Facebook’s Green Roof
When Facebook employees are looking for a break, they needn’t look no further than up to the roof; a 9-acre green one sits atop the tech firm’s new Frank Gehry-designed building across the street from the main headquarters. There’s a variety of native trees and flowers, white boards, lawn furniture, viewing decks and a half-mile walking trail overlooking the city’s marshlands. The park-like setting is big enough to accommodate a large number of the 2, 800 workers: “It was more about creating an environment that our employees would thrive in than anything else,” said Lauren Swezey, Facebook’s sustainability and community outreach manager.
Across the rooftop’s expanse are 23 unique spaces named after natural wonders of the world. “Someone can say, ‘Hey, meet me at Pinnacles,’ so you can see that’s number 18,” said Swezey, pointing to the numbered location on a map of the green roof (the company’s new building and green roof contrasts with its main headquarters, which includes an urban street, street art and more for employees to gather). Eventually there will also be eating areas on the green roof (including a sandwich shop). And the green roof absorbs heat and rainfall, which in turn helps the company cut down on energy use.
Many of the plants on the green roof will be able to survive in dry weather and since the roof is located along the Pacific Flyway, it will also provide a landing place for birds during their migrations; Facebook has partnered with nearby Audubon societies to help study what birds take refuge on the roof. And the green roof space will be used to hold community, city official and employee events. As a result, other tech firms like Samsung has expressed an interest in developing green roofs in the design of their buildings (Source: “Facebook green roof mirrors workplace culture”-San Jose Mercury News (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, June 7, 2015).