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