More details are emerging on the 385-acre mega campus that Exxon Mobil is building along the Hardy Toll Road 25 miles north of downtown Houston. Beginning next year, 10,000 employees will be divided into 20 buildings to consolidate the company's operations that are scattered in Houston, Virginia and other locations.
With the campus described as "one of the largest commercial construction projects underway in North America" by project executive Jim Hennessy, the current issue of Exxon Mobil's shareholder newsletter The Lamp reveals the project's massive scope. "During a typical day, we have about 3,000 workers on site, 16 tower cranes and hundreds of pieces of mobile construction equipment," Hennessy noted.
Known as the Energy Center, it will feature a "10,000-ton floating cube positioned 80 feet above the plaza and reflecting pool below.
At the campus's entrance, there's a a three-acre commons that's "modeled after great public squares found in Europe and the United States." Known as the Energy Center, it will feature a "10,000-ton floating cube positioned 80 feet above the plaza and reflecting pool below." The space will also house restaurants, offices, meeting rooms, an auditorium and a 3,500-person outdoor plaza.
The article also emphasizes the ways in which the campus is environmentally responsible. The landscaping has returned 70 native plants that were removed when the area was farmland. Buildings will be "40 percent more efficient than comparably sized buildings in Houston." Water collection systems and smart irrigation mean that "campus water usage will be reduced by 80 percent versus a comparable-sized development."
There are also several features designed to promote employee comfort and wellness. For example, the climate control system allows for "personal control of workspace temperatures and lighting." Exercise opportunities will be available at a 10,000-square-foot Wellness Center that includes weights, treadmills and a basketball court. A Child Development center is available for children "six weeks to pre-kindergarten."
“From the start, the campus was designed and is being built for the people who are going to use it,” Bryan Milton, president of Exxon Mobil Global Services Company, told The Lamp. “The offices, common areas, meeting places and amenities will significantly improve opportunities for collegiality and collaboration across organizations.
"It will be a wonderful place to work, and will serve to propel ExxonMobil to greatness for generations to come.”
That remains to be seen. What's certain is this campus is creating a lot of buzz — and changing Houston.