scheduled for a major overhaul including refitting existing buildings and creating new structures. Two years later, work is ongoing, and Microsoft has issued a progress report.
It was January 2019 when the project was announced and two years may seem like a long time on paper, especially for a company with Microsoft's resources. However, there are some things to consider when looking at the timeframe and progress.
Firstly, the Redmond campus is a 500-acre site and Microsoft is redoing almost all of it. That's a lot of work over a multi-billion-dollar project. In total, Microsoft will revamp 6.7 million square feet. Once complete Redmond will house 131 buildings, up from 125. It will also allow the workforce to be increased from 47,000 to 55,000 at the campus.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic also came right in the middle of Microsoft's Redmond rebuild. Work stopped for several months during the height of the global lockdown. Still, it is worth noting Microsoft is on course to meet its 2022 completion deadline.
Back in 2018, the company gave people a fun look at what the finished headquarters will look like. Microsoft used Minecraft to create a replica of its plans, detailing all the changes that will be made by 2022.
Now, Microsoft is providing the following details on the progress of the Redmond overhaul:
- “We have completed more than one-third of the geothermal wells for the Thermal Energy Center, with over 48 miles installed thus far – long enough to stretch across all of Rhode Island.
- The campus underground parking garage is considered one of the largest underground parking structures in the world at 3 million square feet spread over four levels. It's large enough to fit an estimated 8,000 school buses.
- Central catering will be connected to every building on campus through a below ground service corridor spanning a mile. They will prepare 4,000 meals each week in the 140,000 square foot back of house area, which is roughly the size of a Costco warehouse.
- Almost 3 million pounds of concrete and carpet have been recycled so far – the equivalent to the weight of four Boeing 747 jumbo jets.
- By reusing harvested rainwater in flush fixtures and utilizing low-flow systems, the new campus is projected to save over 5.8 million gallons of water annually, enough to fill nearly 9 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- The Redmond Technology Station (RTS) Pedestrian Bridge will provide a safe and accessible path across SR 520, connecting East and West campus to each other and the new light rail station. The bridge is 1,100 feet long and will serve thousands of people every day.
- We recently achieved Salmon-Safe certification, which means the campus is verified for protecting water quality and habitats and limiting the negative impact that Microsoft's construction has on aquatic species in nearby waters, such as Lake Sammamish. Civil engineering and landscape teams worked together to ensure that only salmon safe management practices will be used on the project, including improving the quality of runoff with a “biopod” treatment system that filters water before it is released to flow downstream.”
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