By: Richard Brewer-Hay
I was able to spend this afternoon at the new, beautiful and very “green” building that had been, up until today, only been known as Building 17. Residing on the North campus of eBay, San Jose, Building 17 was officially opened today by eBay CEO, John Donahoe, San Jose Mayor, Chuck Reed and President of PayPal, Scott Thompson (shown above, officially cutting the vine that opened the building).
800 separate naming suggestions were submitted by employees for consideration as the official name of Building 17. Ranging from the rather long but humorous, “Al Gore’s Love Child” to the baseball-centric “Green Monster.” However, the name that beat out all others was simply “Mint”.
Mint was designed and built to the U.S. Green Building Council‘s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard and I must admit, after touring the facility I was more than a little green with envy (sorry – I couldn’t resist) that I was going to have to return to my less futuristic cube to write this blog post. Amenities at Mint include a state of the art fitness center and a pan-Asian café complete with tandoori oven, wok station, noodle bar and fresh-made dim sum. Workstations and furniture throughout the building are “Greenguard” certified, meaning they emit a low number of particles to keep air cleaner (my cheeseburger and fries won’t be tasting as good at my desk tomorrow, methinks).
All of the pictures I took can be found HERE. Ironically, my camera was running low on battery power when I started taking photos but I was able to find a friendly, environmentally-conscious individual in the building who had USBCell AA batteries (rechargeable via USB ports) – very cool!
With the addition of Mint, the North campus now has 3,248 solar panels covering 60,000 square feet – more than a football field – of roof supplying 18 percent of the campus’s power with a 650 kW system. With the largest commercial solar installation that is operational in San Jose, and because of its proximity to public transportation, eBay’s new building and campus reflect the close collaboration between the city and eBay to reduce its environmental footprint.
Some of the highlights of the building include…
– Fixtures selected to reduce demand by 30%
– Bioswale collects and filters storm water before it re-enters groundwater
– Native plant landscaping minimizes irrigation needs
– Hydropoint WeatherTRAK smart irrigation system being installed, will reduce water usage by roughly 30%
– 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfill
– Recycled content materials used throughout the building including: carpet (37%), structural steel (95%), wood doors (43%), and workstation mineral board (62%)
– Regional materials were used when possible to minimize transportation
– Daylight harvesting used in all possible areas
– Double glazed windows prevent glare and minimize heat transfer; low emissivity coating gives blue tint
– Solar energy provides 650kW of clean power
– Building monitoring system ensures max efficiency
– Automatic light dimming/shades
Air Quality and Comfort
– Low emission products used (paint, wood, carpet, etc.)
– CO2 monitoring throughout (beyond compliance)
– Furniture was off-gassed prior to installation
– HVAC was flushed to eliminate construction pollutants
– Green cleaning products in use