Page B1.1 . 26 September 2001                     
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    Fast Campus for Sun

    by Natasha Scripture and Richard Sheng

    In just 11 months between preliminary design and occupancy of the first building, Sun Microsystems and the international architecture firm Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz (KMD) created a new corporate campus in the "Silicon Valley" city of Newark, California.

    We accomplished this using a fast-track process with unusual team cooperation, special attention to cost considerations and material selections, and a willingness to make irrevocable construction decisions early in design. Each participating organization had to grant the others an unusual degree of trust.

    Despite completing the project in almost half the time of previous construction projects, the team maintained quality, and the campus was awarded "Facility of the Year" in 2000 by Facilities Design & Management Magazine.

    The participating team included interior architects Bottom Duvivier, Jacobs Engineering, DPR Construction, and the local city building department.

    Goals for the New Facility

    Sun's employee population had increased 15 percent annually from 1993 to 1998 and was expected to continue to increase at a record rate. Accommodating this growth became the company's prime imperative. They also wanted to relocate employees and activities from a 90 percent leased environment to 70 percent owned.

    The 37-acre (15-hectare), five-building project included about 800,000 square feet (74,000 square meters) of office space, a manufacturing facility, and a variety of open spaces intended to promote a sense of community within the workplace and to support recruitment and retention of the "best and the brightest" of technology talent.

     

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    ArchWeek Image

    Buildings in the new Sun Microsystems campus in Newark, California are organized along a secure, central landscaped area.
    Photo: Michael O' Callahan

    ArchWeek Image

    Aerial view of the Sun Microsystems campus plan, which was built in record time thanks to fast-track construction administration techniques.
    Image: KMD

     

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