Google Headquarters Uses ‘Dragon Skin’ Style Roof for Renewable Energy – 05/17/2022

Google’s new office in Mountain View, California, stands out for having a roof equipped with silver photovoltaic panels that resemble dragon scales. Inaugurated almost ten years after the announcement of its creation, the campus has this solar energy technology shaped to optimize the times with the highest incidence of the Sun throughout the day.

According to a report by FastCompany, the panels, combined with local wind energy, 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 initial moment, the space runs on 90% renewable energy.

View of Google's California headquarters - Release/Google - Release/Google

View of Google’s headquarters in California

Image: Disclosure/Google

“We started by really looking at how to solve problems holistically. Typical design processes were optimized to solve siled problems,” said Asim Tahir, leader of district and renewable energy strategy for Google’s campus development projects.

How panels work

Dragon scale panels are designed to serve a variety of building functions, not just solar energy.

According to Google, in addition to protecting the space from the weather, they also let natural light in through windows that allow employees to have a view of the natural landscape from any location.

Roof resembles scales at Google's headquarters - Disclosure/Google - Disclosure/Google

Roof resembles scales at Google’s headquarters

Image: Publicity/Google

In addition, the scale shape still allows you to maximize the amount of water that can be captured and stored when it rains on site. This water is used to irrigate the gardens.

Finally, the curved shape of the panel still helps to capture sunlight. Parts of it were installed at different angles, allowing solar energy to be captured at different times throughout the day, such as early in the morning and late afternoon, when the electrical grid tends to have less renewable energy.

more sustainability

The idea of ​​the architects of the Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, responsible for the work, was to make the place, which has more than 90 thousand square meters, in a space as sustainable as possible.

Built on a site facing severe drought, Google’s new office is also designed to save water.

Interior of Google's new headquarters - Disclosure/Google - Disclosure/Google

Interior of Google’s new headquarters

Image: Publicity/Google

In addition, the site has 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.

Installed underground, it takes advantage of the constant temperature below the surface to pump heat back and forth, working on heating and cooling the space. This process is estimated to help save around 19 million liters of water that would have to be used in a standard cooling tower over the course of the year.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

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