Latest drone videos of Apple parking garage shows landscaping being installed

solar roof
Video screen capture Duncan Sinfield

In Sweden, the top court just banned the use of drones with cameras for anyone except the police and with a special permit to video one’s own property. In California, they tried to ban drones last year but the the Governor rejected the idea. Tim Cook might consider moving Apple to Sweden, given the number of drones flying over the secretive company’s new headquarters in Cupertino.

The giant 11,000 space parking garage with a donut on top is nearing completion, so the drone videographers are paying attention to the landscaping. TreeHugger usually shows the work of Duncan Sinfield, who has been covering the construction since it started, but I find his video this month confusing, as he flashes back and forth between this month and a year ago. I think they are running out of things to film now that the buildings are closed in; I don't think they will let him fly his drones inside.

So we are also showing the work of Matthew Roberts:

One thing that is exciting is the landscaping going it. They are planting over 7,000 trees, including many that that were on site, carefully removed and stored for reinstallation. They are reintroducing native species:

landscapingMatthew Roberts/Video screen capture

The Apple Campus 2 landscape framework primarily comprises landforms and vegetation found in the Oak Woodland and Oak Savanna that once were prevalent in the area.... Complex woodland planting with layered understory will provide urban habitat islands for many migrating songbirds. The vast majority of the 309 species to be planted in the new Campus are native to California. This diverse landscape will contribute significantly to the regional diversity of flora and fauna.

trees© Apple via City of Cupertino

I remain preoccupied with parking, and boggled by the size of these garages. Here we have such a green building with acres of solar panels and bloom boxes generating clean energy that Tim Cook thinks is the greenest building in the world, with an insanely great parking ratio of one space for every 1.35 employees. According to my calculations in an earlier post:

Apple doesn't tell us where all their employees live, but the average commute time in the area is 30 minutes and the average speed a roaring 14.3 MPH, and the average passenger-miles per gallon is 34.3. That crunches out to 6,300 gallons of gasoline per day, burned just getting all those apple engineers to and from work.

parking closeupDuncan Sinfield/Video screen capture

And yes, I know there will be a lot of electric cars in those garages, and when I wrote about this two years ago I got attacked for being so critical of such a beautiful and green building:

  • "Even companies with the greenest intentions are excused for building parking lots to deal with the current reality. It's not like the company should be expected to fix the city's public transport problems"
  • "I do not like the negative tone of the article"
  • So once we have electric self driving cars, powered by sustainable sources what'll be the thing to complain about next. Should we just hate the marvel of personal transport and have to catch a bus in the rain?"

parking entry rampsDuncan Sinfield/Video screen capture

Yes, because the world isn't big enough for all those metal boxes, no matter how they are powered, and there are other environmental and societal costs to sprawl. Because we have to get people out of cars by building denser, walkable and cyclable communities instead of suburban office parks. Because it is on auto-type and goes in every post I write.

Tags: Apple Inc | Green Building

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