Silicon Valley Campus of Microsoft

Silicon Valley Campus of Microsoft

Access, availability of resources, and talent competitiveness are constraints in Silicon Valley. Renovating Microsoft’s Silicon Valley (MSV) headquarters required new perspectives on the area and its residents. At the beginning of the project, two essential factors came together: California was suffering from a severe drought. Microsoft wanted to expand campus space to meet corporate demand. These factors made it possible to embody Microsoft’s vision with a brand-new workplace demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between people and place (in form, function, aesthetic, and connection). The team took a comprehensive and ambitious strategy. Eliminating and utilizing waste instead; investing in resilience techniques (thermal storage, blackwater systems); designing with reduced carbon footprints through reuse and mass timber; and prioritizing wellness, equity, and community.

The renovation and expansion will provide 643,000 square feet of space for 2,000+ people. A 20% increase in space supports a 40% increase in personnel, all while enhancing work environments, assisting the larger community, and restoring the property’s health. Landscape expands thrice while potable water usage is cut by 57%. An energy-efficient enclosure increases comfort while lowering energy demand by 55%. Except for the primary cooking systems, every system is electric. Four thermal energy storage tanks also help reduce the central plant’s size while lowering grid demand on days when cooling is not at its peak.

Com Equitable

The “inside-out” strategy started with the unique experience of working as a creative at Microsoft and connected outward in layers, including individual, neighborhood, location, community, and natural environment. The “courtyards” organizational concept creates a latticework of people and location and a human-scaled experience of discovery and prospect. The dense, mixed-use neighborhoods of great walkable cities inspire it. The layout encourages chance meetings, connectedness, and inclusivity as people go upstairs, around outside decks, and along the numerous routes on the top. Each desk is only 25 feet from a piece of greenery and 193 feet from a cafe, or about one-third of a regular New York City block.

This latticework surrounds more than just the office. The Stevens Creek habitat and public trail are two places supported by the site and water management approach that extends outside the project boundary. The landscape along this trail has been improved by a deep-water infiltration method, which includes healthy oaks and undergrowth. MSV contributes to ecological health in stormwater flow from the campus’s sidewalks, green roofs, and landscape into unlined biotreatment/retention basins, which help maintain the aquifer’s health and stream. In a habitat overlay zone, ecological restoration improves public open space, enhancing recreational and leisure options for the general public. The blackwater treatment system has clear design principles and signage that inform the public and the workforce.


The initiative develops a sustainable, environmentally integrated campus to benefit staff, the neighborhood, and the ecosystems in the region. How design may restore native ecology was guided by a regenerative strategy that addressed the region’s pre-industrialization situation. As a result, before entering San Francisco Bay, rainwater will pass through wet meadow bioretention and permeate the banks of Stevens Creek. Repairing the soil and re-establishing the habitat zone. This network of water-filtering and conveyance is meant to emulate and restore Stevens Creek’s natural watershed process since riparian and oak habitats were previously shared in this area. The improvement of habitats around Stevens Creek. Planting approximately 600 trees will benefit 50+ species, including migrating songbirds, terrestrial animals, and butterflies. Silicon Valley Campus of Microsoft.

More ecological and hydrologic connectivity between the school and the wilderness regions along Stevens Creek gives students and staff a. The general public has more opportunities to appreciate nature. The quality of activities like birdwatching will improve due to a greater diversity of habitats and fauna on the Stevens Creek Trail. A protected, refreshed habitat is ensured through bird-safe glazing and minimum exterior lighting.


The plan for program and community response, site approach, planting choice, and system integration was a water budget that had been devised. Site landscaping tripled over the previous level, but total potable water use was cut by 57%. Infiltration of treated rainwater into unlined biotreatment/retention basins improves the health of the aquifer and creek. Stormwater from campus sidewalks, green roofs, and landscaping moves into the basins. A capillary irrigation technique enables the field to wick water from vaults for the recreational lawn, lowering water usage.

Two 60,000-gallon pretreatment tanks are used to collect and filter rainwater, which is subsequently put into blending tanks for storage before being stored in the blending tanks. Building wastewater is collected and treated with packed-bed filters, vertical wetlands, membrane filters, ozone and UV disinfection, and membrane filters. The onsite non-potable water systems supply more than 4 million gallons of non-potable water each year, offsetting 55% of the project demand. The integrated water management system reduces impacts on the city’s infrastructure. Wetlands and tanks are visible filter systems that show Microsoft’s dedication to the local environment. Another instructive component for staff and the general public is the visible conduit through which recycled water exits the systems. After the code is approved. The generated masterplan for net-positive water identifies collecting options to meet 100% of the needs for potable water.


While enhancing workstations, team and meeting possibilities, and lowering square footage, material, and system costs, the courtyards and tech-enabled decks. Despite a projected 40% increase in staff, the project’s square footage increased by about 25%. The size of the planted area increased, but only 57% as much potable water was used. Moving writable walls create internal workplace neighborhoods that support the expansion and contraction of teams. Decoupled systems allow system reduction while adjusting ventilation and conditioning for program uses and occupant load. The favorable environment, including moveable windows, outdoor work areas, and thermal energy storage tanks, led to a smaller central utility plant with a payback expected to be under 12 years. Suppose California’s water prices keep rising. An onsite water treatment facility investment will pay for itself in less than 20 years, if not sooner.

The inside finish of the building is made up of FSC-certified cross-laminated timber (CLT) wood columns and interior ceiling composite panels, which convey a commitment to lower embodied carbon while also creating a warm look. Renovating the two structures to be repurposed decreased site and operational interruption while lowering material waste. Silicon Valley Campus of Microsoft.


The high-performance building envelope contains a composite roof value of R-46 in response to ASHRAE zone 3C, primarily because of the mass timber contribution. Operable windows in the courtyards serve as the neighborhoods’ lungs, eliminating the need for mechanical ventilation by about 20%. Efficiency is supported by decoupled heating, cooling, and ventilation when primary DOAS systems are combined with radiant heating/cooling. Upgraded external walls, high-efficiency glass, and VAV systems that use preexisting interior duct distributions are all features of the existing structures. The 2,000-SFlab contributes 53% of the project’s total energy (projected to be 20.5% better than without PVs) and accounts for 73.5 kBtu/SF overall, including the new 476.3 kW PV canopy.

The project-sponsored dedicated plug load research changed Microsoft’s standard of 400 w/desk to 260 w/des. Significantly reducing cooling loads and the central plant resulted in a notable reduction in the office and food service EUI to 30.9 kBtu/SF. The project is entirely electric except for cooking gas in the four food halls. The remaining cafes, kitchenettes, and beverage stations are powered by electricity. The project’s embodied carbon, which is seeking ILFI Zero Carbon certification, is estimated to be 372 kg CO2e/m2. The 476kW of new and existing PVs and thermal energy storage tanks offer a complete campus solution.


The “multi-courtyard” organizational idea gives every person access to daylight and fresh air and promotes movement. Exploration across the campus places wellness at its center. Every workspace is within 25 feet of a courtyard door and an operable window, helping to maintain healthy air quality. Ceiling fans, moveable furniture, task lighting, and shades all aid in occupant control. Improved ventilation, pollutant filtering, and promoting physical activity are all WELL principles being investigated.

The setting promotes interaction with nature on the roof, terraces, and rill edge of the building. Nine stairwells encourage employees to walk around the campus. Engage in natural contact by making it simple to access the green roof, take in bay views, and travel between buildings. A variety of private, human-scaled experiences for introspection, teamwork, and enjoyment are provided through restorative landscaping. Mothers’ chambers, meditation areas, and quiet corners are interior spaces that serve as refuges. Food establishments, a recreation facility, and play areas. An enhanced Stevens Creek pedestrian and bicycle path that promotes wellness for the larger community are all within 193 feet of one another. The project promotes nutrition, which includes local food environments and food promotion. Materials were chosen using filters with a harmful material focus, including WELL v1 Features 9 and 25.


The selection and supply of healthy, low-carbon materials influenced systems and external and interior material design decisions. Microsoft’s dedication to the circular economy and carbon reduction guided. The choice of mass timber and the reuse of two existing structures. There is a 28.6% reduction in total embodied carbon thanks to the existing building, which makes up 36% of the new campus footprint, with the two mass timber floors of the project. The embodied savings rises to about 36%, and the predicted total CO2e/m2 is 372 kg. The structure comprises over 345,000 square feet, or 2,400 tonnes, of 100% FSC CLT panels. They are made with biophilic principles and a low-carbon goal in mind. One of the most significant CLT projects in North America, according to the project.

Most of the project’s structural components—columns, flooring, and shear walls—also serve as finish materials, including the exposed CLT, which is the ceiling finish. About 35% of the occupied space has concrete flooring, and most public spaces are heated and cooled by radiant energy from the slabs. Workplace carpet tiles make cleaning and upkeep simple. WELL hazardous material reduction and VOC reduction filters, coupled with Tally and EC3, were used to choose the interior materials.


The local water issue, rising wildfires, site bay water incursion, and constantly evolving technologies and team numbers highlighted the necessity for flexible and resilient design. Mechanical systems have MERV 13 filtration and can, if necessary, use impregnated carbon filters. Various work and refreshment options are made possible by the ventilation options and access to various-sized outdoor spaces provided by distributed windows and courtyard entrances. The water balancing strategy considers blackwater system technology, lessens the impact on city infrastructure, supports future water needs and growth, and facilitates future planning when recycled water for potable water will be code-approved. In support of the site’s restoration, a distributed stormwater approach controls rainfall and fosters a network of interconnected ecologies.

To support multiteam communication, workspace communities include acoustically adjusted, expandable, writable walls that can be moved around and shaped to fit different team size adjustments. Future planning is possible because of distributed systems and movable furniture. Even though a person is part of a group, whether inside or outside, they can quickly get isolated and feel alone. Public areas can be used for various purposes, such as all-hands gatherings, extra amenities, and larger workspaces. Electric vehicle charging is expanded above what the city mandates to recognize and encourage increases in electric car usage.


The project’s concept and the Microsoft brand heavily rely on stewardship and leadership. Integrating and displaying energy generation, water management, filtration, ecological benefit, carbon reduction, and comfort. The blackwater and vertical wetland filtration beds are visible. PVs shade and provide electricity while recycled water travels along a water canal parallel to pedestrian pathways. The blue streaks in the fibers of mass timber represent beetle-infested wood that has been recycled and doesn’t affect performance, telling a beautiful and helpful reuse story in addition to the campus roof. The four blue 48-foot-tall thermal energy storage tanks in the parking structure are visible from the highway and arterial off-ramp at the southern campus edge. The tanks aid in shifting the strain of energy generation to off-peak times. With references to LBC, LEED, and WELL characteristics, educational images throughout provide details on sustainable qualities and environmental considerations.

As part of several benchmark systems, Microsoft has agreed to provide post-occupancy evaluations to staff members when full occupancy has been achieved. Data collection for evaluation and future improvement will be ensured by onsite testing following the WELL v2 Pilot and measurement and verification following LEED.

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