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建筑和树的建筑渲染

对于新的Microsoft校园,树林里的不寻常的“机器”水龙头清洁能源威廉希尔体育官网

在华盛威廉希尔体育官网顿州雷德蒙德的微软校园上,旧建筑物已经下降,随着土地为新的,现代结构跨越72英亩的土地而上升。工人已经雕刻和雕刻裸露的污垢进入微弱的纲要,为300万平方英尺的美丽工作空间和设施。

但in one corner of the project, construction workers are also doing something else: drilling hundreds of deep wells in a muddy pit that will eventually be covered by grass and trees.

The hidden wells will be the foundation of a large system that heats and cools the new buildings with an untraditional clean energy source: the constant temperature below the earth’s surface. Tunneling 550 feet into the ground — almost the height of the Space Needle in nearby Seattle — the wells will compose one of the largest “geoexchange” fields in the United States to harness the earth’s thermal energy. They will also be a big part of Microsoft’s ambitious goals to help the planet.

“We knew we wanted our new campus to be zero-carbon in its daily operations,” says Katie Ross, global sustainability lead for Microsoft real estate. “So we had to think outside the box on how to provide heating and cooling needs for these buildings. That’s really what drove us to geoexchange technology.”

construction workers and equipment on a muddy site
在华盛顿雷德蒙德的微软校园里的地理化建设(丹德隆)威廉希尔体育官网

称为热能中心,集中式和几乎完全碳系统不是初始计划的一部分campus modernization, which is redeveloping a fraction of Microsoft’s 520-acre headquarters over the next few years. The design had originally called for more typical individual utility units, powered by natural gas, for each new building.

redevelopment在34岁的校园内,为公司提供了机会,以创造性地思考其对环境的影响。

要从日常运营中删除化石燃料,它必须消除厨房和加热和冷却系统的天然气。因为它立即开发了许多建筑物,所以它可以集中在一个位置中的加热和冷却功能以获得效率。并且由于长期强调校园内的开放和绿地,它有足够的土地与之合作。

Construction worker on a building site
在华盛顿雷德蒙德的微软校园里的地理化建设(丹德隆)威廉希尔体育官网

“What I love about working in sustainability at Microsoft and on this project is that it’s like that improv comedy game ‘Yes, and,’” Ross says.

“When we decided to install a central system, it was ‘Yes, and we’re going to have it be electric.’ Then it was, ‘Yes, and we’re going to have geoexchange wells.’ And ‘Yes, and we’re going to put solar panels on the roof and we’re going make the center a feature that people can learn about on campus.’ That thinking really inspires me, because we’re always challenging ourselves to think differently and innovate.”

The process led to the current design for a 2.5-acre field of 875 geowells. More than 220 miles of piping will distribute 300,000 gallons of water as a heat-exchange medium across the wells and the new campus in a closed loop system. The three-story Thermal Energy Center will house enormous chillers, cooling towers, back-up generators, solar panels and 65-foot tanks that can store 280,000 gallons of the water as thermal energy. The entire system will run on renewable electricity except for the generators, which will use a negligible amount of energy and only during emergencies and scheduled maintenance.

“威廉希尔体育官网微软对2030年的碳负债具有非常强大的承诺,以及他们在日常行动中消除化石燃料使用的中央工厂的投资是这一校园项目最具创新性的品质之一,”环境设计Brian Meinrath说顾问atelier十, the sustainability consultant firm for the campus modernization project. “The plant has also been designed to be particularly water efficient.” He added that the large size of the geofield is unusual.

污垢网站的建筑工人
在华盛顿雷德蒙德的微软校园里的地理化建设(丹德隆)威廉希尔体育官网

Geoexchange systems take advantage of the temperature difference between sub-ground soil, which remains constant year-round, and that of ambient air, which changes with the seasons. When air is colder than the ground in winter, pumps circulate fluid through looped pipes to transfer ground heat into buildings. When air is warmer than the ground in summer, the process reverses. Used for decades, geoexchange is more common in small projects like houses and on the U.S. East Coast, where extreme seasonal changes like scorching summers and sub-zero winters make the technology more cost-effective. But geoexchange is still much less common than traditional air conditioners and gas- and oil-fueled boilers and furnaces.

在Redmond中,与典型的实用工厂相比,该系统预计将减少50%以上的能耗。它将使用再生能源Micro威廉希尔体育官网soft从区域效用购买其RedMond地区运营。该系统的井和坦克还将作为未来使用的热能储存水,而不是将其驱逐通过冷却塔。这将减少每年800万加仑的用水量或大约12个奥运池的体积。

建筑工地的建筑工人
Construction of Microsoft’s Thermal Energy Center in Redmond, Washington (photo by Dan DeLong)

The work will play a key role in supporting Microsoft’s sustainability goals for carbon and water. In 2020, the company announced it will be碳负数为2030and by 2050 remove from the environment all the carbon it has emitted directly or by electrical consumption since its founding in 1975. It also announced it will bewater positive by 2030, which means it will replenish more water than it uses. The company said it will reduce water use intensity in its operations and replenish water back into basins that need it most.

When the newly redeveloped section of the campus opens, a grassy sports field and a dense canopy of trees will cover the geofield. But the nearby Thermal Energy Center — nicknamed a “machine in the woods”— will feature a see-through porch and façade so people can see and learn about the equipment.

“The building is not only a commitment to sustainability, but an opportunity to show employees and customers how we think about sustainability and how things work,” Ross says.

该项目一直是物流的锻炼,钻井预计将持续两年,因为它围绕树根导航,作为微软对树木和栖息地保护的一部分。威廉希尔体育官网该工厂也是施工的最后一个建筑,但需要是第一个完成的。校园项目的拆迁始于2018年;第一个占用的建筑预计将于2023年开放。

我们知道我们想要我们的新校园是零碳in its daily operations, so we had to think outside the box.

对于热能中心的高级项目经理Mike Green,结果值得建立可持续未来的努力。校园项目还在建造200,000加仑雨水的蓄水池,将95%的拆除废物从垃圾填埋场转移,并在建筑材料中减少了至少30%的体现。体现碳是制造,生产和运输建筑材料的碳。

“我一直在建造我整个40多年的职业生涯,从来没有这样做过具有如此致力于温电能力等环境的项目,”建筑系统总监绿色说OAC., a construction and project management firm.

“To reduce energy and water use and eliminate carbon emissions in daily operations is a statement,” he says. “It’s the way of the future.”

Lead image: Architectural rendering of the Thermal Energy Center (image courtesy of NBBJ)

This story was published on March 16, 2021.