Reuters’ new office, The Google, in Mountain View, Calif., features a roof fitted with silver photovoltaic panels resembling dragon scales. The campus opened nearly a decade after it was announced to be built, and this solar technology is designed to enhance when the sun is most visible throughout the day.
According to a FastCompany report, the panels, combined with local wind power, will make the campus well aligned with Google’s strategy to run on 100% renewable energy, 24 hours a day by the end of the decade. . At this first moment, the space runs on 90% renewable energy.
“We started by really looking at how to solve problems holistically. Typical design processes are optimized to solve isolated problems,” said Asim Taher, head of area strategy and renewable energy for campus development projects at Google.
How do the panels work?
Dragon Scale Panels are designed to serve a variety of building jobs, not just solar power.
According to Google, in addition to shielding the space from the weather, they also let in natural light through windows that allow employees to view the landscape from anywhere.
In addition, the shape of the ladder still allows to increase the amount of water that can be captured and stored when it rains on the site. This water is used to irrigate the gardens.
Finally, the curved shape of the panel still allows sunlight to be captured. Parts of it have been installed at different angles, allowing solar energy to be captured at different times of the day, such as early morning and late afternoon, when the power grid tends to have less power. ‘renewable energy.
The idea of the architects from Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, who are responsible for the work, was to make the space, which is over 90,000 square meters, as sustainable as possible.
Google’s new office, built on a site facing severe drought, is designed to save water.
In addition, the site contains the largest geothermal system in North America, which allows the building to be heated and cooled without fossil fuels. This geothermal system is also responsible for halving carbon emissions at the site.
It is installed underground and takes advantage of the constant temperature below the surface to pump heat back and forth, working to heat and cool the space. It is estimated that this process will save approximately 19 million liters of water that would be used in a standard cooling tower throughout the year.