Office Space: Ford Goes Green With Its 10-Year Plan

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
office space ford goes green with its 10 year plan

Referring to one’s corporate buildings as a campus is en vogue, from Apple’s planned Spaceship HQ to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Yesterday, Ford Motor Company announced plans to transform its facilities in Dearborn into a green, modern, and high-tech work environment.

The 10-year plan will co-locate over 20,000 employees in the Dearborn area. Ford currently has a hodgepodge of more than 70 disconnected buildings along Oakwood Boulevard, many of which have been around since the Falcon and Galaxie were being sold in showrooms.

“As we transition to an auto and a mobility company, we’re investing in our people and the tools they use to deliver our vision,” Ford president and CEO Mark Fields said in a statement.

Seeking to be seen as a car and mobility company, Ford has been developing its autonomous driving chops, planting itself in Silicon Valley, and introduced apps alongside new metal at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. If Ford’s goal is to emulate the likes of Tesla and Apple, developing this style of corporate campus is certainly a reflection of that technology-laden vision.

This isn’t the first time Ford’s thought outside the box when revamping its real estate. Fifteen years ago, Ford constructed a 10.4 acre “living roof” on top of its vast River Rouge plant. Providing a habitat for birds and insects, the roof offsets the factory’s CO2 emissions and purifies rainwater.

Big business doesn’t solely go though this effort out of the goodness of their hearts, however. Installing the $18 million living roof reportedly spared Ford the cost of building a potentially even more expensive water treatment facility.

Ford declined to say how much they’ll spend on the project, but real estate analysts estimate the project easily represents a billion dollar investment. The Glass House on Michigan Avenue will receive reworked office space and a new building for Ford Credit.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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7 of 19 comments
  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Apr 13, 2016

    I'm not sure this will be enough to lure the best and brightest to Michigan. If they could do something about the snow, and the fact that Detroit city is a hell hole, maybe they'd have something... . .

    • See 2 previous
    • Bball40dtw Bball40dtw on Apr 14, 2016

      @JimZ Since I live under 2 1/2 miles from Detroit city limits, I'm sure he thinks that I live in some third world level hell hole.

  • Pannkake Pannkake on Apr 13, 2016

    This is a smart move to attract talent. After a decade+ as an engineer working in dumpy buildings with poor or no AC, no windows, mold smell, etc, I choose my current job in part because they had a new office building. That kind of investment in a company says a lot of good things about the corporate culture.

    • See 1 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Apr 14, 2016

      @IHateCars it's not only that, the current facilities were built back when Ford built only three models of car, and basically one model of truck, all which had a few feet of wiring and if they had any electronics it was maybe the radio. they're grossly inadequate in a day when you offer 10 car models and 7 trucks, all with miles of wiring and dozens of electronic modules in them.

  • Fred Remember when radios were an option? Do you know you can use your phone to listen to any radio station in the world? This is just a whole waste of time.
  • Pig_Iron ASTC 3.0 AM radio was successfully demonstrated at CES. It is a common standard shared with terrestrial television, so the audio equipment is commonized for broadcasters. And no royalty fees to pay, unlike HDRadio which has been a less than stellar success. 📻
  • Art Vandelay Crimes that are punished with fines encourage abuse by those enforcing them. If it is truly dangerous to the public, maybe jail or give the offenders community service. People’s time tends to be very valuable to them and a weeks lost work would certainly make a high earner think twice. If it isn’t a big danger why are police enforcing it (outside of raising money of course). Combine it with a points system. When your points are gone you do a week imitating Cool Hand Luke.
  • Cha65697928 High earners should pay less for tickets because they provide the tax revenue that funds the police. 2-3 free speeding tix per year should be fair.
  • Art Vandelay So the likely way to determine one’s income would be via the tax return. You guys are going to be real disappointed when some of the richest folks pay no speeding fine the same way they minimize their taxes