News

Google opens the doors on its massive Bay View campus next door to NASA Ames

New sustainability-focused tech campus will house roughly 4,000 employees north of Mountain View

Google's Bay View campus, next door to NASA facilities (right) and the rest of the company's facilities across Stevens Creek. Courtesy Google.

Google's eye-catching, 1.1 million-square-foot campus on the edge of the Bay is finally complete and open to employees, marking a major expansion of the tech company's office footprint on the Peninsula.

The Bay View campus, located on NASA Ames property off of Moffett Boulevard, will be able to house roughly 4,000 employees across two large and uniquely designed office buildings. The sloped, pavilion-like roofing is clad with large, prismatic glass shingles that generate solar power for the facility, layered in a pattern that the company calls a "dragonscale" solar skin.

Inside, the offices are filled with natural lighting and vibrant colors, with light-hearted themed areas, or "districts," such as Turkey Terrace and Campfire Corner, the latter with meeting rooms modeled to look like tents. The so-called Plankton Palace has a light display shimmering up a stalk of faux seaweed.

The Bay View campus has been in the works for close to a decade, with plans solidifying in 2017 following a long-term lease with NASA Ames. Google's subsidiary, Planetary Ventures, inked a contract with the agency to lease 42 acres for $3.65 million in annual rent.

The company broke ground in 2017, and as of last week began inviting employees to trickle in – albeit with plenty of construction workers still working on the finishing touches.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

In a tour of the campus Monday, Dave Radcliffe, Google's vice president of real estate and workplace services, said this is a big moment for the company. Most of Google's offices have been inherited or leased, but Bay View marks a rare opportunity to build something new and purposefully built to support the company's workforce.

"This is the first time ... we've been able to move Googlers into a building that we were able to design from the ground up, and so it's an exciting time for us," Radcliffe said.

Even before COVID-19 abruptly forced tech companies in the Bay Area to work from home, the design for Bay View took into account telecommuting and the reality that Google's leadership, candidly, cannot precisely know what the workplace will look like in 20 or 50 years, Radcliffe said. Instead, the company sought to create a flexible workplace environment that can transform numerous times in order to meet new demands.

A giant camel statue in the "Camel Court" district inside Google's new Bay View campus in Mountain View on May 16, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The first floor, with its art exhibits, food services, couches and giant camel statue, is meant to be an "activation space," Radcliffe said. It's where employees can come in a few times a week for "intentional collaboration" with colleagues, the kind of thing that can be tricky to do from home. The second level is closer to a traditional office setting where Googlers can get work done in a distraction-free environment, but even then, there are no defined walls, cubicles or corner offices.

The hybrid work schedule means Bay View needs to accommodate team-focused work, said Michelle Kaufmann, Google's director of real estate and workplace services, research and development. The floor plan, desks and furniture are all movable and interchangeable, with a mix of both group desks and quiet enclosed booths.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

"Rather than have the traditional office, which was fixed desks and closed meeting rooms – kind of a one-size-fits-all for everyone – this new workplace is really about having a much wider range of space types for the activities people are going to be coming back to do," Kaufmann said.

While Bay View's sloped roofs are designed to accommodate 90,000 solar panels and capture energy at all hours of the day, the high steel canopy is also angled to let in plenty of daylight without causing any glare. The opera hall-shaped ceiling, along with acoustic decking and soft materials throughout the building, strike a balance that keeps the office from sounding too loud or too quiet, Kaufmann said.

Google is also touting the new campus' environmentally friendly design, including the largest geothermal pile system in North America. The system involves pipes that run 80 feet underground that can be used to transfer excess heat from the building, which can then be stored for future use during the winter, said Asim Tahir, director of energy and carbon for the company's real estate and workplace services.

The geothermal system means Google will save about 5 million gallons of water each year, and can completely ditch natural gas for heating the building, which is all-electric. The plan is to fully eliminate Bay View's carbon footprint.

"This building will operate with carbon-free energy 90% of the time, and we're hoping through operational improvements we'll over the years get to the full 100%," Tahir said.

A large portion of the leased 42-acre property remains open space, including meadows and marshes, creating a buffer between the newly opened tech campus and the Bay shoreline. North of the office buildings is a large parking garage next door to multiple buildings with a total of 220 suites similar to motel rooms, built for people visiting Google who need to stay for extended periods.

Bay View is one of multiple Google office developments underway in and around Mountain View. The company's 595,000-square-foot Charleston East campus is still under construction and is expected to finish next year, and the Mountain View City Council approved a third office proposal, the Google Landings project, in 2020. Charleston East is expected to house up to 2,700 Google employees.

Google's new Bay View campus in Mountain View on May 16, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now
Kevin Forestieri is an assistant editor with the Mountain View Voice and The Almanac. He joined the Voice in 2014 and has reported on schools, housing, crime and health. Read more >>

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Google opens the doors on its massive Bay View campus next door to NASA Ames

New sustainability-focused tech campus will house roughly 4,000 employees north of Mountain View

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, May 17, 2022, 12:57 pm

Google's eye-catching, 1.1 million-square-foot campus on the edge of the Bay is finally complete and open to employees, marking a major expansion of the tech company's office footprint on the Peninsula.

The Bay View campus, located on NASA Ames property off of Moffett Boulevard, will be able to house roughly 4,000 employees across two large and uniquely designed office buildings. The sloped, pavilion-like roofing is clad with large, prismatic glass shingles that generate solar power for the facility, layered in a pattern that the company calls a "dragonscale" solar skin.

Inside, the offices are filled with natural lighting and vibrant colors, with light-hearted themed areas, or "districts," such as Turkey Terrace and Campfire Corner, the latter with meeting rooms modeled to look like tents. The so-called Plankton Palace has a light display shimmering up a stalk of faux seaweed.

The Bay View campus has been in the works for close to a decade, with plans solidifying in 2017 following a long-term lease with NASA Ames. Google's subsidiary, Planetary Ventures, inked a contract with the agency to lease 42 acres for $3.65 million in annual rent.

The company broke ground in 2017, and as of last week began inviting employees to trickle in – albeit with plenty of construction workers still working on the finishing touches.

In a tour of the campus Monday, Dave Radcliffe, Google's vice president of real estate and workplace services, said this is a big moment for the company. Most of Google's offices have been inherited or leased, but Bay View marks a rare opportunity to build something new and purposefully built to support the company's workforce.

"This is the first time ... we've been able to move Googlers into a building that we were able to design from the ground up, and so it's an exciting time for us," Radcliffe said.

Even before COVID-19 abruptly forced tech companies in the Bay Area to work from home, the design for Bay View took into account telecommuting and the reality that Google's leadership, candidly, cannot precisely know what the workplace will look like in 20 or 50 years, Radcliffe said. Instead, the company sought to create a flexible workplace environment that can transform numerous times in order to meet new demands.

The first floor, with its art exhibits, food services, couches and giant camel statue, is meant to be an "activation space," Radcliffe said. It's where employees can come in a few times a week for "intentional collaboration" with colleagues, the kind of thing that can be tricky to do from home. The second level is closer to a traditional office setting where Googlers can get work done in a distraction-free environment, but even then, there are no defined walls, cubicles or corner offices.

The hybrid work schedule means Bay View needs to accommodate team-focused work, said Michelle Kaufmann, Google's director of real estate and workplace services, research and development. The floor plan, desks and furniture are all movable and interchangeable, with a mix of both group desks and quiet enclosed booths.

"Rather than have the traditional office, which was fixed desks and closed meeting rooms – kind of a one-size-fits-all for everyone – this new workplace is really about having a much wider range of space types for the activities people are going to be coming back to do," Kaufmann said.

While Bay View's sloped roofs are designed to accommodate 90,000 solar panels and capture energy at all hours of the day, the high steel canopy is also angled to let in plenty of daylight without causing any glare. The opera hall-shaped ceiling, along with acoustic decking and soft materials throughout the building, strike a balance that keeps the office from sounding too loud or too quiet, Kaufmann said.

Google is also touting the new campus' environmentally friendly design, including the largest geothermal pile system in North America. The system involves pipes that run 80 feet underground that can be used to transfer excess heat from the building, which can then be stored for future use during the winter, said Asim Tahir, director of energy and carbon for the company's real estate and workplace services.

The geothermal system means Google will save about 5 million gallons of water each year, and can completely ditch natural gas for heating the building, which is all-electric. The plan is to fully eliminate Bay View's carbon footprint.

"This building will operate with carbon-free energy 90% of the time, and we're hoping through operational improvements we'll over the years get to the full 100%," Tahir said.

A large portion of the leased 42-acre property remains open space, including meadows and marshes, creating a buffer between the newly opened tech campus and the Bay shoreline. North of the office buildings is a large parking garage next door to multiple buildings with a total of 220 suites similar to motel rooms, built for people visiting Google who need to stay for extended periods.

Bay View is one of multiple Google office developments underway in and around Mountain View. The company's 595,000-square-foot Charleston East campus is still under construction and is expected to finish next year, and the Mountain View City Council approved a third office proposal, the Google Landings project, in 2020. Charleston East is expected to house up to 2,700 Google employees.

Comments

chris aoki
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on May 17, 2022 at 9:25 pm
chris aoki, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 9:25 pm

The article says about the building's electrical system:

"This building will operate with carbon-free energy 90% of the time, and we're hoping through operational improvements we'll over the years get to the full 100%," Tahir said.

I am pleased to see the use of the descriptive phrase "carbon-free"
instead of the usual ambiguities like "clean" and "green". Can you
point me to a pie chart showing the breakdown of carbon free sources
used? This is probably answered in a FAQ section somewhere, but I
think a bit of research or inquiry would save time for many MV Voice
readers.


chris aoki
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2022 at 8:31 am
chris aoki, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 8:31 am

I found a recent explanation of the new Google HQ that adds some
much-needed plausibility that the MV Voice article lacks.

Namely, what some of the carbon-free energy is (wind farms nearby)
and what the geothermal pile system is and does (it’s a big heat pump
system for storing excess heat underground in the summer and retrieving
it in the winter, in both cases using the heat pump for energy efficient indoor
temperature control).

Here's the info on the improved description:

Article: Google opens its Bay View HQ, the first campus it designed itself
Source: Engadget.com (17 May 2022)
URL: Web Link

Here’s what it says:

“This "dragonscale skin" design is actually made up of 90,000 silver solar panels capable of generating almost seven megawatts of energy, or up to 40 percent of the new offices' energy needs. Wind farms nearby will also provide the energy needed to run the all-electric HQ that has two kitchens equipped with electric equipment instead of gas. In addition, the campus has automated window shades to let a lot of natural lighting in during the day and a ventilation system that uses 100 percent outside air. “

"The new campus also houses the largest geothermal installation in North America that will help heat and cool the campus without the use of fossil fuels. It even reduces the amount of water used for cooling by 90 percent. This geothermal pile system uses pumps to absorb heat from the ground during wintertime and to send heat into the ground in the summer."


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.