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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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... . .
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.