The budget for Apple’s “spaceship” campus has ballooned from $3 billion to “nearly $5 billion” since 2011, according to a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Five people close to the project say its cost will now eclipse the $3.9 billion being spent on the new World Trade Center complex in New York City.
Apple Campus 2 was presented to the Cupertino City Council by Steve Jobs on June 7, 2011, during what turned out to be the Apple co-founder’s last public appearance. The building will span 2.8 million square feet across 176 acres of land, with space for more than 12,000 employees.
Jobs had hoped that Apple would begin work on the project in 2012, then move into the new building by the end of 2015. But Businessweek reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees during the company’s annual meeting on February 27 that the move-in date has had to be pushed back to 2016.
One of the reasons for the delay, according to three of the people people who have spoken to Apple personnel about the project, is that the company is working with lead architect Foster + Partners to shave $1 billion from the budget before proceeding with the project.
But Apple knew from the outset that its new campus wouldn’t be cheap. “It’s a little like a spaceship,” Jobs said during that council meeting. “There isn’t a straight piece of glass on the whole building… and as you know if you build things, this isn’t the cheapest way to build them.”
Those curved glass panels are to be manufactured by Seele, which will produce “something like six square kilometers of glass,” said Peter Arbour, an architect with the Germany company, who said that no company has attempted a construction with glass panes so large before. “Normally we talk in terms of square feet,” he added.
The campus will be mostly powered by 700,000 square feet of solar panels, which will produce enough energy to power around 4,000 homes. But Apple will still require additional power from other sources, and it is said to be negotiating deals for more solar and wind power.
In an effort to cut energy costs, the building will feature window treatments that “automatically open or close to let in just the right amount of light, wind, and fresh air to maintain a comfortable temperature,” Businessweek reports. Apple will also “make liberal use” of skylights for internal light, and “airplane propeller-sized fans.”
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek.