Well over a year ago, I heard William McDonough was working with Google on some green design plans near the Googleplex (all hush hush-type stuff covered by an NDA). Since that time, I haven’t really noticed much information on those plans, that is, until I caught this article in Mountain View Voice talking about Google’s extraordinary building plans. It appears that SHoP Architects coordinated the work of several architectural firms to get these preliminary plans going. But, for the time being, Google has decided to put the green office structure on hold.
This 310,000 sf building was planned for a location just east of the Googleplex (see site plan below), but it’s only a small cog in the big machine that Google calls the "McDonough Masterplan." The office is phase one, and there’s a lot more planned for the future including a hotel, mixed-use urban center, and transit node.
Google submitted their informal building plans to the Mountain View Planning Department recently. Their intention with the structure was to go beyond LEED Platinum and design something that would "create a benchmark for sustainability and help define new standards for construction."
A city architect that studied the plans, Yvonne Farrell, said "this is a living building that has no carbon footprint." Which isn’t surprising given Google’s commitment to all thing environmental. Ms. Farrell went on to say that because of Google’s plans to continue to monitor and improve the building over time, it would be one of the greenest buildings ever built.
Dan Radcliffe, Google’s VP of Real Estate, said that although the company was experiencing record high profits, new construction on the site doesn’t currently make economic sense. For the time being, Google is focused on efficiently using the space that they have. So we’ll take a wait and see approach and look forward to what they plan for the future.