July 12, 2024

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Three Employees Walk into Glass, Injure Themselves at New Apple HQ

In April 2017, nearly 13,000 Apple employees began the six-month process of moving into the all-new Apple campus in California. The massive facility, which originally began planning stages in 2006 under Steve Jobs, is shaped similarly to a spaceship and appears as if it could easily double as a nature commune. Officially titled, “Apple Park,” the new facility cost over $5 billion and contains just about everything one could imagine: a full Apple store, coffee shop, a 100,000-square foot fitness center, a meadow and pond, and 1,000 bikes for employee use.

What’s more impressive, in addition to the park’s design, size, and numerous amenities, is the park’s commitment to sustainability. At a March 2016 event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world, and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”

According to Apple Insider, the facility will be primarily powered by an onsite, low-carbon Central Plant. Plus, the structure is outfitted with solar panels around the top of the building. Currently, 7,000 trees are set to surround the campus and Apple has hired a Stanford University arborist to help landscape the area and restore some of the indigenous plant life, including apricot orchards.

However great this facility may be, the transition for some employees hasn’t exactly been smooth. In fact, 911 has been called multiple times due to some confusing architecture. According to 911 call logs obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, at least three Apple employees walked or ran into ultra-transparent glass hard enough to require emergency assistance. In what was likely an aesthetic effort, the glass in the building was specially treated to achieve exactly the desired level of transparency and whiteness. While it may provide the sleek and clean look that Apple has worked so hard to keep, the company was warned of the dangers of ultra-transparent glass. In fact, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Albert Salvador, Cupertino’s building official, brought up the issue last year. “We did recognize that this is going to be an issue, especially when they clean the glass,” Salvador told the Chronicle. “When you clean the windows, you can’t even tell some of them are there.”

During a visit nine months ago, Salvador and Dirk Matten of the Santa Clara County Fire Department both raised concerns specifically about the glass doors to the cafeteria. While State building codes require that doors be identifiable, there aren’t any specific regulations that protect employees from running into glass. “In my mind, the building is safe per the codes that I enforce,” Salvador noted to the Chronicle. “We don’t look at running into glass.”

Surely employee injury was not something Steve Jobs planned for this facility during its inception. But, with a budget of $5 billion, the company can likely foot the bill for some warning stickers.

Picture of By Alex Moersen

By Alex Moersen

Alex Moersen is an Associate Editor for Innovation & Tech Today, covering pop culture, science and tech, sustainability, and more. Twitter: @yaboii_shanoo

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