- In the run-up to its planned multiyear campus expansion and modernization project in Redmond, Washington, construction research and data company BuildZoom found that computing giant Microsoft has already filed more than $169 million worth of permits for various projects around its headquarters during the past year.
- The information from the permits indicates that the most expensive single project in the past year has been at the company's Building 40, where Skanska USA Building is performing an interior renovation valued at $30 million, as of the permit's issue date on Oct. 26, 2017. The project includes demolition of existing walls, ceilings and finishes and the construction of more than 202,000 square feet of office space in the six-story building, according to Emporis. Building 40's permits over the past year exceed $45 million.
- Building 122 saw the second-highest value of permitted activity — $25.7 million for fire alarm, fire protection and electrical work. Other significant projects include renovations to two other buildings, each approximately 111,000 square feet and each valued at $25 million, another fire alarm system-related renovation for $16 million and an electrical upgrade valued at $3.5 million.
Microsoft first announced its multi-billion dollar campus expansion project last year and said the company would add about 3 million square feet to 72 acres of its approximately 500-acre property in Redmond.
In July, Microsoft issued a press release stating the company had selected the design and construction team for the project — designers LMN, NBBJ, WRNS Studio and ZGF Architects; general contractors Skanska, Balfour Beatty, GLY and Sellen; landscape architect Berger Partnership with OLIN; and project managers CBRE, JLL and OAC Services Inc. Microsoft expects to begin construction of the new buildings later this year and to be completed in 2022.
Work at Microsoft will include 18 new buildings across four "villages," increase accessibility, mid-rise building design that will promote physical activity and interaction between company employees, outdoor space and design that will allow for natural light, sustainable design, a "future gateway" for light-rail connections, and pedestrian- and bicycle-focused infrastructure.
Building permits can be a valuable source of information when, for whatever reason, owners don't reveal to the public on their own who the general contractor, architect or other major subcontractors will be. The information available on building permits varies from agency to agency, but most usually contain an estimated square footage and general description. Those benefiting from this data include environmental activists who want to track the progress of controversial projects, contractors that use building permits to find bid opportunities and material and equipment vendors looking for new customers.