Search engine giant Google Inc. has announced that its Ann Arbor office in Michigan will embrace additional features of a green building such as solar panels, a greenhouse, and a rooftop outdoor green space.
The transformation is Google’s next step towards sustainability after it announced last month its $168 million solar energy investment for a power plant in Mojave Desert, California, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System which will provide 6,000MW of wind power.
The green transformation will set about this spring, turning Google’s employee-friendly office in southeast Michigan that was built in 2007 to be one of the world’s leaders in saving mother Earth.
At present the search engine giant has existing green practices in place like recycling used papers, using fluorescent lights, and composting foods at its café.
The five-story McKinley Towne Centre that nests Google’s main office in Michigan will be equipped with an array of rooftop solar panels to turn light into renewable energy. Meanwhile, the other portion of the building’s roof has begun to turn into an outdoor green space.
Moreover, employees will start to have comfortable time walking, biking, or riding a bus to work with the addition of two new vehicles from Zipcar, a car-sharing service provider, waiting in the parking area.
The green building‘s basement will also be turned into a greenhouse from which grown vegetables Google’s chef will use for the foods sold in the café.
Mike Miller, head of Google’s Ann Arbor office, said he seemed not to see the end of Google’s renewable energy promotion.
McKinley, the Ann Arbor landlord, and Google Inc. has shared the costs of mounting the green building since the inception of the idea in 2010 to make the office as green as they can.
Google and McKinley, however, refused to reveal the total costs incurred in the green building project.
Albert Berriz, CEO of McKinley, projected the project to take 9 to 11 years to recoup the overall expenditures, including the installation of the solar panels that will supply part of Google’s energy consumption.
Google expects the green building project to attract talents to its Michigan office. The search giant plans to expand its worldwide workforce to more than 7,000 this year alone after it had slowed in its hiring during the height of the economic crisis. The planned hiring spree is dubbed as Google’s biggest.
According to Google spokesman Jake Parrillo, the search engine giant also plans to expand its 300 workforce in Michigan by more than 20% this year.
Google’s other offices, including those in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Cambridge, Mass., have also been seeing green transformation.