Pretty amazing info coming out about the new Apple campus, which is now running a year late in projected finish time and $2 billion over the originally expected $3 billion price tag.
The true expense of the campus lies not in green tech, though, as much as the materials—as well as what product designers call “fit and finish.” As with Apple’s products, Jobs wanted no seam, gap, or paintbrush stroke showing; every wall, floor, and even ceiling is to be polished to a supernatural smoothness. All of the interior wood was to be harvested from a specific species of maple, and only the finer-quality “heartwood” at the center of the trees would be used, says one person briefed on the plan last year.
Among other unique details contributing to project costs:
- 6 square kilometers of curved glass manufactured by Seele in Germany using specialized processes to prevent clouding or distortions. Seele has doubled the size of its production facility to accommodate the project.
- Per Jobs' orders, gaps between surfaces should be no more than 1/32 of an inch, far tighter than the typical 1/8 inch standard in U.S. construction.
- Polished concrete ceilings are to be cast in molds and then raised into position to ensure uniformity, rather than being cast in place. The requirement "left one person involved in the project speechless."