It may not look like much from the outside, but the inside of this building is as high-tech and experimental as Google could make it, from an environmental standpoint.

“We didn’t even want this building—tried to get rid of it in the economic downturn—and then we’re like, what should we do with it?”

Looking at the expansion into the dreary building as an opportunity, Google decided to play. The building was gutted. They found wooden beams, kept those—then punched a large skylight and hole in the floors so that natural light could filter all the way down.

Then Google installed two heating and air conditioning systems to see which works best.

Nat—these things…

They found that the air vents on the floor saves money and energy.

“We put the vents where the people are.”

 Ten different kinds of task lighting are scattered throughout. Some have sensors that you can control from online sites—others sense when desk dwellers are near and automatically turn off and on.

Most are lower than the standard installations in most offices.

“needs to be where people are…”

Already well-known in the tech space for feeding employees well, each floor holds a Google dubbed “micro-kitchen” with a plethora of choices for beverages, snacks and breakfast food.

In some ways, the green redesign movement within Google is a continuation of its mindset: Treat employees well and they will be happier, then more productive, at work.

From Mountain View, Kerry Davis, IDG News Service.