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Amazon opens rainforest dome offices in Seattle

By Greg S ยท 9 replies
Jan 29, 2018
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  1. As the search for Amazon's second headquarters continues, construction on the main campus has not halted. Officially known as the Spheres complex, three glass dome structures house 400 different species of plants with more than 40,000 growing within Amazon's expanded offices.

    Due to the demanding work environment typically found at Amazon, the introduction of plants in the workplace is meant to be seen as calming and serve as inspiration for new ideas. While it may not look much like an office considering the lack of dedicated conference rooms and desks in sight, there are open meeting locations set up with plenty of chairs.

    Built using a steel frame and laminated glass, there are 2,643 panels required for each sphere. Heat is reflected off the panels but allows the proper wavelengths of light through to allow for plant growth. The four story complex boasts a 60-foot tall green wall comprised of 200 unique plant species.

    In order to maintain an extravagant greenhouse that doubles as an office building, temperatures are kept moderately warm at 72 degrees during the day with 60 percent humidity. At night, temperatures can drop down to 55 degrees while the humidity climbs up to 85 percent.

    Besides the actual greenery found inside, environmentally friendly efforts also include using heat from a nearby data center to help warm the building. Heat is run through pipes in the building's concrete floors and is pushed through handrails on higher floors, presumably to avoid condensation.

    Since 2010, Amazon has put up just north of $3.7 billion for buildings and infrastructure improvements in Seattle. When Amazon claims that it will invest as much as $5 billion for its second headquarters during a short period of time, it is of little surprise that competition between potential host cities remains high.

    Image Credit: Seattle Times

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,162   +1,581

    That is very cool IMO. I wonder if it has a waterfall?
  3. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 376   +405

    A waterfall might create higher humidity that would drive out the office workers. Also, bacteria would grow in it, unlike moisture added by the plants. It would look nice though.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,176   +642

    85% humidity and 55F? Sounds like a good way to kill any electronic device over an extended period of time.
    Reehahs, stewi0001 and Jeff Re like this.
  5. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,804   +664

    Where is Pauly Shore? This news article makes me feel so good I am shivering. Earth is saved.
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,162   +1,581

    Perhaps or you can calculate it into the humidity control. I wonder if there is a dehumidify system built in? Bacteria shouldn't be an issue if the water goes through a filter system.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,108   +1,583

    My girlfriend had a condo above, and right across the street from where they built these, so we got to see it all from start to finish. Very creative stuff, but looks a little goofy right in the middle of a bunch of skyscrapers and surrounded by concrete sidewalks and streets.
  8. BobHome

    BobHome TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +20

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  9. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 564   +374

    These buildings are a waste of space, time, and energy. Can you eat the plants growing? No. Because they're stupid.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,263   +4,931

    I wonder how big a problem condensation would be.

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